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The government of Uganda is currently rehabilitating three major irrigation schemes whose infrastructure had broken down due to poor maintenance. Among these schemes is Doho rice irrigation scheme. It is expected that after the rehabilitation, the farmers at this scheme will assume responsibility for its operation and maintenance. Each farming household will be expected to pay a user fee per acre per season in order to cover the maintenance costs. This study was thus aimed at determining farmers’ willingness to pay to maintain irrigation water supply, using Doho rice scheme as a case study. The specific objectives included: to determine farmers’ willingness to pay to maintain irrigation water supply at Doho rice irrigation scheme; to characterise the farmers at Doho rice irrigation scheme based on their willingness to pay; to identify factors influencing farmers’ willingness to pay for irrigation water at Doho rice irrigation scheme. A stratified random sampling procedure was employed to select a sample of 200 respondents at Doho rice irrigation scheme; and using a questionnaire, cross sectional data were collected. The contingent valuation method using the bidding game was applied to elicit the farmers’ willingness to pay. Descriptive statistics and a double log-linear model were used to analyse the data in light of the study objectives. The findings show that the average willingness to pay for irrigation water by farmers at Doho irrigation scheme is Ush. 20,000 per acre per season. This value is higher than the Ush. 15,000 per acre per season needed to cover the cost of maintaining irrigation water supply at Doho. The results further show that formal education, farm size, experience in practical irrigation farming, participation in training related to soil and water conservation, rice growing or irrigation water management and access to credit and markets influence farmers’ willingness to pay. The study therefore recommends charging Ush. 15,000 per acre per season. This is because not only does it generate sufficient revenue to cover the maintenance costs, but is also below the average willingness to pay implying that a large proportion of farmers would willingly pay this amount without coercion. In addition, government should intensify training in soil conservation, water management and rice growing, promote farmers’ access to affordable credit, bring markets closer to the farmers and also put in place active land rental markets.


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