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Abstract

Irrigation systems have been shown to substantially improve farmers' productivity, and thus help alleviate poverty. Our study provides an example of such investment, the Participatory Small-Scale Irrigation Development Programme in Ethiopia. Com- bining a primary household survey with geographical data, we estimate the impact of the project on agricultural production and households expenditures using a novel iden- tication strategy. Beneciaries gain from the project through improved crop yields, which raise revenues, and allow switching from relying mainly consuming their own pro- duce to purchasing greater amount of food from the market. Though we rule out that the project may have targeted farmers based on their agricultural performance, sum- mary statistics indicate notable dierences between beneciaries and non-beneciaries, an indication that the project might have systematically targeted farmers with certain attributes. Systematic targeting is often favored either to ensure the highest rate of success, or to deliver the project to those who may need it the most, but may limit the generalizability of the project in relation to any eorts to scaling up.

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