Valuation of access to irrigation water in rural Ethiopia: application of choice experiment and contingent valuation methods

Water scarcity for various uses constitutes a major global concern affecting millions of people but the problem is more serious especially in Africa. In a situation where farmers do not pay for irrigation water use, this study aims to investigate demand-side issues by eliciting farmers willingness to pay (WTP) for access to irrigation water. We employ choice experiment and contingent valuation methods to valuing access to irrigation water taking Ethiopia as a case in point. Unlike previous studies, the study covers users and non-users of irrigation water using the same baseline (status quo) conditions and compares the preferences of these two groups. Four attributes identified in the choice experiment are number of crop seasons, frequency of watering in a season, crop type and payment. Results show that marginal WTP was Birr 17.7, 261.8 and 87.6 for number of crop seasons, watering frequency in a season and crop type respectively. Our estimate of WTP of farmers for operation and maintenance of irrigation schemes per hectare of irrigated land range from Birr 738 (from the CE) to Birr 784 (from the CVM). We find non-users are willing to pay more in general as well as for the number of crop seasons specifically. Acknowledgement : The authors gratefully acknowledge with thanks financial support for this work from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) through the Environment for Development (EfD) initiative, Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Sweden; and logistical support during the field work from the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity of Ethiopia. The authors also thank Dale Whittington and participants of the 11th EfD Annual Meeting 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for useful comments on an earlier version of the paper.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
Q12; Q58

 Record created 2018-10-02, last modified 2020-10-28

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