Full Length Research Paper
The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of irrigation adoption on farmer’s welfare measured by consumption expenditure and food consumption pattern. The paper was based on cross sectional farm household data collected in 2015 from a sample of 200 households in rural Eastern Cape of South Africa. The study used a stratified random sampling method to select farming households from three district municipalities of the province. A Propensity Score Matching method was adopted for data analysis. Estimates of the Average treatment of the treated (ATT) suggests that irrigation participation decrease food expenditures, increases consumption and income significantly at 5% level. The study concludes that irrigation participation is one of the viable solutions to increase farmer’s welfare in the study area. Therefore this study recommends a continued public and private investment in irrigation schemes in Eastern Cape.
Key words: Irrigation technology, smallholder farmers, propensity score matching, consumption, South Africa.
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