The study aimed at establishing the determinants of public irrigation scheme performance in Kenya and give policy recommendations using panel fixed effect regression model. The results indicated that, the size of land under irrigation had a significant (at 1%) and positive effect on the performance of public irrigation scheme. Similarly, per acre operations and maintenance cost that was collected in the scheme had a significant (at 10%) and positive effect on the performance of public irrigation schemes; however, the amount of donor funding to the scheme had a significant (at 10%) and negative effect on the performance of public irrigation schemes. Consequently, performance can be improved if farmers are treated as clients, shareholders or as co-managers of irrigation scheme rather than just beneficiaries. Therefore, this study recommends the enhancement of policies and institutional changes at the public scheme level, along with increased government investments on irrigation infrastructure rehabilitation and development.
Key words: Co-management, donor funding, government investment, public irrigation scheme, panel fixed effect regression model, Kenya.