What role can small-scale irrigation play in promoting inclusive rural transformation? Evidence from smallholder rice farmers in the Philippines

Daniel Higgins*, Aslihan Arslan, Paul Winters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

We investigate how user-managed small-scale irrigation can influence inclusive rural transformation. Cultivating inclusive rural transformation is key to sustainable growth and poverty reduction in developing countries, but existing research rarely analyses the holistic impacts of rural development projects on this process. We use a combination of quantitative and qualitative data to rigorously measure impacts and uncover the causal pathways of a canal irrigation project for rice farmers in the Philippines, finding that positive impacts were heavily determined by market access and the strength of the local economy. We also find limited impacts for poorer farmers located further downstream on the irrigation canals. Based on these findings, we draw several lessons about the complementary conditions and support that are required in order for irrigation to be an effective tool in promoting inclusive rural transformation in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106437
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Volume243
Early online date24 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Impact evaluation
  • Philippines
  • Rice production
  • Rural transformation
  • Small-scale irrigation

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