Evaluating the Local Economywide Impacts of Irrigation Projects: Feed the Future in Tanzania
28 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2013 Last revised: 21 Mar 2013
Date Written: March 2013
Despite years of development interventions, agricultural productivity in Africa south of the Sahara still trails far behind all other continents, leaving many rural populations in dire poverty. This suggests that our understanding of the impacts of agricultural development projects is still imperfect; perfecting it is likely to be a crucial step in achieving development. Projects that raise agricultural productivity, in addition to directly affecting farmers, can have an impact on local prices, wages, and rents, especially in rural areas of Africa, which tend to be less-than-perfectly integrated with outside markets. Price changes, in turn, transmit project impacts to others within the local economy. This paper presents the findings of a local economywide impact evaluation of Feed the Future irrigation projects in the Morogoro region of Tanzania, using a local economy-wide impact evaluation (LEWIE) simulation model. The findings indicate that these irrigation projects can generate important indirect impacts within the region. The structure of local markets, as well as labor and land availability, shapes project spillovers in ways that point to future directions for development assistance in the region.
Keywords: general equilibrium, Irrigation, local economy-wide impact evaluation (LEWIE) model, Rice productivity, Africa, Africa South of Sahara, East Africa, Tanzania
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