Impacts of small scale irrigation on socio-economic development of the society in Dewa Cheffa Woreda, Oromia Zone of Amhara National Regional state

Tesfa Worku Meshesha
water resource planning and management, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
September, 2011
Tesfa Worku Meshesha, Debre Berhan University, Department of water resource planning and management


The main objective of this study is to assess the impact of small scale irrigation on socio-economic development of the society in Kemisse Zone, Dewa Cheffa Woreda. The study employed survey method and personal observation to collect socio-economic data. Farming household and key informant were interviewed to collect primary data. In addition, relevant literature and essential documents that was useful for the study were reviewed. The analysis which was conducted amongst the same respondents before introduction of irrigation, allowed for the comparison in order to identify the impact after introduction of irrigation project. Also, the social and economic impact was assessed that used to assess the impact of small scale irrigation in the study area. The result reveals that small scale irrigation have an impact on social and economic well being of households. The skill of farmers after introduction of irrigation was better than that of before introduction of irrigation such as, plowing, threshing, harvesting, use of agronomic practice. All the farm households are worked in their farm on the daily basis, which is a big change as compared to before introduction the schemes. Land use intensity and crop diversification was improved due to irrigation. Land use intensity improved due to increases in acreage of main crop as well as cultivating at both seasons. Crop diversification was also observed as a result of irrigation development in the study area. Almost the entire farm household increased producing multi item and market oriented types of crop two cycles per a year. The study finding highlights that small-scale irrigation for food security enhancement, high yield obtained in irrigation and other benefit such as increased income, employment opportunity, crop diversification, land use intensity, and the like are indication that small-scale irrigation can bring sustainable agriculture and economic development in the study area. But issues related to small size of farm plot, input supply, market situation, reservoir capacity to enrich irrigation water for all user groups, crop water requirement, ways of water distribution for users and infrastructure can affect the sustainability of small-scale irrigation schemes.
Key words: Small-scale irrigation, social and economic well being, crop diversification, household income, employment opportunity, market oriented crop pattern.