Importance of Irrigated Agriculture to the Ethiopian Economy: Capturing the direct net benefits of irrigation

  • F Hagosa
  • G Makombe
  • RE Namara
  • SB Awulachew


This study is an attempt to quantify the actual and expected contribution of
irrigation to the Ethiopian economy for 2005/06 and 2009/10 cropping
seasons using adjusted net gross margin analysis. After obtaining adjusted
gross margin values for rain-fed and irrigation systems under different
typologies, irrigation’s contribution was calculated to be about 5.7 and
2.5 percent to agricultural and overall GDP during the 2005/06 cropping
season. By the year 2009/2010, irrigation’s contribution to agricultural
and overall GDP is estimated to grow to about 9 and 3.7 percent,
respectively. After relaxing some of the underlying assumptions, the future
contribution of irrigation to agricultural GDP will rise to about 12 percent while the contribution to overall GDP will be about 4 percent. Recommendations for enhancing irrigation’s contribution and policy implications for cost recovery and sustainability of irrigation investment are drawn.

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eISSN: 0378-0813