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Ethiopian Journal of Economics

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Impacts of small-scale irrigation technology on the nutritional well being of children in the Amhara national region of Ethiopia

Belainew Belete, Surafel Melak

Abstract


It is agreed that adopting irrigation technology improves production, productivity, income, and access to food for farm households. However, evidence on nutritional outcomes of small-scale irrigation technologies is quite scant. The existing studies focus on the productivity and poverty effect of irrigation. Thus, this study examines the impact of adoption of small-scale irrigation technologies on child nutritional wellbeing of farm households where nutritional wellbeing is measured through anthropometric indicators. Data were collected from 130 sample households drawn from Dangila and Bahir Dar Zuria wereda’s 3 . The Propensity Score Matching (PSM) method was employed to identify comparable technology adopting and non-adopting sample households. The study found malnutrition to be severe in the study area. Both chronic and acute Malnutrition problems were found to be wider for girls, for children aged below 2 years of age, and for non-adopters of the technology. Results of the average treatment effect on treated participants suggest that adoption of small-scale irrigation technologies has a positive impact on improving the adopters’ short-term nutritional status but its impact on children being chronically malnourished and underweight is insignificant. This study concludes that children of small-scale irrigation technology adopting households have significantly lower acute malnutrition status than those of non-adopting households even after controlling for the potential heterogeneity. Targeting diffusion of small-scale irrigation technology with early nutrition-specific intervention for long-term nutritional improvement is vital to secure child nutritional wellbeing.




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