Farmers` satisfaction with the performance of the Mooi River Irrigation Scheme, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Farmer satisfaction with using an irrigation service can be used as a measure of performance of an irrigation scheme. An investigation was instituted to determine factors that significantly influence the satisfaction status of farmers at the Mooi-River Irrigation Scheme (MRIS) in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. A multinomial Logit regression model was employed to analyse the response of the farmers. It was established that about 57% of the farmers are satisfied with using the irrigation service, 30% are not and 13% are neutral. The majority of farmers, accounting for 85%, either never went to school or had only primary level schooling and these are mostly women, who own close to 80% of the plots in the scheme. Statistically significant results show that 6 household-level factors affect the satisfaction of farmers with using an irrigation service, i.e., gender of head of household, level of education attained by the household head, training received in water management, farmers’ perception of the fairness of water distribution, the number of days in a week that plotholders receive water, and the participation of farmers in the inspection of irrigation infrastructure on the scheme. This study recommends formulation of policies to train farmers in water management and to support farmer participation in scheme management.
Keywords: Farmer satisfaction, technical performance, multinomial Logit regression