Impact of Small-Scale Irrigation on Poverty in Rural Malawi

Zephania B. Nyirenda, Abdi-Khalil Edriss, Lawrence D. Mapemba


The aftermath of the Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) and droughts in the 1990s which culminated into the 2002 food crisis renewed government and donor interest to reinvest in irrigation agriculture in Malawi. As a result, a number of investments were instituted to spur irrigation agriculture between 2006 and 2014. However, there is little evidence from Malawi on the national scale on whether irrigated farming translates into poverty reduction. This study, therefore, sought to establish the impact of small-scale irrigation on poverty reduction in rural Malawi by examining poverty, crop productivity, crop income, and food security configurations of irrigation impacts. Using the Third Integrated Household Survey Data (IHS3) and Propensity Score Matching, the study found positive and statistically significant impacts of irrigated agriculture on crop productivity, food security and poverty reduction and a statistically insignificant impact on crop income. However, the reduction in poverty is not huge even though it is statistically significant. There is, therefore, need for the government to establish large scale irrigation schemes along the lake and big rivers where water is abundantly available. This should be coupled with the creation of infrastructure in transport and communication to aid distribution and marketing of the crops to be produced.

Keywords: Irrigation, poverty, crop productivity, crop income, food security, propensity score matching.

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN (Paper)2222-1700 ISSN (Online)2222-2855

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©