Asian food production in the 1990s: Irrigation investment and management policy
Abstract This article addresses the implications of declining productivity growth for rice and wheat in Asia and parallel changes in irrigation investment patterns for future irrigation investment and management policies. The general economic case for increased public investment in new irrigation is examined, the potential for improving existing irrigation systems assessed, expansion of private irrigation investment discussed, and policy implications for irrigation investment and management strategy in Asia presented. The authors conclude that substantial recent cutbacks in public investment are largely appropriate, but that modestly higher shadow prices for rice and wheat should be utilized in evaluating investments. Other policy implications include the importance of considering a wider range of performance improvement options and of greater selectivity in project design, the need for more fundamental reform in many public irrigation institutions, and the undervalued importance of private investment in irrigation development coupled with greater public investment in supporting infrastructure and institutions.