Evaluation of the Irrigation and Water Resource Management Project in Senegal: Interim Evaluation Report

Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica
Jul 29, 2019
Authors
Thomas Coen, Sarah M. Hughes, Matthew Ribar, William Valletta, and Kristen Velyvis

Key Findings:

  • In the Delta Activity area, the Project led to an increase in land under production during the main agricultural season and an increase in rice yields relative to a comparison group. However, farmers in the Delta Activity area reduced their cultivation of other crops relative to a comparison group, and the project did not increase cropping intensity.
  • More households applied for and received land titles in the Delta Activity area relative to the comparison group, but land institutions’ financial constraints limited them from fully implementing titling activities post-Compact.
  • Although women and landless residents received land in Podor, many were unhappy with the small size of plots, which are unsuitable for rice cultivation and inhibit substantial profits.
  • As a result of the Project, households in the Delta Activity area shifted their resources to focus on farming in the main growing season. In the Delta Activity area, agricultural profit increased relative to the comparison group, driven by the increase in land under production, but this was offset by a decrease in off-farm revenue.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Irrigation and Water Resource Management (IWRM) Project is an infrastructure and land tenure intervention carried out in Senegal from 2010-2015 as part as MCC’s Compact with the Government of Senegal. The project was implemented in two regions along the Senegal River Valley, Delta and Podor, and included upgrades to and the rehabilitation of a canal and drainage system for 60,000 hectares of potential rice fields, construction of a multi-crop irrigated perimeter, clarification of land rights, development of a land allocation process, support for land rights of vulnerable groups, and training in land-tenure security tools and irrigation techniques for local water user committees. The key objectives were to increase agricultural production, employment, and incomes in the Senegal River Valley; formalize farmers’ land rights; and mitigate land disputes.

This report presents findings from an evaluation of the IWRM Project in the first three years after the compact closed in September 2015. We use a matched comparison group design to evaluate the impact of the Delta Activity on water use, agricultural production, household income, land security, and land conflicts. For the Podor Activity, we use a pre-post design to assess changes in the same outjavascript:void(0);comes.