Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30850
Algerian Irrigation in Transition; Effects on Irrigation Profitability in Irrigation Schemes: The Case of the East Mitidja Scheme

Authors: K. Laoubi, M. Yamao


In Algeria, liberalization reforms undertaken since the 1990s have resulted in negative effects on the development and management of irrigation schemes, as well as on the conditions of farmers. Reforms have been undertaken to improve the performance of irrigation schemes, such as the national plan of agricultural development (PNDA) in 2000 and the water pricing policy of 2005. However, after implementation of these policies, questions have arisen with regard to irrigation performance and its suitability for agricultural development. Hence, the aim of this paper is to provide insight into the profitability of irrigation during the transition period under current irrigation agricultural policies in Algeria. By using the method of farm crop budget analysis in the East Mitidja irrigation scheme, the returns from using surface water resources based on farm typology were found to vary among crops and farmers- groups within the scheme. Irrigation under the current situation is profitable for all farmers, including both those who benefit from subsidies and those who do not. However, the returns to water were found to be very sensitive to crop price fluctuations, particularly for non-subsidized groups and less so for those whose farming is based on orchards. Moreover, the socio-economic environment of the farmers contributed to less significant impacts of the PNDA policy. In fact, the limiting factor is not only the water, but also the lack of land ownership title. Market access constraints led to less agricultural investment and therefore to low intensification and low water productivity. It is financially feasible to recover the annual O&M costs in the irrigation scheme. By comparing the irrigation water price, returns to water, and O&M costs of water delivery, it is clear that irrigation can be profitable in the future. However, water productivity must be improved by enhancing farmers- income through farming investment, improving assets access, and the allocation of activities and crops which bring high returns to water; this could allow the farmers to pay more for water and allow cost recovery for water systems.

Keywords: Water Productivity, Algeria, Irrigation schemes, agricultural irrigation policy, farm crop budget analysis

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1415


[1] Conseil National Economique et Social (CNES), L-eau en Algérie : le grand défi de demain. 15th session, national report. Alger May 2000.
[2] Conseil National Economique et Social (CNES)., Problématique de Développement Agricole : Eléments pour un débat national. 14th session, national report. Alger, Nov 1999.
[3] O. Bessaoud, « L-agriculture algérienne : des révolutions agraires aux réformes libérales de 1963 ├á 2002». Topics in Du Maghreb au Proche-Orient, Orient, les défis de l-agriculture, L-Harmattan, Paris, 2002, pp. 73-99, 2002.
[4] B. Benmouffok, « La decentralisation et la gestion participative de l-irrigation» 4th forum Water Demand management, Cairo, Egypt, 2003.
[5] M. Messahel, M.S. Benhafid, & M.C. Ouled Hocine, « Efficience des systèmes d-irrigation en Algérie ». Proc. of the 2nd WASAMED Workshop on Irrigation Systems Performance, WASAMED Project. Tunisia, June 2004. pp. 61-78
[6] K. Laoubi, and M. Yamao, "Water pricing and the performance evaluation of irrigation schemes: the case of the Hamiz irrigation scheme, Algeria". Journal of Rural economics, special issue, pp. 557-565, 2005.
[7] K. Laoubi, and M. Yamao, "A typology of irrigation farms as a tool for sustainable agriculture in irrigation schemes: the case of the East Mitidja scheme, Algeria". "submitted for publication"
[8] C.D. Gibbons, "The Economic Value of Water". Washington D.C: Resources for the Future. 1986, pp. 23-40.
[9] R. A. Young, "Nonmarket economic Valuation for Irrigation Water Policy Decisions: Some Methodological Issues" Universities council on water resources, journal of contemporary water research and education, issue 131, pp. 21-25, June 2005
[10] P.J.G.J. Hellegers, and C.J. Perry, "Water as an economic good in irrigated agriculture: Theory and Practice", 3.04.12.LEI-Wageningen UR, The Hague, 2004.
[11] K. Laoubi, and M. Yamao, "Water pricing and the performance evaluation of irrigation schemes: the case of the Hamiz irrigation scheme, Algeria". M.S. thesis, Dept. Food and Resource Economics., Hiroshima Univ., Hiroshima, Japan, 2005.
[12] K. Laoubi, and M. Yamao, "Reform of water pricing policies: The effect on water management in the irrigation scheme in Algeria", Journal of Rural Problems, Vol.43 No.1, pp. 212-217, June 2007.
[13] World Bank, «Une strategie pour la gestion de l'eau au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique du Nord», Washington, 1995.
[14] A. Dinar, and A. Subramanian, « Water pricing experiences. An international perspective», World Bank, Washington, 1997.