THE EFFECTS OF ECONOMICS TRANSACTION COST OF RICE IRRIGATION SYSTEM IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background Information
Governments in developing countries worldwide have transferred, in a varying
degrees, the rights and management responsibilities for natural resources such as
forestry, rangelands, protected areas, and water particularly, irrigation systems and
water sheds to the communities (Meinzen-Dick, 2004; Araral, 2008; Behera, 2009).
This policy shift is a response towards among other factors, greater awareness of the
governments in regard to incentive problems amongst these resources management.
As such the expectation has been that ‘‘since these resources are usually important to
the livelihood of the users themselves, they will in that case manage such resources
more efficiently, equitably, and sustainably than government bureaucrats per see’’.
In Nigegria, common property rights in the form of common water right permit that
is granted collectively to the groups of water users in a collective action setting has
been the policy instrument implemented to ensure management of irrigation systems
(NIPO, 2009). The common water rights permit is an institution with clearly defined
property rights and legal aspects considered to allow contracts to be enforced for
water resource utilization by water users, based on collective management of the
group of water users. It requires that water users organize themselves into groups
before they are granted the common water right permit to access water. In consequence, organized user-groups in a collective action setting are considered as a
strategy that translates into efficient performance of irrigation systems. The irrigation
systems are either traditional improved schemes, defined as ones, which were initiated by farmers and later on improved by the government/external agents, or modern schemes that are characterized by high level of mechanization, constructed
by external agents (NIPO, 2009; Matekere and Lema, 2012).
statement of the Problem
Despite endowment for water resources and government policy efforts directed
towards investment on irrigation development (Walter, 2008; MAFSC, 2013), smallholder irrigation schemes still perform poorly in Nigeria. In fact, the poor
performance is observed in low level of irrigation practices (You et al. 2010). Yet,
most of the interventions have been from top down mainly focusing on development
of infrastructure rather than on the participants and extension services. Though,
common property rights granted collectively to the groups of water resource users in a collective action setting has been the policy instrument implemented to accommodate participants to ensure efficient performance of irrigation schemes management (NIPO, 2009), hitherto, low level of irrigation farming practices is evident (Water sector, 2009; You et al. 2010).
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