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Infrastructure investment and policy management of water resources for small-scale irrigated agriculture

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dc.contributor.advisor Dennis B. McLaughlin. en_US Amornvivat, Sutapa, 1974- en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology, Management, and Policy Program. en_US 2005-11-08T21:06:14Z 2005-11-08T21:06:14Z 2003 en_US 2003 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, Technology, Management, and Policy Program, 2003. en_US
dc.description This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaves 157-167). en_US
dc.description.abstract We investigate the options for enhancing the welfare of small farmers in Thailand through subsidies of irrigation infrastructure. Enhanced water storage and irrigation can significantly improve yield and the welfare of the farm community by providing a more reliable water supply during growing periods. Generally speaking, such enhancements require subsidies from the government or other organizations since farmers are not able or willing to finance infrastructure development themselves. In order to maximize the effectiveness of such subsidies it is important to understand how farmers will react to alternative policies. We develop a two-tier approach to this problem. First, we use a government-level optimization model to identify the set of subsidies and water pricing policies that maximizes a stated measure of aggregate social welfare. This government-level model relies on a farm-level model that determines how individual small farmers will react to the policy alternatives. The farm-level model combines hydrologic, economic, and agronomic features since it considers how hydrologic variability affects crop yield, which in turn affects the farmer's utility. Policy decision variables considered in the government subsidy/pricing model include 1) water price and the number of farms served by public storage facilities (i. e. a water supply reservoir and enhanced in-stream storage), 2) maximum sizes of on-farm ponds paid for by the government, and 3) amounts of direct cash subsidies paid to the farmer. The objective is to maximize the aggregate welfare of all farmers served subject to a limit on the total subsidy as well as constraints designed to limit inequities and urban migration. The problem is solved with a deterministic nonlinear programming algorithm. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) Decision variables considered in the farm-level model include 1) whether or not to accept a government-subsidized on-farm pond (which reduces land available for cultivation), 2) how much to consume in each year, 3) whether to devote time to agriculture or off-farm employment, 4) type of crop and irrigation technique, and 5) amount of water purchased from communal storage facilities. The problem is solved using a finite-horizon discrete-time stochastic programming algorithm. Our modeling approach is tested on a study site in Saraburi Province, Thailand. This site serves as a suitable prototype because of its existing irrigation infrastructure, relatively developed market institutions, secure land-use rights, and weak endowment of water resources. To achieve an economic optimum in which the farmers' aggregate utility of consumption is maximized, the government must provide some farmers with free reservoir water. The remaining farmers, however, help pay for the subsidy at a relatively high price. Consequently, the latter seek urban employment during the dry seasons. This cross-subsidy solution resulting from the social optimum criteria is economically efficient yet markedly inequitable. In order to assure equity, the government should construct the reservoir and sell the storage water at the same price to all farms. However, this solution cannot prevent urban migration ... en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Sutapa Amornvivat. en_US
dc.format.extent 167 leaves en_US
dc.format.extent 2997579 bytes
dc.format.extent 2997334 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.subject Technology, Management, and Policy Program. en_US
dc.title Infrastructure investment and policy management of water resources for small-scale irrigated agriculture en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology, Management, and Policy Program. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 54853272 en_US

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