Zingiro, Ariane, Julius Juma Okello and Paul Guthiga. 2014. “Assessment of adoption and impact of rainwater harvesting technologies on rural farm household income: the case of rainwater harvesting ponds in Rwanda.” Environment Development and Sustainability 16:6: 1281-1298.
Rainwater harvesting is increasingly viewed as a major strategy for enhancing agricultural productivity and boosting farm income in many drought-prone areas. While this technology is being promoted in many developing countries, there is conflicting evidence in the literature about its impact on welfare of farm households.
This study uses propensity score matching and discrete choice regression techniques to assess the impact of rainwater harvesting ponds on farm household income and factors that influence adoption of such technologies in Rwanda. It finds that households with rainwater harvesting ponds have significantly higher income than their counterparts of comparable observable characteristics. It further finds evidence that increase in farm income occurs via increased input use and that household size, asset endowments and participation in farmer organizations condition adoption of rainwater harvesting ponds. The study concludes that adoption of rainwater harvesting technologies has positive benefits on farm households. It discusses the policy implications that adoption of rainwater harvesting ponds presents a pathway for reducing rural poverty.