Adoption of Road Water Harvesting Practices and Their Impacts: Evidence from a Semi-Arid Region of Ethiopia

In the drylands of Ethiopia, several road water harvesting practices (RWHP) have been used to supplement rain-fed agriculture. However, factors affecting the adoption of RWHP and their impacts were not studied systematically. Understanding the factors influencing the adoption of RWHP for sustainable agricultural intensification and climate resilience is critical to promoting such technologies. This paper investigates the impacts of using rural roads to harvest rainwater runo and the factors causing farmers to adopt the practice. Road water harvesting is considered a possible mechanism for transformative climate change adaptation. By systematically capturing rainfall with rural road infrastructure, rain-related road damage is reduced, erosion and landscape degradation due to road development is lessened, and farm incomes increase due to the beneficial use of harvested water, resulting in an increased climate change resilience. This paper uses a binary probit model and propensity score matching methods based on a household survey of 159 households and 603 plots. The results of the probit model show that the education level of the household, family labor, access to markets, and distance of the farming plot from the farmer’s dwelling are statistically significant in explaining farmers’ adoption of RWHP in the study area. The casual impact estimation from the propensity score matching suggests that RWHP has positive and significant impacts on input uses (farmyard manure and fertilizer), crop yield, and farm income among the sample households.

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Last modified: October 30, 2020