Development of a decision support tool for assessing economics of irrigation in sugarcane.

Book Title: NA
Year Published: 2002
Month Published: NA
Author: Magwenzi, O. E.
Book Group Author: NA

In 1997, the Swaziland Sugar Association Technical Services initiated a programme to improve water use efficiency by providing information on appropriate irrigation methods, crops water use, irrigation scheduling, system design, water measurement and irrigation system performance. Maximizing irrigation efficiency was considered to be a first step towards the goal of increasing sucrose yield per unit of water. Results from the programme, highlighted the need for assessing economics of irrigation to ensure that technical efficiency was not pursued at the expense of economic efficiency. This paper reports on the development of a decision support tool to help growers make economically sound decisions in an irrigated sugarcane production system. Irrigation decisions are becoming more complex with changes in markets, water legislation, wider choice of irrigation systems and development of more marginal water supply sites. Historically, growers often made irrigation decisions based on minimizing capital costs without taking in to account that long-term nature of irrigation investments. This approach often results in selection of systems that do not maximize profits and may not meet other production system requirements. The framework developed helps to evaluate the relative trade-offs between water, capital and running costs over the life of the system. Sugarcane production costs and economic data from Swaziland, obtained during 2001, are used to demonstrate the utility of the principles used in the model.

Pages: 135 - 146
Volume: NA
Number: 76
Journal: Proceedings of the Annual Congress - South African SugarTechnologists' Association
Journal ISO: NA
Organization: NA
Publisher: NA
ISSN: 1028-3781

capital, costs, crop production, decision making, economicanalysis, irrigated farming, irrigation, irrigation systems, irrigationwater, models, production costs, sugarcane, water use, Swaziland,Saccharum, Saccharum officinarum, Poaceae, Cyperales, monocotyledons,angiosperms, Spermatophyta, plants, eukaryotes, Saccharum, SouthernAfrica, Africa South of Sahara, Africa, Developing Countries, ACPCountries, Commonwealth of Nations, SADC Countries, Anglophone Africa,choice, costings, watering, Agricultural Economics (EE110), NaturalResource Economics (EE115) (New March 2000), Investment, Finance andCredit (EE800), Field Crops (FF005) (New March 2000), Plant Production(FF100), Soil Water Management (Irrigation and Drainage) (JJ800)(Revised June 2002) [formerly Soil Water Management], Water Resources(PP200), Social Psychology and Social Anthropology (UU485) (New March2000)

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