Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)


Applied Economics

Department name when degree awarded

Agricultural Economics

Committee Chair(s)

Jay C. Anderson


Jay C. Anderson


The primary objective of this study was to examine rice production methods, with special emphasis on irrigation-water management practices used by producers from all levels of management in the Guayas River Basin, Ecuador. To do this, rice producers were divided into four categories on the basis of the level of mechanization of their operation, use of purchased inputs, and the level of investment in irrigation facilities and general management practices. The levels of investment in irrigation facilities ranged from 7,000 to 500 sucres per hectare, and mechanization of production varied from almost total use of machinery for cultivation operations to no machinery at all. Similar variations were noted in regards to yields which ranged from 100 quintals of hulled rice to just 22 quintals per hectare.

The efficiency of irrigation-water use presented some problems X and could only be calculated for two management levels, I and II; these were found to be low in relation to results found in other areas. This efficiency was defined as being the ratio of the amount of water beneficially used to the amount of water delivered to the farm.

In order to compare the profitability of rice production and investments in machinery and land development, the internal rate of return criterion was used. This rate of return is that rate which equates the flow of net benefits to the flow of net investment for a project over its expected economic life. The streams of benefits were estimated from the costs and returns budgets and the investments stream from the costs of land developments and initial machinery costs, together with expected maintenance and replacement costs of headgates and other water control structures. These rates varied from almost 80 percent for production under management level I, 17.6 percent for management level II, to losses (negative returns--these were not calculated) for management levels III and IV.



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