Water-Wise: Smart Irrigation Strategies in BENIN



The institutional and programmatic innovations of the past years are contributing to irrigation uptake across Benin. The government recognizes the importance of collaborative efforts with the private sector to sustainably increase irrigation uptake. Irrigation investment has been largely geared toward the promotion and development of private and small irrigation systems.

However, a large part of Benin’s irrigation potential remains unexploited. Tapping into this potential may increase agricultural production and further improve livelihoods and resilience in rural areas. Moreover, access to irrigation technologies based on renewable energy needs to be actively facilitated and promoted.

Between 2003 and 2013, Benin witnessed a rapid increase in the uptake of irrigation. The share of arable land under irrigation increased by 80 percent during that period, yet less than 1 percent of the country’s arable land is currently equipped for irrigation. The 2018 Biennial Review Report by the African Union revealed that Benin is currently not on track to meet Malabo Commitment area #3.1, “Access to agriculture inputs and technologies,” given its score of 4.23 out of 10, which falls below the 2017 minimum score of 5.53. However, the potential to expand land under irrigation is high.

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