Water-Wise: Smart Irrigation Strategies in NIGER



Niger’s growth in irrigation uptake in the decade to 2013 was largely driven by an increase in small-scale irrigation uptake, and private sector involvement. The government’s commitment to expanding irrigation has been demonstrated through comprehensive institutional innovations and targeted policy and programmatic interventions. Despite this, Niger still has a large potential to increase the amount of land under irrigation. 

The Government of Niger has shown strong commitment through institutional and programmatic innovations relevant to irrigation expansion. Importantly, the government has emphasized private small-scale irrigation development and private sector involvement. Between 2003 and 2013, Niger witnessed a rapid increase in the uptake of irrigation: the share of arable land under irrigation increased by 20 percent. Yet the 2018 Biennial Review Report by the African Union revealed that Niger is not on track to meet Malabo Commitment area #3.1, “Access to agriculture inputs and technologies,” given its score of 0.29 out of 10, which falls well below the 2017 minimum score of 5.53. Up to 20 percent of Niger’s agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) is generated through irrigated agriculture. Such achievements are partly due the government’s institutional and programmatic innovations to improve existing irrigation infrastructure and expand it across the country.

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