Water-Wise: Smart Irrigation Strategies NIGERIA



The Nigerian government has committed itself to increasing irrigation uptake through institutional and programmatic innovations, recognizing the importance of beneficiaries’ ownership over programs for irrigation programs to deliver on the desired outcomes.

Recent irrigation investment has largely been geared toward promotion and development of private and small-scale irrigation systems. However, a large part of Nigeria’s irrigation potential remains unexploited. Tapping into this potential through public–private partnerships may increase agricultural production and further improve livelihoods and resilience. Furthermore, access to irrigation technologies based on renewable energy needs to be actively facilitated and promoted.

Between 2003 and 2013, the uptake of irrigation increased moderately in Nigeria, with a 12.5 percent increase in the amount of arable land under irrigation. Still, less than 1 percent of Nigeria’s total arable land was equipped for irrigation over the period 2012–2014. The need to advance irrigation is reflected in the rating of the 2018 Biennial Review Report by the African Union which revealed that Nigeria is not on track to meet Malabo Commitment area #3.1, “Access to agriculture inputs and technologies”. Its score of 0.37 out of 10 falls well below the 2017 minimum score of 5.53. As a result, the potential to expand land under irrigation in Nigeria remains largely untapped.

Download the full case study here.