Impact of Irrigation on Farm Households Quality of Diet: Evidence from Ethiopia

Having better nutritional status by itself is a valuable development indicator, and conjointly it is also a vital contributor to economic development. This being the case, the number of undernourished people remains high in the world and appears to be escalating in Africa, where about 21% of the population is under-nourished. For instance, in Ethiopia, 38% of children under the age of five are stunted and 28% of child deaths in the country are associated with under-nutrition. This policy brief provides information on the impact of irrigation on the quality of diet using nationally representative data from Ethiopia— one of the countries where chronic food insecurity, malnutrition, and the prevalence of micro- and macronutrient deficiencies is still widespread and continues to be a major public health problem in the country. Studying the effects of irrigation schemes on rural households well-being, such as nutritional status, may contribute to charting sound policies for future irrigation development, programme design, and to justify whether irrigation can be considered as a viable instrument to enhance nutrition security for Ethiopia and beyond.