Impact of Irrigation on Food Security and Nutrition Outcomes among Rice Farmers in Benin

Investing in irrigation development has been a priority of agricultural policy in Benin since 1960. This has resulted in the development of several irrigation schemes in the country. This study aims to assess the impact of irrigation on food security and nutrition outcomes among rice producers in Benin. It used survey data collected from 690 rice producers including 150 irrigators and 540 non-irrigators in the municipality of Malanville in Benin. An endogenous switching regression model was used to control for the selection bias and endogeneity issues related to the adoption variable. Access to credit, extension services, frequency of farmers-based organisation, access to media, market participation and distance to the irrigation scheme were the main determinants of participation in irrigation scheme. The results also showed positive impact of irrigation on dietary diversity, food consumption score and body mass index. This confirms the potential of irrigation in improving food security and nutrition outcomes among rice farmers in Benin.