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Reducing food insecurity through equitable investments in irrigation: The case of Niger

New research published in JAAEA

Irrigation is going to be an important part of adaptation to climate change in rainfed agricultural systems such as Niger. COP 27 has focused on adaptation and resilience, and this research shows that small-scale irrigation can enable farmers adapt to climate change and provide social safety nets.

In the new research “Reducing food insecurity through equitable investments in irrigation: The case of Niger” published in the Journal of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association, Soumya Balasubramanya from The World Bank and Kashi Kafle from Texas A&M University, examine whether irrigation reducing household food insecurity in agricultural households in Niger, controlling for point of crop harvest sales.

The authors say, “Irrigation was associated with a 10% decrease in food insecurity, a 9% increase in food consumption expenditure, and improved dietary diversity. Farmers using irrigation experienced higher cash incomes, sold a higher share of their harvest, and had higher crop revenues.  Access to irrigation was also positively correlated with the consumption of nutritious food items such as fruits, vegetables, and meat products. Most importantly, these effects were found for both irrigating farmers that primarily sold their harvest locally to neighbors and village shops, as well as for irrigating farmers who sold their harvest in bulk in formal agricultural markets. Therefore, current approaches that prioritize irrigation projects in areas proximate to formal markets should equitably expand their efforts to also invest in areas that are less connected to such markets,”

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ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes three journals, the Journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (an open access journal), the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

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