Does Subsidizing Fertilizer Increase Yields? Evidence from Malawi
AbstractDespite their strain on government and donor budgets, fertilizer subsidies have once again become popular policy tools in several Sub-Saharan Africa countries as a potential way to increase yields in staple crops like maize. Policy makers often assume that farmers who receive the subsidy will achieve yield responses that are similar to those obtained by farmers who pay commercial prices for the input. This notion has not been verified empirically. Our study uses panel data from Malawi, a country that recently implemented a fertilizer subsidy program, to compare maize yield response to fertilizer from farmers who received subsidized fertilizer with yield responses from those who paid commercial prices for the input. Descriptive results indicate that maize plots using commercial fertilizer obtain higher yields per kilogram of fertilizer than maize plots that used subsidized fertilizer. Conversely, the results obtained using a fixed-effects estimator indicate that when other factors are controlled for, maize plots that use subsidized fertilizer obtain a higher yield response than other plots. The results seems to be influenced by a group of farmers who used no fertilizer before the subsidy program began, but used subsidized fertilizer after the program was implemented. This group of farmers obtained significantly higher yields in the year when they receive the subsidy than did the rest of the farmers in the sample during that year. These findings indicate that in order to be effective, government officials should specifically target fertilizer subsidies to farmers who lack access to commercial markets or would not otherwise find it profitable to purchase the input.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin with number 49532.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Phone: (414) 918-3190
Fax: (414) 276-3349
Web page: http://www.aaea.org
More information through EDIRC
Malawi; Fertilizer Subsidies; Production Function; Crop Production/Industries;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Pan, Lei & Christiaensen, Luc, 2012.
"Who is Vouching for the Input Voucher? Decentralized Targeting and Elite Capture in Tanzania,"
Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1619-1633.
- Pan, Lei & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Who is vouching for the input voucher ? decentralized targeting and elite capture in Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5651, The World Bank.
- Pan, Lei & Christiaensen, Luc J.M., 2012. "Who is Vouching for the Input Voucher? Decentralized Targeting and Elite Capture in Tanzania," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 122905, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
- Caria, A. Stefano & Tamru, Seneshaw & Bizuneh, Gera, 2011. "Food security without food transfers?: A CGE analysis for Ethiopia of the different food security impacts of fertilizer subsidies and locally sourced food transfers," IFPRI discussion papers 1106, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Chirwa, Themba G., 2010. "Program evaluation of agricultural input subsidies in Malawi using treatment effects: Methods and practicability based on propensity scores," MPRA Paper 20878, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.