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Did using input vouchers improve the distribution of subsidized fertilizer in Nigeria?: The case of Kano and Taraba states

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  • Liverpool-Tasie, Lenis Saweda

Abstract

Though input vouchers are increasingly being used as a mechanism to target subsidies in developing countries, limited empirical evidence of their performance relative to other distribution mechanisms exist. Consequently this study contributes to this scarce literature by comparing an input voucher program piloted in Nigeria in 2009 to the previous government led distribution mechanism. Input purchase experiences are compared when subsidized fertilizer was distributed through a voucher program or by the government. Using propensity score matching techniques, the study finds that voucher program participants received more bags of subsidized fertilizer than nonparticipants and paid a price significantly lower than the market price. However, they received their fertilizer later than nonparticipants and where significant had more underweight bags than nonparticipants. Given the costs associated with voucher programs, this study demonstrates when the distribution of subsidized fertilizer via vouchers improved farmers’ timely access to good and more affordable fertilizer.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 1231.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1231

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Keywords: fertilizer subsidies; Agricultural inputs; vouchers; Smallholder farmers; voucher program;

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  1. Carolyn Heinrich & Alessandro Maffioli & Gonzalo Vázquez, 2010. "A Primer for Applying Propensity-Score Matching," SPD Working Papers 1005, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness (SPD).
  2. Jacob Ricker-Gilbert & Thomas S. Jayne & Ephraim Chirwa, 2010. "Subsidies and Crowding Out: A Double-Hurdle Model of Fertilizer Demand in Malawi," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(1), pages 26-42.
  3. Michael Morris & Valerie A. Kelly & Ron J. Kopicki & Derek Byerlee, 2007. "Fertilizer Use in African Agriculture : Lessons Learned and Good Practice Guidelines," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6650.
  4. Becker, Sascha O. & Caliendo, Marco, 2007. "mhbounds – Sensitivity Analysis for Average Treatment Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 2542, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Zhiying Xu & William J. Burke & Thomas S. Jayne & Jones Govereh, 2009. "Do input subsidy programs "crowd in" or "crowd out" commercial market development? Modeling fertilizer demand in a two-channel marketing system," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(1), pages 79-94, 01.
  6. Banful, Afua B. & Nkonya, Ephraim & Oboh, Victor, 2010. "Constraints to fertilizer use in Nigeria," IFPRI discussion papers 1010, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Banful, Afua Branoah, 2011. "Old Problems in the New Solutions? Politically Motivated Allocation of Program Benefits and the "New" Fertilizer Subsidies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1166-1176, July.
  8. Minot, Nicholas & Benson, Todd, 2009. "Fertilizer subsidies in Africa: Are vouchers the answer?," Issue briefs 60, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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