Simulating the effects of tax exemptions on fertiliser use in Benin by linking biophysical and economic models
The sluggish increase in the area productivity of staple crops is a major factor causing increased dependence of African countries on food imports. The increased use of mineral fertiliser may dramatically improve the food balance of many countries and result in lower food prices, higher food supply and consumption, and improved food security and nutritional status. In Benin, West Africa, political measures to improve farmers' access to fertiliser are biased in favour of cotton production. This article simulates the impact of universal tax exemptions for fertiliser use on crop yields, food balances, and the use of land resources for the most important staple crops in Benin using a crop growth model and an agricultural sector model. The simulation results indicate that tax exemptions on fertiliser use could have positive effects on physical productivity and would increase food security until 2025 as compared to a baseline scenario. At the same time, the pressure on land resources would not be aggravated, so that better access to fertiliser may help to curb excessive cropland expansion in Benin.
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