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What drives input subsidy policy reform? The case of Zambia, 2002–2016

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  • Resnick, Danielle
  • Mason, Nicole M.

Abstract

When and why do suboptimal agricultural policies persist despite technical evidence highlighting alternatives? And what explains episodes of reform after prolonged periods of policy inertia? This paper addresses these questions by applying the Kaleidoscope Model for agricultural and food security policy change to the specific case of agricultural input policy in Zambia. Since 2002, the Farmer Input Support Program (formerly the Fertilizer Support Program) has been a cornerstone of Zambia’s agricultural policy. Over the years, however, many researchers have highlighted weaknesses in the program and proposed other options. Based on semistructured interviews with key stakeholders and intensive process tracing using media, donor, parliamentary, and research reports, this paper examines how the program initially began in 2002 and during subsequent periods of reform in 2009 and 2015. Based on the findings here, periods of reform for input support programs are most likely when there is a confluence of multiple factors. These include the emergence of a window of opportunity in the form of either a focusing event (for example, a food crisis) or an institutional shift (for example, a new president or new ruling party) that coincides with broad stakeholder support for empirically grounded alternatives, available material resources, and sustained commitment from politically important policy makers.

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  • Resnick, Danielle & Mason, Nicole M., 2016. "What drives input subsidy policy reform? The case of Zambia, 2002–2016," IFPRI discussion papers 1572, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1572
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    Cited by:

    1. Resnick, Danielle & Mather, David & Mason, Nicole & Ndyetabula, Daniel, 2017. "What Drives Agricultural Input Subsidy Reform in Africa? Applying the Kaleidoscope Model of Food Security Policy Change," Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Briefs 260419, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security (FSP).
    2. Hendriks, Sheryl L. & Babu, Suresh C. & Haggblade, Steven, 2017. "What drives nutrition policy reform in Africa? Applying the Kaleidoscope Model of Food Security Policy Change," Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Briefs 260422, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security (FSP).
    3. Nicole M. Mason & Ayala Wineman & Solomon T. Tembo, 2020. "Reducing poverty by ‘ignoring the experts’? Evidence on input subsidies in Zambia," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 12(5), pages 1157-1172, October.
    4. Resnick, Danielle & Haggblade, Steven & Babu, Suresh & Hendriks, Sheryl L. & Mather, David, 2018. "The Kaleidoscope Model of policy change: Applications to food security policy in Zambia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 101-120.
    5. Blekking, Jordan & Gatti, Nicolas & Waldman, Kurt & Evans, Tom & Baylis, Kathy, 2021. "The benefits and limitations of agricultural input cooperatives in Zambia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    6. Lay, Jann & Nolte, Kerstin & Sipangule, Kacana, 2021. "Large-scale farms in Zambia: Locational patterns and spillovers to smallholder agriculture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    7. Haggblade, Steven & Babu , Suresh, 2017. "A User’S Guide To The Kaleidoscope Model: Practical Tools For Understanding Policy Change," Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Papers 264396, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security (FSP).
    8. Kyle, Jordan & Resnick, Danielle & Karkee, Madhab, 2017. "Improving the equity and effectiveness of Nepal’s fertilizer subsidy program :," IFPRI discussion papers 1685, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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