DSC_0125.JPG Redesigning the Affordable Inputs Program to Diversify and Sustain Growth

Christone Nyondo, William J. Burke, Milu Muyanga, William Chadza
2022 unpublished
• Malawi has been implementing a large input subsidy program since the 2004/5 season to improve access to agricultural inputs by smallholder farmers. • Recently, there has been recognition within government that significant reforms are needed. • These calls for policy shift are consistent with existing evidence that suggests that the benefits from subsidy programs have been considerably smaller than anticipated due to low crop response to fertilizer and other challenges. • These calls present
more » ... opportunity for innovative policies to decisively address the existing pitfalls and devise ways for greater and more efficient use of resources. • Malawi could consider implementing a streamlined, smarter subsidy program and/or venturing into other forms of subsidies tailored to different farmer and ecological needs (e.g., subsidizing legume seeds, agriculture lime, etc.). • Government could also consider going beyond subsiding inputs to promoting interventions that holistically addresses soil health and land conservation challenges faced by the nation's farmers. • Malawi could adopt policies other than subsidies, such as strengthening agricultural Research, Development and Extension to improve productivity of land, labor and other inputs. • Bidirectional learning between extension workers and farmers, improving public infrastructure, increasing access to education and land tenure rights, creating an enabling policy environment, and promoting dietary and production diversity will all be critical for the country.
doi:10.22004/ag.econ.329244 fatcat:qfuy7pakevf23gunapavk26cge