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Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)

Evaluation of the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme

Staff member

Time period

Funding in three contracts from 2006 to 2016 from UK Department for International Development (Malawi). Special studies supported by Future Agricultures Consortium.

Collaborators

from Wadonda Consult and the University of Malawi

 

Associated CeDEP research

  • Who benefits from, and what are the wider market impacts of, voucher subsidies in agriculture and health? Inter-sectoral analytical lessons.
  • Agricultural Input Subsidies and their roles in Development.

Objectives and Scope

In 2005/6 the Malawi Government introduced a large scale national programme subsidising agricultural inputs, mainly fertilisers and seeds for maize production. The purpose of this long running work is to provide the Malawi Government and other stakeholders with information on the implementation and impact of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme.

Using Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security implementation data, biennial household surveys and a variety of other data sources, annual reports have been produced on programme implementation and estimated costs and returns to the programme, with biennial reports on beneficiary characteristics and programme reach. These have been backed up by working papers addressing specific topics such as targeting, benefit cost analysis, graduation, gender and intra-household use of commercial and subsidized fertilizers, impacts on private sector input suppliers, private sector participation, maize market impacts, maize production estimates.

Publications

Book
Peer reviewed papers
  • Dorward, A.R. and E. Chirwa (2011a). "The Malawi Agricultural Input Subsidy Programme: 2005-6 to 2008-9" International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 9(1): 232-247.
  • Ricker-Gilbert, J., T.S. Jayne and E. Chirwa (2010). "Subsidies and crowding out: a double hurdle model of fertilizer demand in Malawi." American Journal of Agricultural Economics 93(1): 26-42.
Briefing papers
  • Chirwa, E. W. and Dorward, A. R.  (2013) - Private Sector in FISP.
  • Chirwa, E. W. and Dorward, A. R.  (2013) - Thinking Graduation in FISP.
  • Dorward, A. R.  and Chirwa, E. W. (2013) - Targeting Options in FISP.
  • Chirwa, E. W. and Dorward, A. R.  (2010 ) Addressing rural poverty in Malawi: the Agricultural Input Subsidy Programme. Poverty in Focus 22 12-15 International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, UNDP, Brasilia, Brazil.
  • Dorward, A., E. Chirwa and R. Slater. (2010) The evaluation of the 2008/9 agricultural input subsidy Malawi: Lessons from Impacts. Policy Brief Number 3, May 2010.
  • Dorward, A., E. Chirwa and R. Slater. (2010) The evaluation of the 2008/9 agricultural input subsidy Malawi: Lessons from Implementation. Policy Brief Number 1, May 2010.
  • Dorward, A.R. et al (2008) Towards ‘smart’ subsidies in agriculture? Lessons in recent experience in Malawi.  Natural Resources Perspectives , 116 ( Overseas Development Institute, October 2008).
Book chapters
  • Dorward, A. R., Chirwa, E. W. (2011) The Malawi Agricultural Input Subsidy Programme: 2005-6 to 2008-9. Ch 26 in Pretty J., C Toulmin and S  Williams (eds)  (2011) Sustainable Intensification: Increasing Productivity in African Food and Agricultural Systems. Earthscan.
  • Dorward, A. R., Chirwa, E. W., Jayne, T.S. (2011)  Malawi’s Agricultural Inputs Subsidy Programme over 2005-2009.pages 289-317 in Yes Africa can : Success stories from a dynamic continent .  Chuhan-Pole P and M. Angwafo (eds) World Bank, Washington DC.  http://siteresources.worldbank.org/AFRICAEXT/Resources/258643-1271798012256/YAC_chpt_17.pdf
  • Dorward, A. (2009) Rethinking agricultural input subsidy programmes in developing countries. p 311-374 in  A. Elbehri and A. Sarris (eds) . Non-distorting farm support to enhance global food production. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
    Web papers published by Future Agricultures Consortium (www.future-agricultures.org)
  • Chirwa, E.W., A.R. Dorward  and M. M. Matita (2011) Initial Conditions and Changes in Commercial Fertilizers under the Farm Input Subsidy Programme in Malawi: Implications for Graduation FAC Working Paper 030.
  • Chirwa, E.W., A.R. Dorward  and M. M. Matita (2011) Conceptualising Graduation from Agricultural Input Subsidies in Malawi FAC Working Paper 029
  • Chirwa, E.W., Mvula P.M., Dorward A.R. and Matita, M. (2011)  Gender and Intra-Household Use of Fertilizers in the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme FAC Working Paper 028.
  • Chirwa, E.W., M. M. Matita and A.R. Dorward (2011) Factors Influencing Access to Agricultural Input Subsidy Coupons in Malawi FAC Working Paper 027.
In Press 

(due in the next couple of months)

  • Chirwa and Dorward 2013 - Private Sector Participation FISP Malawi
  • Dorward and Chirwa 2013 - Targeting Options in FISP
Evaluation papers
  • Dorward, A.R., and E.W. Chirwa. (2012) Targeting. Discussion Paper, Evaluation of the 2011/12 Farm Input Subsidy Programme, Malawi Paper prepared for MoAWID, Malawi and DFID. London, School of Oriental and African Studies.
  • Dorward, A.R., and E.W. Chirwa. (2012) Evaluation of the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy, 2012: report on programme implementation and benefit cost analysis. Paper prepared for MoAWID, Malawi and DFID. London, School of Oriental and African Studies.
  • Dorward, A.R. and E.W. Chirwa. (2012) Informal Rural Economy Modelling of Programme Impacts, 2005/6 to 2010/11: Discussion Paper. Evaluation of the 2010/11 Farm Input Subsidy Programme, Malawi. London, School of Oriental and African Studies
  • Dorward, A.R., E.W. Chirwa, M. M. Matita and P.M. Mvula (2012). The Malawi Farm Input Subsidy, 2012: policy and implementation issues. Paper prepared for MoAWID, Malawi and DFID. London, School of Oriental and African Studies.
  • Chirwa, E.W. , M. M.  Matita, P.M. Mvula and A.R. Dorward (2011). Impacts of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme in Malawi. . Paper prepared for Malawi Government / DFID Evaluation of Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Dorward, A. R. and E. Chirwa.( 2011) Evaluation of the 2010/11 farm input subsidy programme, Malawi: report on programme implementation. London, School of Oriental and African Studies. Paper prepared for Malawi Government / DFID Evaluation of Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme, September 2011.
  • Dorward, A. R. and E. Chirwa. (2011) Improving benefit cost analysis for Malawi’s farm input subsidy programme, 2006/7 to 2010/11 London, School of Oriental and African Studies. Paper prepared for Malawi Government / DFID Evaluation of Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme, September 2011.
  • Mvula, P.,  E.W. Chirwa, M. M. Matita, and A.R. Dorward. (2011) Challenges of Access to Farm Input Subsidy by Vulnerable Groups in Malawi. School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Paper prepared for Malawi Government / DFID Evaluation of Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme, September 2011.
  • Chirwa, E.W., M. M. Matita and A.R. Dorward (2010). Targeting Agricultural Input Subsidy Coupons in Malawi. Paper prepared for Malawi Government / DFID Evaluation of Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Chirwa, E.W., Mvula P.M., Dorward A.R. and Matita, M. (2010)  Gender and Intra-Household Use of Commercial and Subsidized Fertilizers in the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme. Paper prepared for Malawi Government / DFID Evaluation of Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme, December 2010.
  • Dorward, A. R. and E. Chirwa. (2010) A review of methods for estimating yield and production impacts. London, School of Oriental and African Studies.
  • Dorward A.R.  and Chirwa, E.W.. (2010) The Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) 2009/10: A review of its implementation and impact . Paper prepared for Malawi Government / DFID Evaluation of Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme, December 2010.
  • Dorward, A. and E. Chirwa. (2010)  Evaluation of the 2008/9 agricultural input subsidy Malawi: maize production and market impacts.  London, School of Oriental African Studies (SOAS).
  • Dorward, A.R., E. Chirwa and R. Slater (2010). Evaluation of the 2008/9 agricultural input subsidy programme, Malawi: Report on Programme Implementation. London, School of Oriental and African Studies.
  • Dorward, A.R., E. Chirwa and R. Slater (2010). Evaluation of the 2008/9 agricultural input subsidy programme, Malawi: Report on Programme Impacts. London, School of Oriental and African Studies.
  • Dorward, A.R. and E. Chirwa (2009). The Agricultural Input Subsidy Programme 2005 to 2008: Achievements and Challenges. London, School of Oriental and African Studies.
  • Dorward, A.R. and E. Chirwa (2009). The Malawi Agricultural Input Subsidy Programme: 2009 Fieldwork Preliminary Report. Working paper, School of Oriental and African Studies.
  • School of Oriental and African Studies, Wadonda Consult, Overseas Development Institute and Michigan State University (2008). Evaluation of the 2006/7 Agricultural  Input Supply Programme, Malawi: Final Report. London, School of Oriental and African Studies; March 2008.
  • Imperial College, Wadonda Consult, Overseas Development Institute and Michigan State University (2007). Evaluation of the 2006/7 Agricultural  Input Supply Programme, Malawi: Interim Report, Imperial College London; March 2007.
Other organisations’ and authors’ papers and studies on the Malawi Farm Input Subsidies Programme

(Links to other papers and studies does not imply any endorsement of or responsibility for the views and information provided in these. We will be grateful for information on any studies or papers omitted from the list above.)

  • Assefa, T. W. 2010. Raising labour productivity to solve the paradox; labour shortage in the labour surplus economy;  Malawi (Is Targeted Fertilizer Subsidy the solution?). MSc, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
  • Buffie, E. F. & Atolia, M. 2009. Agricultural Input Subsidies in Malawi: Good, Bad, or Hard to Tell? Rome: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN.
  • Chibwana, C., Fisher, M., Jumbe, C., Masters, W. & Shively, G. 2010a. Measuring the Impacts of Malawi’s Farm Input Subsidy Program. Paper for discussion at BASIS AMA CRSP TC meeting.
  • Chibwana, C., Fisher, M. & Shively, G. 2010b. Land Allocation Effects of Agricultural Input Subsidies in Malawi.
  • Chibwana, C., Fisher, M. & Shively, G. 2012. Cropland Allocation Effects of Agricultural Input Subsidies in Malawi. World Development, 40, 124-133.
  • Chibwana, C., Jumbe, C. & Shively, G. 2010c. Measuring the Forest Impacts of Maize and Tobacco Subsidies in Malawi.
  • Chinsinga, B. 2006. Reclaiming Policy Space: Lessons from Malawi’s 2005/2006 Fertilizer Subsidy Programme. Working Paper. Brighton: Future Agricultures Consortium.
  • Chinsinga, B. 2011a. Agro-dealers, Subsidies and Rural Market Development in Malawi: A Political Economy Enquiry FAC Working Paper 031 Brighton: Future Agricultures Consortium.
  • Chinsinga, B. 2011b. Seeds and Subsidies: The Political Economy of Input Programmes in Malawi. IDS Bulletin, 42, 59-68.
  • Chinsinga, B. 2012. The Political economy of agricultural policy processes in Malawi: a case study of the fertilizer subsidy programme. Working paper 39. Brighton: Future Agricultures Consortium.
  • Chirwa, T. G. 2010. Program evaluation of agricultural input subsidies in Malawi using treatment effects: methods and practicability based on propensity scores.
  • Denning, G., Kabambe, P., Sanchez, P., Malik, A., Flor, R., Harawa, R., Nkhoma, P., Zamba, C., Banda, C., Magombo, C., Keating, K., Wangila, J. & Sachs, J. 2009. Input Subsidies to Improve SmallholderMaize Productivity in Malawi: Toward an African Green Revolution. PLoS Biology, 7, 2-10.
  • Douilleta , M., K. Pauw, and J. Thurlow. 2012. Macro evaluation of program impacts and risks: The case of Malawi’s Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP). IFPRI.
  • Economist, T. 2008. Malawi: can it feed itself? An expensive fertiliser subsidy delivers a bumper harvest—but at what cost? May 1st 2008. London.
  • Ellis, F. & Maliro, D. in press. Fertilizer Subsidies and Social Cash Transfers as Complementary or Competing Instruments for Reducing Vulnerability to Hunger: Illustrated by Malawi. Development Policy Review.
  • Filipski, M. & Taylor, J. E. 2011. A Simulation Impact Evaluation of Rural Income Transfers in Malawi and Ghana. University of California, Davis.
  • Filipski, M. & Taylor, J. E. 2012. A Simulation Impact Evaluation of Rural Income Transfers in Malawi and Ghana. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 4, 109-129.
  • Holden, S. & Lunduka, H. 2012a. Who Benefit from Malawi’s Targeted Farm Input Subsidy Program? Forum for Development Studies, DOI:10.1080/08039410.2012.688858, 1 - 25.
  • Holden, S. & Lunduka, R. 2010a. Impacts of the fertilizer subsidy programme in Malawi: targeting, household perceptions and preferences. Noragric Report. As.
  • Holden, S. & Lunduka, R. 2010b. The political economy of input subsidies in Malawi: Targeting efficiency and household perceptions. Draft for comment. Ås, Norway: School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
  • Holden, S. & Lunduka, R. 2010c. Too poor to be efficient? Impacts of the targeted fertilizer subsidy programme in Malawi on farm plot level input use, crop choice and land productivity. Noragric Report. As.
  • Holden, S. & Lunduka, R. 2012b. Do fertilizer subsidies crowd out organic manures? The case of Malawi. Agricultural Economics, no-no.
  • Holden, S. & Tostensen, A. 2011. Appraisal of the Malawi Medium Term Plan for the Farm Inputs Subsidy Programme (FISP-MTP) (2011-2016). Lilongwe, Malawi.
  • Kelly, V., Boughton, D. & Lenski, N. 2010. Malawi Agricultural Inputs Subsidy Program Evaluation of the 2007/08 and 2008/09: Input Supply Sector Analysis. Report prepared for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and DFID. Lilongwe, Malawi.
  • Maliro, D. D. 2011. Comparison of Agricultural Input Subsidies and Social Cash Transfers as Policies for Reducing Vulnerability to Hunger in Malawi. PhD, University of East Anglia.
  • Mason, N. M. & Ricker-Gilbert, J. 2012. Disrupting Demand for Commercial Seed: Input Subsidies in Malawi and Zambia. Working Paper No. 63. Lusaka: Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI).
  • Mhango, J. & Dick, J. 2011. Analysis of fertilizer subsidy programs and ecosystem services in Malawi. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. Cambridge.
  • Minde, I., T.S., J., Ariga, J., J., G. & Crawford, E. 2008. Fertilizer Subsidies and Sustainable Agricultural Growth in Africa: Current Issues and Empirical Evidence from Malawi, Zambia, and Kenya. Paper prepared for the Regional Strategic Agricultural Knowledge Support System (Re-SAKSS) for Southern Africa, Draft June 2008. Food Security Group, Michigan State University.
  • Mkwara, B. & Marsh, D. 2011. Effects of Maize Fertilizer Subsidies on Food Security in Malawi. Working Paper in Economics 14/11. Hamilton, New Zealand: Dept. Economics, University of Waikato.
  • Mvula, P. M., Chirwa, E. W., Matita, M. M. & Dorward, A. 2011a. Challenges of Access to Farm Input Subsidy by Vulnerable Groups in Malawi. Paper prepared for Malawi Government / DFID Evaluation of Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme. School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
  • Mvula, P. M., Chirwa, E. W., Matita, M. M. & Dorward, A. R. 2011b. Challenges of Access to Farm Input Subsidy by Vulnerable Groups in Malawi. Paper prepared for Malawi Government / DFID Evaluation of Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme. School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
  • Nakhumwa, T. O. 2006. Rapid evaluation of the 2005 fertiliser subsidy programme in Malawi. CISANET Policy Paper No 10. Lilongwe.: CISANET.
  • Ricker-Gilbert, J. 2011. Household-level impacts of fertilizer subsidies in Malawi. PhD, Michigan State University.
  • Ricker-Gilbert, J. & Jayne, T. S. 2010. What are the enduring effects of fertilizer subsidy programs on recipient farm households? Evidence from Malawi. Paper presneted at the African Association of Agricultural Economists Meeting. September 19‐23, 2010; Cape Town, South Africa (MS Office powerpoint file).
  • Ricker-Gilbert, J. & Jayne, T. S. 2011. What are the enduring effects of fertilizer subsidy programs on recipient farm households? Evidence from Malawi. Staff Paper - Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University. East Lansing.
  • Ricker-Gilbert, J., Jayne, T. S. & J.R., B. 2009. Does Subsidizing Fertilizer Increase Yields? Evidence from Malawi. Paper presented at the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association 2009 AAEA & ACCI Joint Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 26-29, 2009. Easdt Lansing: Michigan State University.
  • Tambulasi, R. I. C. 2009. The public sector corruption and organised crime nexus: The case of the fertiliser subsidy programme in Malawi. African Security Review, 18, 19-31.

Contact:

ad55@soas.ac.uk