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Agricultural Input Subsidies: The Recent Malawi Experience

Ephraim Chirwa and Andrew Dorward


Agricultural input subsidies were a major feature of development policies in rural economies until the 1980s. Continuing rural poverty with low productivity and fertilizer use in smallholder staple crops has led to their resurgence in Africa. These subsidies are, however, controversial with claims of both large food security benefits and unsustainable, inefficient resource use. This book reviews current theory and evidence on the strengths and weaknesses of these programmes and the effects of programme context, design, and implementation. Theoretical arguments for agricultural subsidies are b ... More

Keywords: input subsidies, agricultural development, politics, Malawi, agricultural policy, Africa, fertilizers

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199683529
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199683529.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ephraim Chirwa, author
Professor of Economics, Chancellor College, University of Malawi

Andrew Dorward, author
Professor of Development Economics, Centre for Development Environment and Policy, SOAS, University of London