Do Input Subsidies in Malawi Affect the Outcomes of Younger and Older Farmers Differently?


March 1, 2023 - Christone J. Nyondo, Zephaniah B. Nyirenda, and Maggie G. Munthali, Brian Dillon, Sergio Puerto


Make subsidized inputs available from the second quarter of the year when farmers are harvesting and selling their produce. This will mitigate the effects of the liquidity constraints, encourage high uptake of inputs, reduce the recycling of grain for seed, and improve the program’s contribution to household outcomes.

Improve the targeting of beneficiaries. Unbundle the program objectives to narrowly focus on the productive objectives. This will facilitate the effective identification of beneficiaries, by local leaders, as well as improve its overall performance.

Facilitate access by the youth to productive resources and extension services. Establishing initiatives to facilitate access to productive resources by the youth (e.g., a special revolving fund for the youth, concessionary access to land, etc.,) and extension services to further boost their productivity.

Incentivize youth to redeem and use the inputs provided under the subsidy to increase the programs’ contribution to household outcomes.

Integrate agricultural extension into future programs that seek to integrate grain legumes to strengthen farmer sensitization about the importance of quality seed (both maize and legumes) in production. This could improve the reception and uptake of the program.

Improve the distribution of seed coupons in future programs instead of overly focusing on the fertilizer component.


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