Does Shifting to a Flexible E-Voucher Approach Improve Input Subsidy Program Outcomes? Quasi- Experimental Evidence from Zambia's Crop Forecast Surveys

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January 2, 2020 - Author: Nicole M. Mason, Auckland Kuteya, , Dagbegnon A. Tossou, and Katharine R. Baylis

Nicole M. Mason, Auckland Kuteya, Hambulo Ngoma, Dagbegnon A. Tossou, and Katharine R. Baylis, 2020. Does Shifting to a Flexible E-Voucher Approach Improve Input Subsidy Program Outcomes? Quasi- Experimental Evidence from Zambia's Crop Forecast Surveys, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Paper 165.

Abstract

The introduction of the e-voucher approach to Zambia’s input subsidy program, the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), was intended, inter alia, to improve farmers’ access to and use of modern inputs; incentivize private sector investment in fertilizer and other input value chains, thereby improving the timely availability of the inputs and bringing them closer to farmers; and encourage farmers to diversify away from maize by allowing them to use the e-voucher for the farm inputs or equipment of their choosing – not just maize seed and fertilizer. This study employs a difference- in-differences approach using Crop Forecast Survey (CFS) data from before and during the 2015/16 and 2016/17 e-FISP pilot years to empirically estimate the contemporaneous effects of the shift to the e-FISP from the traditional FISP on several of these outcomes. The results suggest that the e- FISP fell short of achieving many of its objectives, at least in the short-run and based on the outcomes that could be analyzed using the CFS data. At best, the outcomes analyzed were no different (in a statistically significant way) under the e-FISP and the traditional FISP; at worst, outcomes were worse under the e-FISP. These disappointing e-FISP results are likely due more to implementation challenges and lack of political will than to fundamental flaws in the e-FISP concept and design.

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Tags: agrifood system transformation, c1-c2, fsg research paper, fsp research paper, input use and market development, zambia


Related Topic Areas

Zambia, C1-C2


Authors

Nicole Mason-Wardell

Nicole Mason-Wardell
masonn@msu.edu

Hambulo Ngoma

Hambulo Ngoma
ngomaha1@msu.edu


For more information visit:

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy
Food Security Group

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