Input subsidies and crop diversity on family farms in Burkina Faso

August 2, 2022 - Author: , , Veronique Theriault, Eugenie Maiga

Ahmad, S., Smale, M., Theriault, V., & Maiga, E. (2022). Input subsidies and crop diversity on family farms in Burkina Faso. Journal of Agricultural Economics.


Since their independence, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have used input subsidies to increase agricultural productivity and improve food security. We analyse the effects of both a fertiliser and a seed subsidy on farming households' land allocation among crops and crop diversity in Burkina Faso. Although previous studies investigated either the impact of a fertiliser or a seed subsidy on targeted crops, few examined the effects of both subsidies combined. Applying a correlated random-effects model with a control function approach to nationally representative, 2-year panel data collected from farming households, we find that those with access to the fertiliser subsidy allocate more land to the crops it targets (rice, maize and cotton) than non-targeted crops. Focusing on a minor crop with key agronomic and nutritional attributes, we conclude that land allocation to cowpea as the primary crop and intercrop declined with the fertiliser subsidy. The fertiliser subsidy also negatively affects crop diversity. However, we find that the cowpea seed subsidy offsets the bias of fertiliser subsidy toward fertiliser-targeted crops and enhances diversity.



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