In a recent article in Food Policy, “Taking stock of Africa’s second-generation agricultural input subsidy programs,” Thomas Jayne, Nicole Mason, William J. Burke, and Joshua Ariga evaluate the success of input subsidy programs (ISPs) in Africa. Jayne and his co-authors find that ISPs, government programs that subsidize the price of fertilizer for farmers, have short-term benefits for some farmers, but weakly contribute to long-term economic development.
According to the article, recent commitments by African countries to re-introduce ISPs in the mid-2000s accounted for up to 60 percent of governments’ expenditures on agriculture each year. The authors conclude that, while ISPs have raised national food production quickly, the intended effects on national food production and improved farmer income have been smaller than expected.
The article outlines suggestions for subsidy programs – more effectively targeting farmers who have not purchased fertilizer in prior seasons, enhancing program flexibility, and implementing other programs that would raise the effectiveness of ISPs.
Author Name: Thomas S. Jayne, Nicole M. Mason, William J. Burke, Joshua Ariga
Publication Date: 2018