MaSSP studies on FISP and growth-poverty linkages published as UNU-WIDER Working Papers

Malawi’s Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) has dominated agriculture and food security policy debates since its inception in 2005/06. Yet, after eight years of intensive research and program evaluation, opinion about FISP’s impact and its overall desirability remains divided. This reflects the fact that FISP is partly motivated by political reasons; that the socio-economic criteria >> Read more

Are fertilizer subsidies worth it?

IFPRI's Insights Magazine recently published an article about fertilizer subsidies in Africa, using Malawi as an example and citing MaSSP research on the topic. The authors note that many African governments subsidize fertilizers and ask, "Are subsidies worth it?". The complete re-posted article appears below. ************************************ It was called Malawi’s miracle. In 2005, in the >> Read more

FISP Symposium Proceedings

The National Farm Input Subsidy Programme Symposium, held on July 14-15, 2014 at the Bingu International Conference Centre, asked critical questions about the impact and future of the FISP. The full proceedings as well as a summary of the policy implications from this productive debate are now published here on the MaSSP website. We hope the outcomes of this >> Read more

National FISP Symposium: Impact and what next?

The National Farm Input Subsidy Programme Symposium, ‘Eight years of FISP – Impact and what next?’, was held on July 14-15, 2014 at the Bingu International Conference Centre. Local and global experts came together to review the state of evidence on the impacts of the program, debate the core objectives and main implementation challenges, and discuss the >> Read more

Working Paper 6: Changes in Food and Nutrition Security in Malawi: Analysis of Recent Survey Evidence

A large proportion of Malawian households are caught in a trap where poverty and food insecurity reinforce one another and where periods of food deficits and severe food crises are frequent occurrences. In recognition of this, the Malawian government has since 2005/06 implemented a large-scale Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP), which supplies half of smallholder >> Read more

Announcing National FISP Symposium July 2014

In view of a wide diversity of research findings and changing socio-political conditions since the FISP started eight years ago, the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) in collaboration with the Malawi Strategy Support Program (MaSSP) International Food Policy research Institute (IFPRI) and several collaborating partners is organizing a one and a half >> Read more

Growth, Poverty and Nutrition Linkages and the Role of FISP

Since its inception in 2005/06 Malawi’s Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) has been at the center of national and global interest. After its initial success in transforming Malawi from a food insecure country to a surplus producer of maize, many African countries have followed suit, modeling their own input subsidy programs on the FISP. However, in >> Read more

Policy Note 19: The Challenge of Africa’s Nitrogen Drought: some indicators from the Malawian Experience

This MaSSP Policy Note by Stephen Carr describes how years of continuous cultivation with little or no use of external inputs to restore soil nutrients has resulted in a situation in which crop production in a number of African countries is now limited by nutrient deficiencies – nitrogen, in particular, which is crucial to healthy plant growth. This widespread problem >> Read more

Policy Note 18: Malawi’s Farm Input Subsidy Program: Where do we go from here?

Malawi’s Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) has dominated the agriculture and food security policy landscape in the country since its inception in 2005/06. FISP is now credited—or blamed, depending on one’s viewpoint—for a revival of agricultural input subsidies across Africa as a tool to raise crop productivity and reduce poverty and food insecurity. This follows global reporting >> Read more

Policy Note 17: Budget Allocation, Maize Yield Performance, and Food Security Outcomes Under FISP

Food security in Malawi is generally equated with adequate maize production as the country’s main staple crop accounts for more than 60 percent of total food consumption. Malawi has a long history of subsidizing agricultural inputs, either as a general policy to ensure national-level food security or as a response to poor harvests. As such, >> Read more