Impact of access to subsidized fertilizer on maize yields: Were households that received subsidized fertilizer able to use it efficiently?Field work in MalawiPosted by Stein Holden Sun, September 05, 2010 20:17:52
Access to subsidized fertilizer had a significant positive effect on maize yields. However, the targeted households had significantly lower maize yields than those not targeted by the program, whether receiving subsidies or not. This was found by assessing the yields of households that had been erroneously excluded and included in the program based on our participation predictions. This may indicate that the subsidies have been systematically targeted towards less efficient farm households.
A closer inspection of how asset poverty is related to maize productivity revealed that the relative land-poor (bottom half in land/capita) had maize yields that were 360-380 kg/ha higher than the relatively land-rich households. On the other hand, the relatively labor-poor households had on average maize yields that were about 360 kg/ha lower than that of the relatively more labor-rich households.