Malawi

Malawi

Input Subsidies, Household Welfare, and Sustainable Land Use

This blog focuses on our recent research in Malawi on the Input Subsidy Program and Its Impacts. We have collected detailed panel data from farm households in 6 districts in central and southern Malawi in 2006, 2007 and 2009 and use these in our analyses. The research was funded by NORAD and the Norwegian Embassy in Malawi and data were collected by a group of students in our Master Program in Development and Natural Resource Economics

How is the input subsidy program affecting investments in trees on farms?

Field work in MalawiPosted by Stein Holden Sun, September 05, 2010 20:29:22
Natural (indigenous) trees were found on 60% of all plots while exotic (planted) trees were found on 37% of all plots while the percentage of maize plots with natural and exotic trees were 66 and 44%. Exotic (planted) trees were more associated with household plots that had received subsidized fertilizer, possibly indicating a positive investment effect of fertilizer subsidies. There were also some signs that indicated that access to subsidized fertilizer could have stimulated more cutting down of natural trees (another investment effect). Livestock-rich households also had more plots with exotic trees while households with more real assets/capita were less likely to have natural trees on their plots. This could possibly also signal a transformation from natural capital (trees) to other assets. The probability that plots had natural trees decreased significantly over time, indicating a deforestation process. The probability that plots had exotic trees increased significantly from 2006 to 2009, possibly indicating that tree planting is on the increase, possibly due partly to the welfare improvement of households making them more able to invest. The probability of natural trees on the plots was much higher in Kasungu and Lilongwe districts than in the other districts and lowest in Thyolo and Chiradzulu while there was no significant difference between districts in terms of exotic trees.

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