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Policy Options for Smart Subsidies in Malawi

First release: January 31, 2022

This Brief, prepared by MwAPATA and the International Food Policy Research Institute, examines alternative strategies to promote agricultural growth and alleviate poverty. The authors assess the achievements of Malawi's pioneering subsidy policies, and highlight areas where the program has come up short. The authors emphasize the importance of raising returns to fertilizer use to increase the benefits to smallholders. Moreover, they examine whether a subsidy alternative, such as a cash transfer, would be a more effective tool to reduce poverty for some farmers.


Tailored or flexible subsidies and more effective targeting will help some, while others may benefit more from a cash transfer option.

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William Chadza

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Jan Duchoslav

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