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In Niger as in most of semiarid Sub-Saharan Africa the fallow system has become a historic event as a result of increasing population pressure and has not yet been replaced with increased input use due to low product prices. As a result nutrient mining is becoming prevalent and cereals yields declining. So it is necessary to develop marketing and other strategies to increase farmers' incomes from the use of increased inputs for soil fertility especially inorganic fertilizers. In the farm model, two goals (subsistence food storage and harvest income) are first achieved, before maximizing income, in a linear programming framework with various states of nature. This is an alternative way of handling risk based on farmer's actual observed behavior. Hence this approach is simpler and easier to verify behaviorally than the more abstract trade-offs between expected income and variance used in the general framework of risk analysis. The three marketing strategies considered are: the evolution of new product markets for food and feed to moderate the between year price collapse resulting from good and sometimes even normal weather conditions; the development of alternative public (and NGO) policies rather than subsidized prices or gifts of food aid to drive down the high cereal prices of adverse weather years; the facilitation of inventory credit so that farmers can get access to income for a series of obligations that need to be paid at harvest time without being obligated to sell their grains at the post harvest price collapse period. Individually these marketing strategies result in farmers' income increases of 35%, 38%, and 49% when combined with new technology introduction. The technology alone effect is a 30% increase but most farmers in semiarid region, unless they have had long experience with inorganic fertilizer, do not adopt the technology alone. Introduction of the marketing strategies in various combinations results in further technology diffusion and income gains of 35 to 49% above those of new technology alone. Developed countries are very concerned with having policies to assure the profitability of agriculture and the consequent rapid introduction of new technologies. Developing countries need to develop similar types of policy support without introducing price distortions or discouraging private sector development.


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