Benefit and cost estimates of the Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) indicate that the program often does not generate high enough returns to cover its costs. This has led to an ongoing debate regarding the effectiveness and sustainability of fertilizer subsidies in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In this brief we evaluate effectiveness of the FISP in Malawi under the following four criteria: 1) benefits vs. costs at the household level; 2) impact on the private input sector; 3) impacts on funding for other agricultural development programs; and 4) Macro-level and foreign exchange impacts.


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