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Abstract

This study explores the constraints on agricultural productivity and priorities in boosting productivity in rice, the main staple in Madagascar, using a range of different data sets and analytical methods, integrating qualitative assessments by farmers and quantitative evidence from panel data production function analysis and willingness-to-pay estimates for chemical fertilizer. Nationwide, farmers seek primarily labor productivity enhancing interventions, e.g., improved access to agricultural equipment, cattle and irrigation. Shock mitigation measures, land productivity increasing technologies and improved land tenure are reported to be much less important. Poorer farmers have significantly lower rice yields than richer farmers, as well as significantly less land. Estimated productivity gains are greatest for the poorest with respect to adoption of climatic shock mitigation measures and chemical fertilizer. However, fertilizer use on rice appears only marginally profitable and highly variable across years. Research and interventions aimed at reducing costs and price volatility within the fertilizer supply chain might help at least the more accessible regions to more readily adopt chemical fertilizer.

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