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Abstract

Input subsidy programs (ISPs) remain one of the most contentiously debated development issues in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). These government programs, through which farmers receive fertilizer (and in some cases seed) at below-market prices, were largely phased out during the 1980s and 1990s as evidence accumulated that they did little to contribute to agricultural productivity growth, food security and poverty reduction goals, imposed major burdens on national treasuries, and hindered the development of commercial input distribution systems.

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