The Impact of Alternative Input Subsidy Exit Strategies on Malawi's Maize Commodity Market

32 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2013

See all articles by Mariam Mapila

Mariam Mapila

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: July 1, 2013


This study has been conducted in order to generate evidence of the visibility of exit from farm input subsidies in an African context. The study simulates the impact of alternative exit strategies from Malawi’s farm input subsidy program on maize markets. The simulation is conducted using a multiequation partial equilibrium model of the national maize market, which is sequentially linked via a price-linkage equation to local rural maize markets. The model accounts for market imperfections prevailing in the country that arise from government price interventions. Findings show that some alternative exit strategies have negative and sustained impacts on maize yields, production, and acreage allocated to maize over the simulation period. Market prices rise steadily as a result of the implementation of different exit strategies. Despite higher maize prices, domestic maize consumption remains fairly stable, with a slow but increasing trend over the simulation period. Results further suggest that exit strategies that are coupled with improvements in agricultural extension services have the potential to offset the negative impacts of the removal or scaling down of agricultural input subsidies. The study findings demonstrate the difficulty of feasibly removing farm input subsidies. Study recommendations are therefore relevant for policymakers and development partners debating removal or implementation of farm input subsidies.

Keywords: Malawi, Southern Africa, Africa South of Sahara, Africa, fertilizer subsidies, farm input allocation, subsidy reform, partial equilibrium model, Agricultural policies, maize

Suggested Citation

Mapila, Mariam, The Impact of Alternative Input Subsidy Exit Strategies on Malawi's Maize Commodity Market (July 1, 2013). IFPRI Discussion Paper No. 01278, Available at SSRN: or

Mariam Mapila (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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