The Impact of Agricultural Extension Services in the Context of a Heavily Subsidized Input System: The Case of Malawi

44 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2016

See all articles by Catherine Ragasa

Catherine Ragasa

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

John Mazunda

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Mariam Mapila

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: January 8, 2016

Abstract

This paper aims to test this hypothesis and to contribute to better understanding of strategies to revitalize the agricultural extension system in Malawi. Specifically, it examines the interplay between the fertilizer subsidy and access to extension services, and their impact on farm productivity and food security in Malawi. Results show that the fertilizer subsidy has inconsistent impact on farm productivity and food security; at the same time, access to agricultural advice was consistently insignificant in explaining farm productivity and food security. Further analysis, however, shows that when access to extension services is unpacked to include indicators of usefulness and farmers’ satisfaction, these indicators were statistically significant. Households who reported that they received very useful agricultural advice had greater productivity and greater food security than those who reported receiving advice that they considered not useful. This result implies the need to ensure the provision of relevant and useful agricultural advice to increase the likelihood of achieving agricultural development outcomes.

Keywords: Malawi; Southern Africa; Africa South of Sahara; Africa; extension services; fertilizers; subsidies; productivity; food security

JEL Classification: Q16, Q12

Suggested Citation

Ragasa, Catherine and Mazunda, John and Mapila, Mariam, The Impact of Agricultural Extension Services in the Context of a Heavily Subsidized Input System: The Case of Malawi (January 8, 2016). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1498, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2740420 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2740420

Catherine Ragasa (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

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

John Mazunda

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

2033 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.ifpri.org

Mariam Mapila

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

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

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