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Subsidies to promote fertilizer use have become a popular policy in Africa south of the Sahara, aimed at increasing the region’s lagging agricultural production. However, new research from Ghana , published in Food Security , suggest that fertilizer subsidies alone may not be enough to encourage greater fertilizer application and increase farm productivity.
Fertilizers, particularly inorganic (chemical) fertilizers, have the ability to substantially increase farmers’ agricultural productivity. However, in Nigeria, fertilizer use remains low; according to a new AGRODEP working paper , inorganic fertilizer use in Nigeria is 11.3kg/ha and organic fertilizer use is only 0.2kg/ha. This puts Nigeria well below the targeted 50 kg/ha set forth in the Abuja Declaration. To address this low fertilizer use, the Nigerian Federal Government established a subsidy to help farmers access inorganic fertilizers.
For the second year in a row, Malawi is facing a national maize deficit. In the 2016-2017 marketing year, the maize supply gap is expected to be 953,000 MT, according to a new Food Security Outlook from FEWS Net.