Fertiliser subsidies and social cash transfers as complementary or competing instruments for reducing vulnerability to hunger: The case of Malawi

F. Ellis, D. Maliro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Fertiliser subsidies and social transfers are complementary instruments for reducing vulnerability to hunger in poor agrarian countries. The former act on production and aim to reduce food insecurity through yield growth, while the latter tackle food-entitlement failures directly, by providing either food itself or the cash to purchase food to selected beneficiaries. The policies compete for scarce public resources, and each represents an 'opportunity cost' compared to the other. Using Malawi to illustrate these comparisons, this article shows that a mix of policies can be affordable, allowing for strategic choice over the portfolio most likely to achieve a reliable consumption floor for the most vulnerable rural people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-596
Number of pages22
JournalDevelopment Policy Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013

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