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Rethinking Agricultural Input Subsidies in Poor Rural Economies

Published by:
Publication date
Type of Publication:
Working Papers & Briefs
Focus Region:
Asia and the Pacific
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Institutions / Organizations
Dorward, A.; Hazell, P.; Poulton, C.

Agricultural input subsidies were a common element in agricultural development in poor rural economies in the 1960s and 70s, including successful green revolutions. Although subsidies have continued, to a greater and lesser extent, in some countries, conventional wisdom, as well as dominant donor thinking in the 80s and 90s, was that subsidies had been ineffective and inefficient policy instruments in Africa, which contributed to government overspending and fiscal and macroeconomic problems. This paper discusses key issues relating to agricultural input subsidies with reference to situations and policies in Africa and Asia.