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tional donors helped to fund fertilizer use in sub Saharan Africa in the 1970s and 80s, but they came to see such subsidies as a drag on private sector development and cut them off, pushing African nations to cease offering them as well. However, when Malawi faced a major food crisis in 2005, President Bingu wa Mutharika, who was facing re michael kors bags outlet a
election, reintroduced subsidies for michael kors outlet store locations usa
fertilizers and improved seeds.
Over the next few years, that policy reaped strong agricultural gains, which came to be known as the Malawi miracle. As fertilizer use in the country almost doubled between 2005 and 2009, maize yields surged from around 1 t ha1 in 2005 to just under 3 t ha1 in 2009 10, according to government figures. The agricultural subsidy programme cost the Malawian government $461.4 million over five years, and comprised 13.5% of the national budget in 2009, the most recent year for which figures are available.
Obtaining accurate data on yields is difficult, says Andrew Dorward, an agro economist at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, who has analysed the Malawi subsidy scheme, michael kors outlet store website but he is convinced that the subsidy is having a positive effect. And he is not alone. "Before the subsidy the country was a patchwork of yellow maize. Today it's all green," says Stephen Carr, a retired consultant on African agriculture based in Zomba, who has worked there since the end of the 1980s.
The rise in crop yields helped to convince the World Bank to soften its stance in 2007, when it announced that subsidies "may be justifiable on a temporary basis to stimulate increased fertilizer use in the short term".
Other African nations have watched Malawi's experiment with interest, and some including Rwanda, Zambia and Mali have ramped up their own schemes. Rwanda began subsidizing fertilizer transport costs in 2006. Fertilizer imports to the country nearly tripled between 2005 and 2007, and wheat and maize yields have increased by 16% and 73%, respectively, over the past five years. The Rwandan system differs from Malawi's by encouraging the development of a fertilizer distribution industry, which is more attractive to donors and is supported by the World Bank.
An international collaboration of researchers michael kors outlet totes
is hoping to improve the use of fertilizers michael kors outlet black friday deals 2014 by developing digital soil maps covering 42 African countries south of the Sahara. Started in 2009 with an $18 million grant from AGRA and the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation to the Tropical Soil Biology an
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