IITA News

Integrated fertilizer policy guide for maize–legume cropping systems in Malawi

Picture of Integrated Fertilizer Policy GuideExperience has clearly demonstrated that greater sustained use of mineral fertilizers in Malawi is key to raising productivity and sustainability of smallholder maize-legume systems.

Provision of subsidized fertilizer under the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) was estimated to have raised maize production in Malawi by around 500,000 tons of grain each year during the late 2000s. This greater availability and use of fertilizers on maize has therefore improved local food security and national self-sufficiency.

The high cost of maintaining input support programs means that there is compelling interest to ensure that the fertilizer supplied is used as efficiently as possible. Currently, use efficiencies are low. This fertilizer policy guide presents options for consideration by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and the extension system for more efficient use of fertilizers.

This will lead to a reduction of the cost of fertilizer imports and raise the returns and benefits from subsidy programs for the country and its people. Returns to fertilizer use could be easily raised by 30-50% from current low levels by the timely supply and targeting of fertilizers to maize and grain legumes.

Read and download the publication here: https://cgspace.cgiar.org/handle/10568/68890

Special bulletin: Africa RISING

Communication Office • 27th April 2016


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