Voucher Schemes for Enhanced Fertilizer Use: Lessons Learned and Policy Implications

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Gregory_bw_smallIan Gregory, IFDC agribusiness market development specialist, will conduct an Agriculture Council Seminar on “Voucher Schemes for Enhanced Fertilizer Use” on January 25, 2012, in Washington, D.C., held by the USAID Bureau for Food Security.

Over the past decade, fertilizer (and seed) voucher schemes dubbed “smart subsidies” have been used by national governments and donors with various objectives and with questionable results. In particular, several governments in Sub-Saharan Africa hurriedly introduced voucher schemes to subsidize fertilizer in response to the international fertilizer price spike of 2007 and 2008. This presentation, based on lessons learned, sets out the essential objectives of voucher schemes; the detailed planning and targeting required for successful, beneficial and efficient implementation; their role as just one tool in sustainable market development; and the need for exit strategies from the usually high and unsustainable support cost.

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