Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol 81, No 4 (2016)

Cross-Country Comparison of Voucher-Based Input Schemes in Sub-Sahara Africa Agricultural Transformation: Lessons Learned and Policy Implications

Abiodun Elijah OBAYELU

Pages: 251-267


Access of farmers to modern agricultural inputs is a backbone of any agricultural transformation and productivity. Many governments in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have adopted policies of subsidizing agricultural inputs using the voucher-based approach as part of their agricultural transformation programme. This paper synthesized, compared and draws out some lessons from the experiences of countries that have implemented agricultural input voucher models in SSA with an empirical examination of the Nigeria Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) Electronic-wallet as a case study. Data were collected from both primary and secondary sources, and analysed with quantitative and qualitative techniques. One of the major finding is that input vouchers constrained participation of commercial farmers, and limit what the smallholder farmers can purchase. Each country input subsidy scheme is implemented differently with a number of unique features in terms of the size, objectives, targeting, delivery mechanisms, timeframe and degree of success. Major thing common to all is that vouchers are used to solve the challenge of access and availability of inputs. Kenyan inputs subsidy programme (NAAIP) is unique due to its “one off subsidy” approach for each of the beneficiaries. Nigeria e-wallet schemes, now adapted by Malawi and Zambia, delivers farm inputs to farmers through the mobile phones. Vouchers models provide greater involvement of both private and financial institutions, and they are less expensive at the long-run. Government supports to the voucher value, good network, stakeholders’ sensitization and good targeting are imperative for SSA agricultural transformation from subsistence to commercial.


ICT-based systems, electronic-wallet, agricultural productivity, commercialisation, sustainability

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