March 7, 2017:
Re-Evaluating the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Program by J. Messina, B. Peter, and S. Snapp has just been released in the journal Nature Plants (access paper). The paper presents research using net photosynthesis (PsnNet) to evaluate production history and production potential under fertilizer input scenarios in Malawi. The authors were unable to replicate post Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) production gains and showed that the spatial delivery of FISP may have contributed to popular perception of widespread maize improvement. Triangulated lines of evidence suggest that FISP may not have been the success it was thought to be. Lastly, the authors assert that fertilizer subsidies may not be sufficient or sustainable strategies for production gains in Malawi.