Agricultural subsidies and forest pressure in Malawi's Miombo woodlands
Shively, Gerald E.
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This paper examines impacts of an agricultural subsidy program on forest pressure in Malawi. Using household survey data, we measure the effect on forest product marketing and on forest clearing of Malawi's Starter Pack Scheme (SPS). Regression results show households receiving a free packet of hybrid maize seed and chemical fertilizer (a "starter pack") had lower levels of commercial forest extraction than nonrecipient households. In addition, no measurable effect of starter pack receipt is found on forest clearing decisions, suggesting the program raised agricultural output without encouraging agricultural expansion. Findings thus indicate potential modest improvement in forest condition due to the SPS.