The IMF Country Reports Series covers economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with officials of the country, is published at the option of the member.
This Selected Issues paper develops a framework to study the macroeconomic and distributional implications of alternative Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) reforms in Malawi. The FISP is one of the largest social expenditure items in Malawi, aimed at improving food security and reducing poverty. The FISP program targets poor rural households and provides them with a coupon for a predetermined amount of fertilizer at a heavily subsidized rate. The results of the study discussed in this paper show how policies that seek to improve the efficiency of expenditure can be consistent with higher and more equitable growth. It also focuses on the macroeconomic and distributional impacts of reducing the subsidy rate for the FISP.