Two NSSP upcoming research seminars in April, 2012

Title: Impact of Fertilizer subsidy on private fertilizer marketing in Nigeria by Ephraim Nkonya

Using farm level data of fertilizer use in 2003, 2006 and 2007, this study shows that fertilizer subsidy in Nigeria might have reduced the volume of fertilizer marketed by private traders by around 10% (crowding out of private sector). We use econometric methods that account for the fact that significant majority of farmers do not use fertilizer. Econometric results suggest that fertilizer subsidy crowded out some private fertilizer traders. We will discuss the welfare effects of such crowding-out, and implications for appropriate targeting of subsidy that would not replace private sectors. These results serve as a baseline for future evaluation of Nigeria’s agricultural reforms, in which fertilizer subsidy will involve private traders and will be gradually phased out.

Title: Uncertainty in the beginning of rainy season and investment into draft animal – examples in North and Central Nigeria ; Hiroyuki Takeshima
Farm productivity in Africa still depends on substantial labor inputs at the onset of rainy season, involving seasonal migration to rural areas. With credit and insurance market failure, poor access to weather-related information and high labor mobility cost, high and increasing onset risks may affect farmers’ demand for farm mechanization. We test this hypothesis by investigating the effect of onset risks on farmers’ investment into draft animals in northern and central Nigeria. We use an example of a public project providing farmers with financial support for acquisition of productive assets. We calculate onset of rainy season using daily rainfall data in various locations across Nigeria and identify locations that have experienced increasing, decreasing or constant onset risks in the past few decades. We then exploit panel structure of our dataset and employ stratified propensity score matching (PSM) to estimate the average treatment effect on treated (ATT) differentiated by the onset risk and its change. Results support our hypothesis. Farmers in areas with higher, increasing or constant onset risks were more likely to invest into draft animals, and such effects are clearer among larger scale farmers. Linkages are also clearer with onset risks compared to annual rainfall risks.
Keywords: onset risk, rainfall risk, animal traction, external capital injection, stratified propensity score matching, Nigeria

Date : April 17 & 19, 2012 respectively
Venue : IFDC Conference Room
Time : 1:00PM- 2:00PM