Policy highlights:

  • Experimental research on female rice farmers in Mali shows that women who receive free fertilizer also make more use of other inputs, such as herbicides and labour.
  • Although output increased by 31%, the use of these modern techniques does not result in a statistically significant increase in profits, because the money spent on hired labour and other inputs increased as well.
  • As farmers find it difficult to measure the impact of fertilizer usage, they will tend to use little fertilizer in the long run, especially when they face credit constraints.