In Nigeria, farmers depend on government support for farm inputs in form of subsidies to improve farmers productivity and food security. In this article, the productivity impact of the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) farm input subsidy support program that was implemented in 2011. The study employs a two-stage probability design with stratification was used to collect household survey data from 390 households in Kano State. As an analytical approach, the study employed a propensity score matching and a Two-Stage Least Square (2SLS) regression estimator that corrects for selectivity and endogeneity problems respectively while Hedges “g” was used to estimate the effect size of GESS. Maize yield and total factor productivity index were used as indicators to estimate the productivity impact of GESS program. The result from two-stage least square estimator showed that GESS subsidy increased the yield of participants by 32.3% and the difference was statistically significant (P<0.05) while the result of total factor productivity index, showed that the participants were more productive) and had an average of 14.1% net gain from the cost incurred in production in the 2016 farming season. The size of the estimated treatment effect suggests a moderate improvement in the productivity outcomes of participants. The study found that the results of the study are consistent with similar findings and therefore validate the hypothesis that the GESS subsidy programme improved the productivity of beneficiary households. The scheme obviously has enormous potentials and is also very promising for agricultural input procurement and distribution to resource-poor households in Nigeria. In addition, there is a need for capacity building of the farmers by local extension agents in the form of integrated crop management practices in order to sustain productivity gains. This study concludes that input use alone is not enough to increase maize production, improvement in input use efficiency through integrated crop management practices are also needed.
Key words: Agricultural input subsidy, mobile phone, productivity outcomes, farming households.
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