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Measuring Policy Impact

The Challenge

Every country has policies which directly or indirectly affect agricultural development. The way these policies interact can support or hinder agricultural growth. However, until MAFAP was implemented, policy impact was not measured in a systematic way in most developing countries. Furthermore, different indicators were used. This made it difficult to compare results for diverse commodities, countries and time periods.

Measuring how much of the national budget is spent on agriculture and how it is composed

MAFAP measures how much governments spend to support agriculture. This helps countries keep track of progress towards meeting the Maputo declaration objective of investing ten percent of the national budget on agriculture. MAFAP also provides a detailed analysis of how much is spent on agricultural research, infrastructure, subsidies and other components of the agricultural budget.

Based on this information, and on policy impact analysis,policy makers will have a better understanding of where additional investment can generate the biggest impact.

Measuring the impact of policies on prices

Previous studies on the impact of agricultural policies in Africa were carried out on a one-off basis. Recognizing the need for a more sustainable approach, MAFAP works with national institutions to make measuring and monitoring policy performance part of their regular work.

In particular, MAFAP measures how different policies and markets affect the prices farmers receive for their products and the prices consumers pay. It compares these prices with what they would be if current policies or constraints in access to markets did not exist. When there are big differences between incentives for farmers and consumers, MAFAP examines the causes of the disparity.

Based on a solid understanding of how prices are affected, MAFAP can help policymakers explore options for enhancing incentives aimed at supporting farmers, while keeping prices affordable for consumers.