Developing countries like Malawi are beginning to turn away US aid, (previously discussed here). In part because much of it comes in the form of free food that makes it harder for farmers within the country to make enough to live, since they compete with free food.
To address mass hunger issues Malawi has gone against the advice of the World Bank and other economists and reinstated a fertilizer subsidy program. The program seems to have been a success (according to this NY Times article). The $70 million investment yielded an extra $120 million in corn production, although the returns may have been helped by good weather conditions.
I think the article might be a bit hard on the World Bank here. I tried to find places where the World Bank recommended ending the subsidy program, but all I found is a positive review of the program (here) and a report (here) that suggests some success, but problems with distribution to the poorest farmers.
Are subsidies a long term solution to development? Perhaps not if development require moving away from agriculture. But the described impact against hunger makes it hard to argue with the results.