Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Explaining Productivity Variation among Smallholder Maize Farmers in Tanzania

Msuya, Elibariki Emmanuel and Hisano, Shuji and Nariu, Tatsuhiko (2008): Explaining Productivity Variation among Smallholder Maize Farmers in Tanzania.

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Using a stochastic frontier production model proposed by Battese and Coelli (1995), the paper estimates the levels of technical efficiency of 233 smallholder maize farmers in Tanzania and provides an empirical analysis of the determinants of inefficiency with the aim of finding way to increase smallholders’ maize production and productivity. Results shows that smallholder productivity is very low and highly variable, ranging form 0.01t/ha to 6.77t/ha, averaging 1.19t/ha. Technical efficiencies of smallholder maize farmers range from 0.011 to 0.910 with a mean of 0.606. Low levels of education, lack of extension services, limited capital, land fragmentation, and unavailability and high input prices are found to have a negative effect on technical efficiency. Smallholder farmers using hand-hoe and farmers with cash incomes outside their farm holdings (petty business) are found to more efficient. However, farmers who use agrochemicals are found to be less efficient. Policy implications drawn from the results include a review of agricultural policy with regard to renewed public support to revamp the agricultural extension system, and interventions towards improving market infrastructure in order to reduce the transaction element in the input and output marketing.

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