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Assessing the technical efficiency of maize production in northern ghana: the data envelopment analysis approach

Abdulai, S., Nkegbe, P. K. and Donkoh, S. A. (2018) Assessing the technical efficiency of maize production in northern ghana: the data envelopment analysis approach. Cogent Food & Agriculture, 4 (1). pp. 1-14. ISSN 2331-1932

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/23311932.2018.1512390


Maize is a major source of food and cash for smallholder farmers. However, average yield in Ghana is less than a third of the achievable yield and thus the need to close this gap by improving the technical efficiency of farming households through employing the right combination of productive resources to achieve food sustainability. This study used the input-oriented data envelopment analysis to examine the technical efficiency of maize production in northern Ghana1 using cross-sectional data for the 2011/2012 cropping season. The mean technical efficiency was 77%, giving credence to the existence of production inefficiency. Technically, efficient farmers used an average of 395.80 kg of chemical fertilizer, 27.04 kg of seed, 4.04 l of weedicides and hired labour of three persons to produce a yield of 2.34 tons/ha of maize. Largely, maize production exhibited increasing returns to scale. Agricultural mechanization and level of formal education did not have positive effects on technical efficiency, whereas agricultural extension had a positive effect on technical efficiency. Technical efficiency in maize production could be improved through informal and non-formal educational platforms where farmers without formal education learn improved cultivation practices. The agricultural extension department should be strengthened to provide effective extension services to farmers to improve on their technical efficiency. Animal and other non-mechanized power sources are complementary technologies and as such should be allowed to co-exist in Ghanaian agriculture.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:78822
Publisher:Informa UK Limited


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