Comparative Analysis Of Technical Efficiency In Rice Production Under Small-Scale Farmer Managed Irrigation System

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This research was designed to determine and compare the technical efficiency and input
levels used in rice production under farmer managed irrigation systems (FMIS) and rain fed
systems (RFS) in Kogi State. It also compared the effects of socioeconomic characteristics
on the technical efficiency of farmers in the FMIS and RFS. Four null hypotheses were
tested. The study was conducted in commercial rice producing areas of Kogi State. It
adopted a multi stage purposive sampling technique. Agricultural Zones where rice is
produced in commercial quantities were purposively stratified into three (3) based on a
preliminary survey. From these three zones, one local government area (LGA) each was
selected based on the availability of commercial rice farms in the area. Out of these LGAs
(Ibaji, Bassa and Kogi LGAs), forty (40) rice farmers each were randomly sampled giving a
total sample size of one hundred and twenty (120) rice farmers. Primary data were obtained
by interviews via a set of structured questionnaires. Data were analyzed using descriptive
statistics, Levene’s test, Welch and Brown-Forsythe robust tests for equality of means,
Chow-break point test and maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) of stochastic frontier and
inefficiency models.

The mean age of farmers in the study area was 42 years. The farmers in
the study area spent a mean of 8 years on formal education. Seventy two percent (72%) of
the farmers were males while twenty eight percent (28%) were females. Women were not
participating remarkably well especially in ownership of rice farms in the study area. The
mean value of rice farming experience in the study area was 16years. Results showed that
the FMIS had a higher intensity of inputs usage than the RFS. In the input comparison
between FMIS and RFS, statistically significant positive mean differentials were recorded
for land, fertilizer quantities applied, family and hired labour, quantities of pesticides used
on the farm and value of water used on the farm per farming season. The estimated
elasticities of mean output with respect to land, fertilizer, family labour, seeds, and water
were statistically significant at less than 1 percent and 5 percent in the FMIS. Their
respective elasticities were 0.33, 0.010, 0.075, 0.151 and 0.165. It was indicated that land
size (farm size) and quantities of fertilizer applied by the farmers, were the statistically
significant determinants of technical efficiency in the RFS. The elasticities of rice output with
respect to the inputs, land and chemical fertilizer utilized were 0.276 and 0.024 respectively.

This result is unlike the FMIS where five variables had statistically significant elasticities.
The mean technical efficiency of the FMIS was 73 percent. It was lower than that of the
rainfed system which had 90 percent. Significant difference existed in the technical
efficiencies of the two groups. The returns to scale estimated, 0.813, and 0.476 for both
FMIS and RFS respectively indicated that farms in the study area were characterized by
decreasing returns scale. Farming experience, years of formal education and frequency of
extension contacts exerted statistically significant effects on the technical efficiencies of the
FMIS. Meanwhile four out of the six socio-economic variables, education, extension contact
and age of farmers had statistically significant t-ratios or influences on the levels of rice
output recorded by the RFS farmers. They were all significant at less than 1 percent alpha
level. Significant differences existed in most of the socioeconomic variables of the two group
of rice farmers studied in Kogi State. Five major recommendations were made which
included the need for capacity building among farmers and extension agents, public
investment in irrigation projects, public-private partnership aimed at encouraging resource
conservation and inputs supply (including microcredit) to rice growing communities among
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