Technical Efficiency Among Women Farmers in Kwara State: Data Envelopment Analysis Approach
AbstractThere is food crisis in the country. Food supply can no longer meet up with food demand. This study explored the potential for improving food productivity through Technical Efficiency (TE) of Women Food Crops Farmers in Kwara State. Primary data were collected from these women using multi-stage random sampling technique. Two ADP geopolitical Zones were randomly selected from the four in the state. Following this was a random selection of four extension blocks, two from each zone from which
four groups of women in Agriculture (WIA) were selected per block. In the final stage 100 respondents were randomly selected from the selected groups on the basis of probability proportionate to size. Data were analysed using Descriptive statistics, Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), and Ordinary least squares regression (OLS) method. The mean age and farming experience of the women farmers were 47.6 ± 9.5 and 20.4± 12.3years respectively. Their mean farm size and number of plots cultivated were 1.8 ± 1.18 acres and 2.0 ± 0.84 respectively. Factors found contributing to technical efficiency of women farmers include; years of education, membership of farmers association, years of farming and extension visits. One percent increase in years of education and membership of farmers association would increase TE by 8.8%
(p<0.01) and 1.0% (p<0.1) respectively, while one percent increase in years of farming and extension visits would reduce TE by 0.69% and 4.0% at (p<0.05) respectively. Technical inefficiency among women food crop farmers leads to low food productivity. Therefore, education and awareness (extension and farmers associations) are the vital variables to be considered by the policy makers to increase food productivity in Kwara state.