Estimation of Technical Efficiencies in Maize Production: Evidence from Two States in Nigeria
This study analysed technical efficiencies among maize farmers in Nigeria as well as their determinants. A total sample of three hundred maize farmers (150 each) from Oyo and Kebbi states was selected and data on input-output and socio-economic variables were collected and analysed using descriptive statistical methods and by fitting a translog frontier production function on the data. The results indicated that the sampled farmers were not technically efficient with mean technical efficiencies of only 0.5588 and 0.5758 in Oyo and Kebbi states respectively. There were however increasing returns-to-scale in both states. The main determinants of technical efficiency were found to include extension services and farm distance in the two states, farming experience in Oyo State, credit accessibility, number of other crops grown and rainfall (precipitation) in Kebbi State. The study concluded that there was considerable room for effecting greater improvement in the technical efficiencies in the two states. This called for the motivation of the farmers by making more production inputs available. Appropriate financial empowerment of the farmers to acquire these inputs and to hire more labour was suggested. In this way, farmers will be able to allocate more land to maize cultivation.
Key Words: Technical efficiency, returns-to-scale, Oyo and Kebbi states, Nigeria.