Sources of Technical Efficiency Among Smallholders Maize Farmers in Babati District, Tanzania
Maize yield in Tanzania has been decreasing in the past few years. The decline has been attributed to many factors. This paper assesses production efficiency and its determinants among maize farmers in Babati district. The paper uses data collected from 122 maize farmers residing
in six villages in the study district. A stochastic frontier model has been used to determine the sources of inefficiency among maize farmers in the study area. The results show that the mean technical efficiency score for famers in the study area is 62.3%. This implies that there is a significant room for increasing maize yield in the study area if farmers use the resources at their disposal efficiently. Moreover, the results show that the efficiency of maize farmers in the study area is influenced by farm size, formal education, number of plots owned by the farmer, frequency of contacts with extension officers, and the use of insecticides. It is therefore plausible to argue that improving farmers’ access to extension services and important inputs such as insecticides will have a significant influence on maize yield in the study area.
Key words: Smallholders, maize, production efficiency, stochastic frontier