Technical Efficiency and its Determinants at Different Levels of Intensification Among Maize-Based Farming Households in Southern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria
Examining the level of farm-specific technical efficiency of maize-based farming households in Southern-Guinea Savanna (SGS) of Nigeria, this study fitted cross-sectional data into a Cobb-Douglass production frontier. The study examined technical efficiency and its determinants among maize-based farming households at different levels of cropping intensification in the SGS of Nigeria. Data used for this study were obtained using structured questionnaire administered to 252 randomly selected maize-based farming households. Descriptive analysis, crop intensity index and the stochastic frontier production function methodology was used to achieve the research objectives. The study concludes that maize-based households can be grouped into high and low intensity farming households and are technically inefficient. The high intensity farming households are more technically efficient (78.2.4%) than those of low intensity households (30.1%). The main determinants of technical efficiency among the low intensity households are farm size, farming experience and access to credit. On the other hand, farm size and access to credits are the most important factors among the high intensity farming households. Providing farming households with both formal and informal credits will be a useful investment and a good mechanism for improving efficiency in maize-based farming. Policies that would make more lands available for the high intensity farming households must also be encouraged.
Keywords: Crop production intensification, technical efficiency and maize-based farming households