Determinant of technical efficiency of new rice for Africa (NERICA) production: A gender approach
The study estimated the determinants of technical efficiency of new rice for Africa (NERICA) in Ekiti State of Nigeria. It specifically estimated technical efficiency of NERICA production among the female and male farmers. Seven villages where NERICA diffusion activities trials were conducted were
chosen through purposive sampling and data for the study were obtained from a total of 315 respondents who provided useful information through face-face interview using structured pre-tested questionnaires. Data analysis was done using Cobb – Douglas Stochastic parametric frontier model to elicit the technical efficiency. The results for all the rice farmers indicated that positive coefficient of farm size, family labour, hired labour quantity of fertilizer and herbicide used indicates that as each of these variables are increased, rice output increases. The negative sign of the seeds implies that seed is being over utilized suggesting an inefficient use of planting material in the production of rice in the study area. The mean technical efficiency is 75 % which implies that on the average, the respondents were able to obtain only 75 % of the optimal output from a given mix of production inputs. The study also showed that the mean technical efficiencies for female and male farmers were 71 % and 84% respectively. Therefore, it is recommended that more female farmers should be encouraged to plant NERICA varieties and they should be provided with credit and land tenure security. Also, concerted effort should be made to increase farmers’ farm size and they should be encouraged to use more fertilizer irrespective of their gender.
Key words: Variables, Technical, Efficiency, NERICA, Rice, Farmers and Africa.