Determinants of technical inefficiency among maize-based farming households in Niger state
Examining the level of farm-specific technical inefficiency of maize-based farming households in Niger state of Nigeria, this study fitted cross-sectional data into a Cobb- Douglass production frontier. Data used for this study were obtained using structured questionnaire administered to 108
randomly selected maize-based farming households. Descriptive analysis and the stochastic frontier production function methodology were used to achieve the research objectives. The mean technical inefficiency is 0.357 (35.7%), implying that about 36% percent efficiency gap from the optimum (100%) was yet to be attained by all Niger State maize-based farming households. The main determinants of technical inefficiency among the households are farm income, crop production intensification and market access. Policy that would promote adoption of hybrid seeds and other inputs as well as facilitate the development of infrastructures such as roads and market facilities among farming households are therefore encouraged. The government policy of subsidizing hybrid maize seeds and fertilizers is consistent with the findings of this study.
Keywords: Productivity, stochastic frontier model and crop production intensification.