Gender and Production Efficiency among Food Crop Farmers in the Upland Area of Rivers State, Nigeria
In this study, food crop farmers in upland area of Rivers State, Nigeria were disaggregated based on sex, their production efficiencies and returns to scale derived and compared. Primary data collected from a random sample of 100 food crop farmers consisting of 50 males and 50 females were used. The additive multiplicative dummy variable approach was used to compare the technical efficiencies between the farmer groups. Separate production functions were fitted for the male and female farmer groups in order to derive their respective allocative efficiencies and returns to scale. The results showed that both farmer groups were characterized by factor biased, non-neutral or different production functions. There was no significant difference in the level of technical efficiencies of the male and female farmers, though; the male farmers had a higher technical efficiency. None of the farmer groups achieved absolute allocative efficiency in the use of any of the resources. Both farmer groups over-utilized inorganic fertilizer and under utilized land, labor, planting materials and capital inputs. Policies geared towards equality in the distribution and optimization of their current level of resource endowments is therefore recommended.
Keywords: Food crops, farmers, gender, production efficiencies, returns to scale