Analysis of factors affecting the technical efficiency of cocoa producers in the south-west region of Cameroon
The study estimated the technical efficiency of cocoa producers and the socioeconomic factors influencing technical efficiency and identified the constraints to cocoa production. A multi-stage random sampling method was used to select 180 cocoa farmers who were interviewed for the study. Data on the inputs used and output realized in cocoa production were collected from the farmers using a well structured questionnaire. The data generated were subjected to the stochastic frontier model. The Maximum Likelihood (ML)estimates of the input-output relationship in cocoa production showed that farm size, family labour and pesticides were positive and significantly related to the output. The average level of technical efficiency in cocoa production was 0.71. The major contributory factors to inefficiency were educational level of farmers, household size, and membership of association, house-to-farm distance and extension contacts. Major constraints to cocoa production were high costs of agrochemicals, limited finance, poor marketing and inadequate farm tools. It was recommended that farmers should use improved farm tools. Also, farmers should be encouraged to form cooperative groups to ease access to inputs and agricultural information.
Keywords: cocoa, production, technical efficiency