Technical Efficiency of Sugar Cane (Saccharum officinarum) Production in Niger State, Nigeria.
Sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) is grown by thousands of local farmers in Nigeria, yet the level of production has not kept pace with the level of consumption. This study was therefore carried out to examine the efficiency of sugar cane production in Niger State, Nigeria. The study sample comprised of 105 sugar cane producers selected across three Local Government Areas in Niger State. Major tools of analysis used for the study were the gross margin analysis and the stochastic frontiers model. Results of the study showed that a gross margin of N401606/ha was realized per farmer from sugar cane production. Also, the result of the stochastic frontier model shows that experience of the farmer and household size had significant effect on the efficiency of sugar cane production. A mean technical efficiency of 69.5% was obtained from the Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) of the Stochastic Production Frontier. The study recommends that the government should make inputs such as fertilizers and sugarcane cuttings available to farmers at a subsidized rate. Also, given the significant and negative relationship of herbicide usage and farmers’ output, it is important that the government organize trainings on the appropriate use of agricultural inputs for farmers to ensure increased production and profitability
Key words: Efficiency; Extension Services; Gross Margin; Niger State; Stochastic Production Frontier; Sugar cane