Technical efficiency of wood carvers in Edo state, Nigeria
This study estimated the technical efficiency of wood carvers in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. Multi stage sampling technique was used for the study. A total of 100 respondents were sampled. The respondents were involved in wood carving from three zones in Benin City; Ugbowo, Igun and Airport Road. Data were collected with the aid of structured questionnaire administered interpersonally to the respondents. The questionnaire had 100% valid rate of return. The data were analysed with descriptive and inferential statistics, Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) as econometric tool was used to measure technical efficiency of producers. Multiple regressions analysis was used to identify socio-economic factors affecting efficiency. The results show that socio-economic characteristics of respondents were gender sensitive with (100%) male domination. On age distribution, (41 – 50) years recorded the highest percentage of 43% with the mean age of 49years. Some of the respondents (38%) had monthly income of <strike>N</strike>50,000-<strike>N</strike>100,000 with mean income of <strike>N</strike>71,341. All, (100%) of the respondents engage in the traditional method of wood carving. The mean Technical Efficiency (TE) of the wood carvers (pooled) was (43%). Technical Efficiency between zones in the study area was Ugbowo (42.8%), Igun (43.8%) and Airport (41.2%) respectively. There was no significant difference (p> 0.10) in the TE among the zones. The SFA revealed that technical inefficiency factors were marital status, educational status and years of experience. Furthermore, regression analysis revealed that age, marital status and years of experience were not significant (p>0.10) socio-economic factors while educational status is inversely significant (p<0.01). Suggestions include fiscal measures and appropriate forest policies should be implemented by government to assist the wood carvers to boost their technical efficiency.
Keywords: Woodcarving, livelihood, Tree species, Technical efficiency, Traditional method