Determinants of technical efficiency by gender among cocoyam farmers in Anambra state
The study was designed to investigate the determinants of technical efficiency in cocoyam production across gender in Anambra State, Nigeria. The study presents the results of analysis of data collected on 160 male and female cocoyam farmers across two Agricultural zones. A multi-stage randomized sampling technique was used to select the zones. Descriptive statistical tools such as percentages, frequencies, means and tables were used in analyzing farmer‘s socio-economic characteristics. The result showed that women constituted a greater percentage (68.75%) of those involved in cocoyam production in the state, which comprises those within the age range of 41 to 50 years. Most of the farmers were married with large household sizes, educated, experienced with small land holdings. The Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) technique was used in estimating the determinants of efficiency of male and female farmers using the Cobb-Douglas form. The result of estimation showed that the coefficients of male and female farmers for the production variables used were all positive. The coefficients for cocoyam setts, labour and fertilizer use were significant. The coefficients of determinants of technical efficiency show that age was positively signed and significant at 10% level for the male and female farmers each. The coefficient for education was positively signed and significant at 5% and 1% level for the male and female farmers respectively. The coefficient for household size and farming experience was positively signed and significant at 10% and 1% level respectively for the male farmers. The coefficient for farm size was negatively signed and significant at 5% and 1% level for the male and female farmers respectively. The results therefore call for policies aimed at provision of free education especially to the girl child and encouraging the youths and new entrants to increase production of cocoyam.
Keywords: Technical Efficiency, Cocoyam Production and Gender