Gender and Relative Economic Efficiency in Sweet Potato Farms of Imo State, Nigeria: A Stochastic Cost Frontier Approach.
This study employed the stochastic frontier cost function to measure the level of economic efficiency and its determinants in small-scale sweet potato production in Imo State, Nigeria on gender basis. A multi-stage random sampling technique was used to select 120 sweet potato farmers (64 females and 56 males) in the State in the year 2008. The parameters of the stochastic frontier cost function were estimated using the maximum likelihood method. The result of the analysis showed that the mean economic efficiency for the female farmers group was higher (82%) than their male (71%) counterpart. Wage rate, price of fertilizer, capital and land rent positively affected cost of sweet potato production for both farmer groups. Credit access was positive and significantly related to economic efficiency for both farmer groups. Age and farm size were significant, but negatively related to economic efficiency in the male farmer group, while age and level of education were significant and positively related to economic efficiency in the female farmer group. No significant relationship found between economic efficiency and extension visit, farming experience and co-operative membership for both farmer groups.
Keywords: stochastic frontier, gender, sweet potato, economic efficiency.