How Efficient Is Maize Production among Smallholder Farmers in Zimbabwe?

In this paper, we estimate the efficiency of resource use for maize production among smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe. We collect a total of 176 questionnaires from Mazowe South district, consisting of both A1 (less than 10 hectares of land) and A2 (greater than 10 hectares of land) farms. Findings based on parametric Stochastic Frontier models show that smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe are not efficiently utilizing their available agricultural resources when producing maize. The average technical efficiencies are only 36.75% and 38.6% for A1 and A2 farms, respectively. About 60% of A1 and all A2 farmers have technical efficiency scores between 0.3 and 0.5. In the non-parametric analysis, however, we find a much higher technical efficiency for both types of farms, over 60% and 75% for A1 and A2 farms, respectively. Still, these numbers are lower than those found in other countries. Among other factors examined, attaining tertiary education and access to extension services by the head of the household can significantly improve production efficiency.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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