The Effect of Land Fragmentation on the Productivity and Technical Efficiency of Smallholder Maize Farms in Southern Rwanda

The government of Rwanda believes that land fragmentation is a major threat to efficient crop production in the country due to the fact that continuous subdivision of farms has led to small sized land holdings that may be hard to economically operate. This study analyzed the determinants of the productivity and technical efficiency of smallholder maize farms in Gisagara district with a particular focus on land fragmentation using plot size, number of plots per household and distance from the households’ residences to plots as measures of land fragmentation. Gisagara district was chosen because previous empirical studies showed high land fragmentation there. The main objective of this study was to determine the effect of the various dimensions of land fragmentation on the productivity and efficiency of smallholder farms in Rwanda. To attain this objective, hypotheses testing whether the various dimensions of land fragmentation had positive/negative effect on productivity and efficiency of farms were stated and tested. This study adopted the stochastic frontier approach adopted because being a parametric approach, it deals with stochastic noise, and allows hypothesis testing on the production structure and efficiency. Though smallholder maize farms were found to be technically efficient, their efficiency levels would be improved if land fragmentation effects were mitigated. The main conclusion is that land fragmentation affects the technical efficiency of farms but the various dimensions of land fragmentation affect efficiency differently. The number of plots negatively affected technical efficiency of farms; Distance to plots and size of the plot had no significant effect on technical efficiency of farms. In terms of productivity, this study found out that farm size positively affected the productivity of farms, having many plots reduced productivity and distance to plots did not have a significant effect on productivity and the interaction term ( avplotdist *noplots ) also had no significant effect suggesting that land fragmentation is probably not a big problem as long as plots are close to homes. Land consolidation is recommended and should be implemented. Education be availed to rural farmers and land titling be done


Issue Date:
2010-09
Publication Type:
Thesis/ Dissertation
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/243457
Total Pages:
74
Note:
A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL FOR THE AWARD OF A DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN AGRICULTURAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS OF MAKERERE UNIVERSITY. Advisors: Dr. Fredrick Bagamba PhD and Dr. Bernard Bashaasha PhD




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

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