Technical Efficiency in Maize Production in Madhya Pradesh: Estimation and Implications

The state of Madhya Pradesh is one of the traditional maize growing states, accounting for 13 per cent of the total maize area and contributing equally to the total maize production in the country. However, its productivity when compared to other maize growing states is very low. The study has found that even though a majority of the farmers cultivate improved maize cultivars, the overall technology adoption by them is poor. This may be due to the inability of a majority of farmers to follow the recommended package of practices for the improved cultivars because of the high costs involved in their adoption and lack of infrastructural facilities. Therefore, steps need to be initiated to solve this problem. A comparison of costs on cultivation of traditional, composite and hybrid cultivars has revealed that the cost increases significantly on using the improved cultivars due to higher requirements of fertilizers, irrigation, and plant protection chemicals as compared to those in the traditional varieties. However, with the significant increase in yield, the unit cost of production has been much lower in the case of improved cultivars. The economics of cultivation of maize when compared with its competing crops like paddy and soybean have revealed that the paddy is superior to all the maize cultivars in output/input ratio. The hybrid maize has been found superior to soybean as well as paddy in terms of net returns and hence the farmers could cultivate maize rather than paddy since the latter has higher water requirement. The estimation of technical efficiency of the farmers has revealed that on an average the sample farms operate 23 per cent below the frontier output levels. Hence, it has been observed that the maize output can be increased through adoption of proper technology by the farmers. It requires support from both the state government (in terms of providing infrastructural/ institutional support like drying and storage facilities, arrangement for assured procurement, etc.) as well as the private companies (in terms of supply of quality seeds and chemical pesticides at reasonable prices).

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Agricultural Economics Research Review, Volume 18, Number 2
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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