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Total factor productivity (TFP) of agriculture for eighteen African countries is measured using panel data from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations database for the period 1980 to 2007. Using the Färe-Primont productivity index, TFP was decomposed into measures of technical and efficiency change. The efficiency change was further decomposed into measures of technical, mix and scale efficiency changes. The results reveal TFP and technical change growth rates of 0.85% and 1% respectively. In the same period there is a decline in total technical productivity efficiency, mix efficiency, residual scale efficiency and scale mix efficiency change of 0.15%, 0.23%, 0.02% and 0.25% respectively while technical efficiency improved by 0.1%. From the results it is evident that the main driving force of TFP growth is technological progress while negative efficiency levels are contributing to reduced average productivity growth. Promotion of irrigation facilities, improving governance, improving mechanization and reducing land fragmentation are identified as necessary measures to improve TFP growth.


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