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Abstract

The major objective of this study was to analyze and link the level of technical efficiency of Nigerian small-scale farmers to specific farmers' socio-economic and policy variables. Data were collected on 461 food crop farmers selected from five states of Southwestern Nigeria. The selection of respondent farmers was multi-stage and involved random sampling method, stratification as well as purposive sampling. The collected data were analyzed with the use of stochastic frontier production modeling technique. The results show that while farmers socio-economic and policy variables significantly influenced the level of technical efficiency, education has the highest marginal effect on technical efficiency while gender has the least marginal effect. The highest mean technical efficiency of 0.77 occurs among group of farmers within 7-12 years of schooling (secondary school education group) while the least mean technical efficiency (0.54) occurs within the category of farmers with years of schooling within 1-6 years. The findings of the study has a number of policy implications, including the need to formulate and implement agricultural policies that will enable farmers acquire basic education necessary to read, write and understand instructions on application and adoption of new farming innovations.

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