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The technical efficiency of Himachal farmers, studied using the frontier production function, has been found to vary widely across cereal crops in the state. It has been found that the average yield of all the major cereal crops is below the national average, except the maize crop, which has been found in surplus in the state. Maize → wheat and paddy → wheat have been noted as the major crop rotations being followed in the study area. The analysis of cross sectional data has revealed inefficiency in terms of inputs application. The mean technical efficiencies have revealed that a considerable portion of frontier output is left untapped, it is 35-42 per cent in maize, 44-50 per cent in paddy and 61-67 per cent in wheat. The ratio of marginal value productivity (MVP) and marginal factor cost (MFC) has been found to be more than one in case of 50 per cent inputs for all the crops. However, the female labour for most of the crops has values less than one and with negative signs as most of the work (agricultural operations) in the hills is being performed by women. The results have indicated that there is a scope to increase the returns from wheat production by using more farmyard manure, chemical fertilizers, male labour, female labour and bullock labour in zone I. Similarly, in the case of maize (local) in zone I, the yield could be increased by increasing the use of more of farmyard manure, chemical fertilizers, male labour and seeds. The analysis has also revealed that a majority of the farmers operate at low level of efficiency due to practising of traditional cultivation methods. It is felt that there is a need to educate females in resource management, preferably through female extension workers.


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