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This study uses the concept of meta-frontier function to examine the technical efficiency and varietal-gap of rice production in Nigeria. A random sample of 675 farmers was selected from three out six geographical zones in Nigeria. The farmers in this study were classified into three groups according to the variety of rice they planted. The three main varieties of rice planted are local (Ofada), improved (Mai-Nasara) and New Rice for African (NERICA). The technical efficiency indices were computed using the meta-frontier approach because production varieties and technologies were expected to differ between the three varieties. This method allows the measure of the varietal-differences which is the Technology Gap Ratio (TGR). Estimates of the frontier were obtained assuming a translog functional form. Results revealed mean technical efficiency of 55%, 58% and 57% for Ofada, Mai-Nasara and NERICA varieties, respectively. Farm size, hired labour, fertilizer, seed, age, gender, household size and amount of credit are the determinants of technical efficiency of farmers in Nigeria rice production. The average values of varietal technology gap are more than 0.83 in all the varieties. This suggests high differences between the varieties and a need for application of frontiers that accommodate such differences. To increase efficiency in rice production in Nigeria, farm size, fertilizer usage, seed quantity and credit need to be increased.


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