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Abstract

The study evaluates the technical, allocative and cost efficiencies of maize farmers and analyses the impact of technological innovations on these efficiency measures. The investigation of farm efficiency is of vital importance from both microeconomic and macroeconomic points of view. It indicates the potentials there is to improve productivity, household welfare, overall economic growth and poverty reduction by improving efficiency. It also assists policy makers in better targeting and priority setting. Policy conclusions may vary with the approach used for analysis. A number of efficiency studies in Nigeria employed the stochastic production or cost function approach. While the former may suffer from simultaneous equation bias, the later may not be practical when there is limited input price variation among farms as is evidenced in the study area or when there is a systematic deviation from cost minimizing behaviour. This study contributes methodologically by employing a parametric stochastic input distance function approach that avoids all of these problems. Results show that there is considerable inefficiency among the maize farmers and that technological innovations have significant positive impact on efficiency. Thus there is need for further public investment in maize technology development and other policy factors expected to bring about efficiency improvement of the farmers.

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