The association of agricultural information services and technical efficiency among maize producers in Kakamega, western Kenya

Maize is the staple food for most Kenyan households, and grown in almost all the farming systems. Due to diminishing farm sizes in Kakamega District, crop productivity and the efficiency of farming systems are of great concern. This paper aims to provide empirical evidence on the links between efficiency in maize production and access to soil-related agricultural information services. Using cluster sampling, a total of 154 farmers in Kakamega District were interviewed. A 2–step estimation technique (Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and Tobit model) were used to evaluate the technical efficiencies among the farmers and the factors explaining the estimated efficiency scores. Data was disaggregated into farmers with and those without access to soil-related agricultural information services. The results shows that farmers with access to soil-related agricultural information services were more technically efficient (average technical efficiency of 90%) in maize production compared to those without access to information (technical efficiency at 70%). Given the significant role that access to soil-related agricultural information services play on technical efficiency in maize production in the study area, the paper recommends improvements in farmers access to this important resources through: (i) the strengthening of the formal and informal agricultural extension services, (ii) a stronger linkage among agricultural research, agricultural extension, and farm level activities; and (iii) policy support for increased distribution of soil management inputs.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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