Effect of Size Distribution of Farms on Technical Efficiency in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence From Nigeria
The controversy surrounding the relationship between farm holding and efficiency continued to reverberate at the frontier of discussions of agricultural economists and development experts with mixed opinions. This study provided evidence on the effect of size distribution of farms on rice farmers’ technical efficiencies in sub Saharan Africa, using Lavun Local Government Area, Nigeria as case study. The study determined the effect of farm size distribution on rice farmers’ technical efficiencies. Multi-stage sampling technique was employed to select 120 rice farmers for the study at 95% power. Descriptive statistics, stochastic frontier analysis and analysis of variance were employed to achieve the objectives of the study. The analysis revealed that the average farm holdings ranged from 1.68 to 2.15 hectare, with a maximum of 4 hectares and a minimum of 1 hectare, even though, there were no significant differences in mean land ownership among the four communities sampled. The results further established that farmers’ farm holdings had an inverse relationship with efficiency, while the farm size distribution showed otherwise, at 1% significant level. The study concluded that farm holdings and its distribution are key determinant s of rice farmers’ efficiency. Though, this work relates to Nigeria, evidence from literature however suggests that issues raised are generic and Nigeria data are not atypical. The study recommended targeted policy measures by government directed at effective land distribution for farming households, while implementing innovative and proven extension strategy with the view to ramping up technical efficiency across Africa.
Keywords— Size distribution of farms; Rice; Technical efficiency.