Productivity and Technical Efficiency of Rice Production in Selected Areas in Kambia District, Northern Region
Keywords:Technical Efficiency, Stochastic Frontier Production Function, Productivity and cost, return.
This study assessed technical efficiency of rice farmers in Kambia district, northern region of Sierra Leone. Multistage sampling technique was used to model 130 rice farmers in Kambia district. A stochastic frontier production function was used to estimate technical efficiency. The study further assessed the factors that affect technical efficiency of the rice farmers. All the coefficients were found to have positively influenced on rice productivity in the district. The level of efficiency of rice farmers was found to be 0.63. The study further found that gender and household size were significant determinants of technical efficiency. The finding of the study reveals that the majority of the sample households of male is 56.9% compared to 43.1 who were female, the average productivity of rice was 2.8 tons per hectare. The labor cost was the main cost item in rice production which took about 54.6% of the total variable cost which is Le 1,170,000, and followed by costs of seed and fertilizer. The enterprise budget analysis result indicates that experimented farmers obtained a profit ratio of 23.9% per hectare with benefit cost ratio of 1.98 with a breakeven price and yield of 42.58 per kg of 54 kg per hectare. Moreover, gross margin of rice production is more sensitive for grain price and yield fluctuations than input costs. The study therefore recommended policies that will ensure that costs of productive inputs are affordable to farmers and improving households’ income through better prices for their output. Provision of labor saving equipment is also important in reducing inefficiencies in rice production through reduction in labor cost. Therefore, rice production is a profitable enterprise and the study recommend that research institution should focus on developing and promoting productivity and labor saving skills. It is also recommended that land expansion in the short term should be promoted while improving rice farmers’ productivity in the short, medium to long term to boost production levels. Also, for accelerated rice production, government policy should be geared towards encouraging large scale farmers to enter the rice sub-sector while government continues to improve the productivity of the smallholder rice farmers. Government should improve infrastructure especially roads to open up rice farming communities to market centres and reduce transactions costs and reduce the oligopolistic system operated by market women.
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