Productivity and Economic Analysis of Technical Efficiency of Cocoa Production in Kailahun District, Eastern Sierra Leone
Keywords:Productivity, cocoa production, technical and economic efficiency, Sierra Leone.
This study measured the profitability of cocoa farms in Kailahun district, eastern Sierra Leone, the largest cocoa producing district. Cocoa is a major export crop of Sierra Leone with high production and export level. This study uses an ex-ante analytical approach to discover the potential for cocoa farmers to develop position markets for an environmentally and sustainably producing using an economic decision criteria and profitability. A stratified random sample of 150 farmers in Kailahun from twelve (12) chiefdoms were selected, using the multistage sampling approach. Individual farmers were interviewed by using questionnaires. Descriptive and inferential analyses of the survey data were performed. Regression analysis was employed to estimate the Cobb-Douglas production function from the farm data for the measurement of cost-effective analysis of technical efficiency of the cocoa farmers. The estimated elasticity from the production function and prices of input and output were subsequently used to calculate the measures of allotment efficiency of resource use by the farmers. Results of the study revealed that Cocoa production has high return on investment of 75.89% and 140% for the farmer and processor. The coefficients for household size, cocoa farm size, quantity of insecticides, quantity of fungicides, and quantity of fertilizer were 0.261, 0.514, 0.273, 0.090 and 0.325, respectively. The quantity of fertilizer applied to the cocoa farm had the highest marginal physical product (133.11 kg/ bag), and that of quantity of fungicides variable (1.39 kg/satchet) was lowest. Household size, farm size, insecticides, fungicides and fertilizer were found to have statistically significant impact on cocoa output. The sum of elasticities of the factors included in the Cobb-Douglas production function was 1.463, which was more than one, implying that the cocoa farmers were operating in the increasing returns to scale. There were incidences of inefficiencies in the management of resources in cocoa cultivation by cocoa farmers since some resources were underutilized and others over-utilized. Farmers are advised to increase the use of household members, insecticides, fungicides and fertilizer while reducing the use of forest land through increased land productivity instead of land expansion to ensure efficient use of resource in cocoa production. However, the ecofriendly impacts of these farm activities should be assessed to ensure sustainable cocoa production.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.