European Journal of Agriculture and Forestry Research (EJAFR)

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Technical Efficiency in Maize Crop Production by Small-Scale Farmers in Central Agricultural Zone of Cross River State, Nigeria


The study determined resource use efficiency in maize crop production by small-scale farmers in the Central Agricultural Zone of Cross River State, Nigeria. It specifically investigated the socioeconomic characteristics and technical efficiency of resources used by small-scale farmers in rainfed maize production in the area. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as mean, frequency distribution tables, stochastic frontier model, gross margin analysis and the Likert scale model. The results of the descriptive statistics revealed that maize production in the study area is predominately carried out by people within the age bracket of 21-50 years. On sex distribution, the study revealed that maize production was carried out by both men and women with females taking the production lead at 58% as compared to 41% in the case of males. The study revealed that 57% of respondents were married, 36% were single, and 2% and 4% were divorced and separated respectively. The study also shows that maize farmers in the study area had family sizes ranging between 5-15 members in a household.  The educational level revealed that maize farmers in the study area had some form of formal education with good farming experience. Also, the technical efficiency (TE) of the respondents in the study area was found to be less than (<) 1.0, indicating that all farmers were producing below the maximum efficiency frontier. This study also reveals that maize production if efficiently managed is profitable in the study area. The constraints in maize production as perceived by the study include; inadequate capital, lack of access to credit, lack of government support, lack of improved planting materials and poor market. This study recommends that male farmers should be encouraged to participate in maize cultivation as a means to augment their income and to further improve their standard of living. Maize farmers are advised to be more technically efficient in the use of their farm productive resources to increase rainfed maize production since all farmers were producing below the maximum efficiency frontier.

Keywords: Production, Profitability, Smallholder, Socioeconomic, Technical Efficiency

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