The Efficiency of Smallholder Maize Production in Zimbabwe; An Estimation of Technical Efficiency and Its Determinants

Shepherd Siziba, Tererai Katema, Pardon Njerere


Productivity enhancement through more efficient utilisation of inputs was explored in this study using a stochastic frontier production approach to estimate technical efficiency and its determinants in maize production based on data from 300 smallholder farmers in Mazowe district. The study showed that technical efficiency can be increased significantly as a result of more farm visits by extension officers, more participation in agricultural training, membership to a social group and increasing access to credit. Unexpectedly, technical efficiency was found to decrease with higher education level of the farmer. The results imply that maize productivity gains in Zimbabwe can be significantly achieved through increasing extension conduct and agricultural training. To improve farmers’ technical efficiencies, the study recommends that the government, private companies and donor community should capacitate extension officers with resources, skills and knowledge and also intensify on farmer training programs. Schemes to facilitate and improve both availability and access by farmers to modern farming inputs, including farm credit should be put in place.

Keywords: Smallholder maize farmers, Technical efficiency Maize productivity, Stochastic frontier production function.

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1700 ISSN (Online)2222-2855

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