Evaluation of Technical Efficiency of Sweet Corn Production among Smallholder Farmers in Njoro district, Kenya

E. Ngenoh, B. K. Mutai, P. K. Chelang’a, W. Koech


The National Agriculture Policy stresses the involvement of all stakeholders in decision making as one of the major strategies for eradicating poverty and increased productivity. Therefore, in recognition to the economic importance of horticulture to Kenya, technical efficiency of sweet corn production was evaluated to substantiate the paradox behind persistent reduction in productivity that impedes the development of the vibrant industry. A semi-structured and pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect data from smallholder producers through face-to-face interview. The census and purposive sampling methods were employed to obtain 76 respondents who were subjected to a stochastic production frontier model to estimate technical efficiency of sweet corn production. The results showed a mean efficiency score of 74% indicating that there was a 26% allowance for improvement. Land tenure with title (p≤0.05), hired labour (p≤0.05) and off-farm activities (p≤0.1) with positive effects while age (p≤0.05) and gender of the household head (p≤0.1) with negative effects on technical inefficiency. Therefore, there exists opportunity to improve efficiency in production given existing farm technologies more so if they embrace the use of family labour effectively and deterministic lawful land ownership. Besides, off-farm activities would reduce the overreliance on farming and promote higher returns by boosting on efficient resources use.

Keywords: Technical, Efficiency, Farm technologies, Sweet corn, Stochastic frontier

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