A comparative analysis of maize technical efficiency between a1 resettlement areas and communal areas in Goromonzi District, Mashonaland East Province
Dangwa, Charity Nyasha
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ABSTRACT This study sought to establish the differences in technical efficiency levels between A1 and communal farmers in Goromonzi District, Mashonaland East Province. Detailed survey data was obtained from 100 farmers in Goromonzi District for the 2010/2011 agricultural season. Goromonzi was purposively selected because being located in agro-ecological region II, has historically been highly diversified and productive for both commercial and communal farmers The study aimed to answer the following questions: How socio-economically different are A1 farmers from the communal farmers? What factors influence production efficiency of both A1 and communal farmers? How different is the production efficiency of A1 farmers from communal farmers? How efficient are smaller farms relative to larger ones? In order to achieve the broad objective of the study, a detailed literature review was carried to understand the relationship between output and farmers production. Analytical tools employed include descriptive statistics, ordinary least squares, maximum likelihood estimations, regression analysis and the stochastic frontier production. The results from the survey showed that that the mean levels of technical eﬃciency are 63.5 percent and 80.5 percent for A1 and communal farmers respectively suggesting existence of substantial gains in maize yield. The eﬃciency diﬀerences were explained signiﬁcantly by soil fertility, education level, agricultural training, and cattle ownership for A1 farmers. In the communal areas, technical efficiency levels were explained significantly by age, education, agricultural training, cropped area and cattle ownership. It was recommended that government, in providing assistance to the two groups of farmers need to be group-specific. Results emphasise agricultural extension and farmer-education programmes as key policy instruments for governments seeking to improve efficiency. Study results showed that farmers located in fertile soil areas showed higher levels of technical efficiency than those in less fertile areas. Coordinated effort to promote effective soil management was recommended to improve and maintain soil productivity. Cattle ownership was shown to have a positive impact on technical efficiency. It was therefore recommended that government designs appropriate policy for improving cattle production systems in Zimbabwe by solving the shortage of feed and health problems among other problems.