Achieving sustainable development goals on no poverty and zero hunger: Does technical efficiency of Ghana’s maize farmers matter

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Agriculture & Food Security
Background: Whether or not maize farmers are technically efficient determines their choice of productivity improvement strategy and very important for achieving the sustainable development goals on no poverty and zero hunger. This study examined technical efficiency and its determinants of Ghana’s maize farmers. Analysis of the determinants is crucial to devising strategies aimed at improving technical efficiencies of the farmers as well as ensuring no poverty and zero hunger. Methods: The study used cross-sectional data collected from 576 maize farmers in the four main agro-ecological zones of Ghana with the aid of structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and the stochastic frontier production function were the methods of analysis used. Results: The results showed that the mean technical efficiency estimate for maize farmers in Ghana was 58.1%. They also revealed that an increase in educational level, maize farming experience, extension contact as well as uses of fertilizer and improved seeds would increase the technical efficiency of maize producers in Ghana. Similarly, male Ghanaian maize farmers were more technically efficient than female farmers. Furthermore, membership of a farmer association will increase their technical efficiencies. Finally, an increase in farm size and land fragmentation will decrease technical efficiency of the maize farmers. Conclusion: Efficiency improvement programmes by stakeholders in the maize industry could target literate maize farmers since education enhances the managerial and technical skills of farmers and also increase farmers’ ability to utilize existing technologies. Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) could also liaise with Ministry of Education to provide maize farmers with no formal education with special training prior to introducing new efficiency enhancing programmes to them. MOFA should analyse the problems extension officers face in the discharge of their duties to pave the way for the provision of appropriate incentives to extension officers by stakeholders in the maize industry
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Determinants, Maize, Technical efficiency, Stochastic frontier analysis
Agriculture & Food Security