Technical Efficiency of Maize Producers in three Agro Ecological Zones of Ghana

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This study analyses the technical efficiency of maize producers in three agro ecological zones of Ghana. To carry out this analysis, a translog stochastic production frontier function, in which technical inefficiency effects are specified to be a function of socioeconomic, institutional and environmental variables, is estimated using the maximum likelihood method. Cross sectional data was collected for 2009 crop year from a sample of 453 maize farmers from the Bekwai Municipality, Nkoranza South District and Gushiegu District of the Forest Zone, Transitional Zone and Savannah Zone respectively. Then, the constraints ranked by farmers were analysed using the Kendall’s coefficient of concordance to test for degree of agreement in ranking. The results show increasing returns to scale in maize production. The mean technical efficiency of the sampled maize producers across the three agro ecological zone is 64.1%. The mean technical efficiency of maize producers in the forest, transitional and savannah zone are 79.9 %, 60.5% and 52.3% respectively. The results reveal that extension, mono cropping, gender, age, land ownership and access to credit positively influence technical efficiency. High input price, inadequate capital and irregularity of rainfall are the most pressing problems facing maize producers in the forest, transitional and savannah zones respectively. The study therefore recommends that policies that would improve extension service delivery, access to credit and the development of hybrid seeds should be pursued.
A thesis Submitted to the Department of Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness and Extension, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology In Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree Of Master of Philosophy in Agricultural Economics