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Technical Efficiency on Investigation of Smallholder Irrigated Cotton Producers

Abstract

Mesay Yami*

This study assesses the level of technical efficiency and its determinants of smallholder irrigated cotton farmers in the Middle Awash Valley of Northeastern Ethiopia. A multi stage purposive random sampling procedure was employed to select 74 irrigated cotton farmers from Amibara district of Afar region. A well-structured questionnaire and field observations were employed to collect relevant information from respondents. Data collected were analyzed using relevant econometric techniques. The results from stochastic frontier analysis indicated that elasticity’s of mean output for cotton area, labor cost, and irrigation frequency were positive while those of seed and pesticide costs were negative. The joint effects of socioeconomic and farm specific variables influenced technical efficiency but individual effects of some variables were not significant. Mean technical efficiency level of irrigated cotton farmers was estimated to be 71%; indicating that the possibility of increasing cotton production in the valley given the current state of technology and inputs level. Further, the empirical results from the inefficiency effect model revealed that cotton farming experience, extension service, credit access, tenancy status, salinity level, distance to main water canal and sowing time were found to be major determinants of farmers’ technical efficiency in the study area. The study recommends that government efforts are of vital in increasing cotton yield through improvement in technical efficiency by ensuring timely and adequate availability of the required inputs as well as adequate provision of credit facilities and promotion of research findings through extension services.

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