Challenging Small-scale Farming, A Non-parametric Analysis of the (Inverse) Relationship Between Farm Productivity and Farm Size in Burundi
AbstractWe use a nonparametric estimation of the production function to investigate the relation- ship between farm productivity and farming scale in poor smallholder agricultural systems in the north of Burundi. Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a predominant small scale subsistence farming sector. A Kernel regression is used on data of mixed cropping systems to study the determinants of production including different factors that have been identified in literature as missing variables in the testing of the inverse relationship such as soil quality, location and household heterogeneity. Household data on farm activities and crop production was gathered among 640 households in 2007 in two Northern provinces of Burundi. Four production models were specified each with different control variables. For the relatively small farms, we find clear evidence of an inverse relationship. The relatively large farms show a different pattern. Returns to scale are found to be farm scale dependent. Parametric Cobb-Douglass models tend to over-simplify the debate on returns to scale because of not accounting for the different effects of large farms. Other factors that significantly positively affect production include the soil quality and production orientation towards banana or cash crop production. Production seems to be negatively affected by field fragmentation.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland with number 115550.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
inverse relationship; farm size; nonparametric; Burundi; Farm Management; Productivity Analysis;
Other versions of this item:
- Marijn Verschelde & Marijke D’Haese & Glenn Rayp & Ellen Vandamme, 2013. "Challenging Small-Scale Farming: A Non-Parametric Analysis of the (Inverse) Relationship Between Farm Productivity and Farm Size in Burundi," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 319-342, 06.
- M. Verschelde & M. D’Haese & G. Rayp & E. Vandamme, 2011. "Challenging small-scale farming, a non-parametric analysis of the (inverse) relationship between farm productivity and farm size in Burundi," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/745, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
- NEP-AFR-2011-10-15 (Africa)
- NEP-AGR-2011-10-15 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2011-10-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-EFF-2011-10-15 (Efficiency & Productivity)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Pramila Krishnan & Stefan Dercon, 1995.
"Income portfolios in rural Ethiopia and Tanzania: choices and constraints,"
CSAE Working Paper Series
1995-12, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 1995. "Income portfolios in rural Ethiopia and Tanzania: choices and constraints," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1995-12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Juliano J. Assun��o & Luis H. B. Braido, 2007. "Testing Household-Specific Explanations for the Inverse Productivity Relationship," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(4), pages 980-990.
- Qi Li & Jeffrey Scott Racine, 2006. "Nonparametric Econometrics: Theory and Practice," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8355.
- Christopher B. Barrett & Marc F. Bellemare & Janet Y. Hou, 2010.
"Reconsidering Conventional Explanations of the Inverse Productivity-Size Relationship,"
10-22, Duke University, Department of Economics.
- Barrett, Christopher B. & Bellemare, Marc F. & Hou, Janet Y., 2010. "Reconsidering Conventional Explanations of the Inverse Productivity-Size Relationship," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 88-97, January.
- Wiggins, Steve & Kirsten, Johann & Llambí, Luis, 2010. "The Future of Small Farms," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1341-1348, October.
- Racine, Jeff & Li, Qi, 2004. "Nonparametric estimation of regression functions with both categorical and continuous data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 99-130, March.
- Barrett, Christopher B., 1996. "On price risk and the inverse farm size-productivity relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 193-215, December.
- Tristen Hayfield & Jeffrey S. Racine, . "Nonparametric Econometrics: The np Package," Journal of Statistical Software, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(i05).
- Peter Hall & Qi Li & Jeffrey S. Racine, 2007. "Nonparametric Estimation of Regression Functions in the Presence of Irrelevant Regressors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 784-789, November.
- Daniel J. Henderson & Subal C. Kumbhakar, 2006. "Public and Private Capital Productivity Puzzle: A Nonparametric Approach," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 219â232, July.
- Feder, Gershon, 1985. "The relation between farm size and farm productivity : The role of family labor, supervision and credit constraints," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 297-313, August.
- Lamb, Russell L., 2003. "Inverse productivity: land quality, labor markets, and measurement error," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 71-95, June.
- Assuncao, Juliano J. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2003. "Can unobserved heterogeneity in farmer ability explain the inverse relationship between farm size and productivity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 189-194, August.
- Hazell, Peter & Poulton, Colin & Wiggins, Steve & Dorward, Andrew, 2010. "The Future of Small Farms: Trajectories and Policy Priorities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1349-1361, October.
- Lipton, Michael, 2010. "From Policy Aims and Small-farm Characteristics to Farm Science Needs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1399-1412, October.
- Benjamin, Dwayne, 1995. "Can unobserved land quality explain the inverse productivity relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 51-84, February.
- Tomasz Gerard Czekaj & Arne Henningsen, 2012. "Comparing Parametric and Nonparametric Regression Methods for Panel Data: the Optimal Size of Polish Crop Farms," IFRO Working Paper 2012/12, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.