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Diversification Economies And Specialisation Efficiencies In A Mixed Food And Coffee Smallholder Farming System In Papua New Guinea

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  • Coelli, Tim J.
  • Fleming, Euan M.

Abstract

Smallholder farming systems in Papua New Guinea are characterised by an integrated set of cash cropping and subsistence food cropping activities. In the Highlands provinces, the subsistence food crop sub-system is dominated by sweet potato production. Coffee dominates the cash cropping sub-system, but a limited number of food crops are also grown for cash sale. The dynamics between sub-systems can influence the scope for complementarity between, and technical efficiency of, their operations, especially in light of the seasonality of demand for household labour and management inputs within the farming system. A crucial element of these dynamic processes is diversification into commercial agricultural production, which can influence factor productivity and the efficiency of crop production where smallholders maintain a strong production base in subsistence foods. Data are used on coffee and food crop production for 18 households in the Benabena district of Eastern Highlands Province to derive technical efficiency indices for each household over two years. A stochastic input distance function approach is used to establish whether diversification economies exist and whether specialisation in coffee, subsistence food or cash food production significantly influences technical efficiency on the sampled smallholdings. Diversification economies are weakly evident between subsistence food production and both coffee and cash food production, but diseconomies of diversification are discerned between coffee and cash food production. A number of factors are tested for their effects on technical efficiency. Significant technical efficiency gains are made from diversification among broad cropping activities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa with number 25841.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae03:25841

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Keywords: Farm Management;

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  1. Fleming, Euan M. & Yala, Charles, 2001. "Policy Options for the Tree Crop Industries in Papua New Guinea," Monographs, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, number 114798.
  2. Battese, George E. & Corra, Greg S., 1977. "Estimation Of A Production Frontier Model: With Application To The Pastoral Zone Of Eastern Australia," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 21(03), December.
  3. Deller, Steven C & Chicoine, David L & Walzer, Norman, 1988. "Economies of Size and Scope in Rural Low-Volume Roads," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 459-65, August.
  4. Ali, Ridwan & Alwang, Jeffrey & Siegel, Paul B., 1991. "Is export diversification the best way to achieve export growth and stability? A look at three African countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 729, The World Bank.
  5. George E. Battese & Greg S. Corra, 1977. "Estimation Of A Production Frontier Model: With Application To The Pastoral Zone Of Eastern Australia," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 21(3), pages 169-179, December.
  6. Chavas, Jean-Paul & Aliber, Michael, 1993. "An Analysis Of Economic Efficiency In Agriculture: A Nonparametric Approach," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 18(01), July.
  7. Duncan Overfield & Euan Fleming, 2001. "A Note on the Influence of Gender Relations on the Technical Efficiency of Smallholder Coffee Production in Papua New Guinea," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 153-156.
  8. Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-32.
  9. Kodde, David A & Palm, Franz C, 1986. "Wald Criteria for Jointly Testing Equality and Inequality Restriction s," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1243-48, September.
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