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Plot size and maize productivity in Zambia: is there an inverse relationship?

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  • Ayal Kimhi

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between maize productivity and plot size in Zambia. It offers a unique empirical approach. First, it focuses on maize, which is the major crop on small and medium size farms in Zambia, but also accounts for the endogenous determination of the size of the plot devoted to maize. Previous studies have used total farm size or harvested area. Second, it corrects for selectivity in maize cultivation. Third, it controls for differences in land quality and weather conditions across districts. Finally, it offers a structural interpretation of the above framework by modeling farm decisions as a sequential, two-stage process, in which land is first allocated to the different crops based on the information set of the farmers at the time of planting, and the yield is affected by subsequent application of inputs, the quantities of which may depend on additional information that is revealed after planting. We use this recursive structure and the differences in the information sets over time to identify the model. Copyright 2006 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

Suggested Citation

  • Ayal Kimhi, 2006. "Plot size and maize productivity in Zambia: is there an inverse relationship?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(1), pages 1-9, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:35:y:2006:i:1:p:1-9
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    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1574-0862.2006.00133.x
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    1. Kumar, Shubh K., 1994. "Adoption of hybrid maize in Zambia: effects on gender roles, food consumption, and nutrition," Research reports 100, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Zulu, Ballard & Nijhoff, Jan J. & Jayne, Thomas S. & Negassa, Asfaw, 2000. "Is the Glass Half-Empty or Half Full? An Analysis of Agricultural Production Trends in Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 54458, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    3. Jha, D. (Dayanatha) & Hojjati, Behjat, 1993. "Fertilizer use on smallholder farms in Eastern Province, Zambia:," Research reports 94, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. van Zyl, Johan & Binswanger, Hans & Thirtle, Colin, 1995. "The relationship between farm size and efficiency in South African agriculture," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1548, The World Bank.
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