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Agricultural Informatization and Technical Efficiency in Maize Production in Zambia

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  • Gershom Endelani Mwalupaso

    () (College of Economics and Management, China Center for Food Security Studies, Nanjing Agricultural University, No. 1 Weigang, Nanjing 210095, China)

  • Shangao Wang

    () (College of Economics and Management, China Center for Food Security Studies, Nanjing Agricultural University, No. 1 Weigang, Nanjing 210095, China)

  • Sanzidur Rahman

    () (Earth and Environmental Sciences, School of Geography, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK)

  • Essiagnon John-Philippe Alavo

    () (College of Economics and Management, China Center for Food Security Studies, Nanjing Agricultural University, No. 1 Weigang, Nanjing 210095, China)

  • Xu Tian

    () (College of Economics and Management, China Center for Food Security Studies, Nanjing Agricultural University, No. 1 Weigang, Nanjing 210095, China)

Abstract

The cropland productivity gap between Africa and the rest of the world is widening. Fortunately, increasing farmers’ access to useful agricultural information reduces the costs of searching for information, thereby leading to higher agricultural productivity and sustainability. This study investigates the association between the adoption of mobile phones to collect agricultural information and farmers’ technical efficiency (TE) in Zambia. Different from previous studies, we focus on the actual use of mobile phones by farmers rather than mere ownership. Farmers were selected using a two-stage sampling procedure, and the Cobb-Douglas (CD) production function is adopted to estimate the association using two approaches—the conventional stochastic production frontier (SPF) and propensity score matching-stochastic production frontier (PSM-SPF) model. In both cases, we found that the use of mobile phones is significantly and positively associated with farmers’ TE. However, the conventional SFP model exaggerates the TE scores by 5.3% due to its failure to mitigate biases from observed variables. Regarding the agricultural growth indicators (income and output) related to TE, a close inspection reveals that increasing mobile phone use to close the TE gap between the two groups could result in a 5.13% and 8.21% reduction in severity of poverty and extreme poverty, respectively. Additional research is essential to corroborate the findings and analyze the potential causal mechanisms. Our study provides strong evidence to promote mobile phone use in agricultural production in rural Zambia.

Suggested Citation

  • Gershom Endelani Mwalupaso & Shangao Wang & Sanzidur Rahman & Essiagnon John-Philippe Alavo & Xu Tian, 2019. "Agricultural Informatization and Technical Efficiency in Maize Production in Zambia," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(8), pages 1-17, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:8:p:2451-:d:225983
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jian Liu & Chao Zhang & Ruifa Hu & Xiaoke Zhu & Jinyang Cai, 2019. "Aging of Agricultural Labor Force and Technical Efficiency in Tea Production: Evidence from Meitan County, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(22), pages 1-16, November.
    2. Muratbek Baglan & Gershom Endelani Mwalupaso & Xue Zhou & Xianhui Geng, 2020. "Towards Cleaner Production: Certified Seed Adoption and Its Effect on Technical Efficiency," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(4), pages 1-17, February.
    3. Orkhan Guliyev & Aijun Liu & Gershom Endelani Mwalupaso & Jarkko Niemi, 2019. "The Determinants of Technical Efficiency of Hazelnut Production in Azerbaijan: An Analysis of the Role of NGOs," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(16), pages 1-19, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agricultural informatization; mobile phone use; maize production; technical efficiency; sample-selection model: Zambia;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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