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Agricultural Productivity, Efficiency, and Rural Poverty in Irrigated Pakistan: A Stochastic Production FrontiermAnalysis

  • Munir Ahmad

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Islamabad.)

The main objective of this study is to estimate the input elasticities of production for poor and non-poor farms. The study estimates the stochastic frontier production function. The results show that the elasticities of production differ for poor and non-poor farms. The production elasticity of land is substantially higher on rich farms as compared to the farms belonging to poor farmers. This implies higher returns on investment on land by the rich farmers. The salinity/sodicity problem and the tail-end location of the plot adversely affect farm productivity and efficiency, particularly at the poor farms. Moreover, the average cost of the existence of technical inefficiencies is about 43 percent in terms of loss in output, with wide variations across farms ranging from 17 percent to 62 percent. The study further concludes that the least efficient group is not only operating far below the frontier but it also operates at the lower portion of the production frontier. Consequently, increasing access to the inputs would likely raise productivity and reduce poverty. The results imply that the land distribution using the notion of land reforms in favour of poor/small farmers in the presence of existing farm structure, rural infrastructure, and the weak farm-supporting institutions is not expected to raise farm productivity and reduce poverty among the poor farmers. The results call for a strong and active role of the government in close partnership with the private sector to initiate income-generating activities and inputs supply chains in the rural areas to break the nexus of poverty, land degradation, and low agricultural productivity.

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Article provided by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in its journal The Pakistan Development Review.

Volume (Year): 42 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 219-248

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Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:42:y:2003:i:3:p:219-248
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  1. Iqbal, Muhammad & Khan, M. Azeem & Ahmad, Munir, 2002. "Adoption of Recommended Varieties: A Farm level Analysis of Wheat Growers in Irrigated Punjab," MPRA Paper 2537, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2002.
  2. Mark W. Rosegrant & Robert E. Evenson, 1993. "Agricultural Productivity Growth in Pakistan and India: A Comparative Analysis," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 32(4), pages 433-451.
  3. A. de Janvry & E. Sadoulet, 2002. "World Poverty and the Role of Agricultural Technology: Direct and Indirect Effects," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 1-26.
  4. Bashir Ahmad & Munir Ahmad & Zulfiqar Ahmad Gill, 1998. "Restoration of Soil Health for Achieving Sustainable Growth in Agriculture," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 37(4), pages 997-1015.
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  6. Munir Ahmad & Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry & Mohammad Iqbal, 2002. "Wheat Productivity, Efficiency, and Sustainability: A Stochastic Production Frontier Analysis," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 41(4), pages 643-663.
  7. George E. Battese & Sohail J. Malik & Manzoor A. Gill, 1996. "An Investigation Of Technical Inefficiencies Of Production Of Wheat Farmers In Four Districts Of Pakistan," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1-4), pages 37-49.
  8. Strauss, John, 1986. "Does Better Nutrition Raise Farm Productivity?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 297-320, April.
  9. Battese, George E., 1992. "Frontier production functions and technical efficiency: a survey of empirical applications in agricultural economics," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 7(3-4), October.
  10. Rashid Amjad & A.R. Kemal, 1997. "Macroeconomic Policies and their Impact on Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 39-68.
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  13. Munir Ahmad & Sarfraz Khan Qureshi, 1999. "Recent Evidence on Farm Size and Land Productivity: Implications for Public Policy," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 1135-1153.
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  17. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Why Have Some Indian States Done Better Than Others at Reducing Rural Poverty?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 17-38, February.
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  19. Mohammad, Irfan & Amjad, Rashid, 1994. "Poverty in rural Pakistan," MPRA Paper 38335, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  20. K. Kalirajan, 1981. "An Econometric Analysis of Yield Variability in Paddy Production," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 29(3), pages 283-294, November.
  21. S.M. Naseem, 1973. "Mass Poverty in Pakistan. Some Preliminary Findings," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 12(4), pages 317-360.
  22. Deolalikar, Anil B, 1988. "Nutrition and Labor Productivity in Agriculture: Estimates for Rural South India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 406-13, August.
  23. G. M., Arif & Ahmad, Munir, 2001. "Poverty across the agro- ecological zones in rural Pakistan," MPRA Paper 37681, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  24. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John, 1997. "Health and wages: Evidence on men and women in urban Brazil," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 159-185, March.
  25. G. M. Arif & Hina Nazli & Rashida Haq, 2000. "Rural Non-agriculture Employment and Poverty in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 39(4), pages 1089-1110.
  26. Lele, Uma, 1989. "Sources of Growth in East African Agriculture," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 3(1), pages 119-44, January.
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