Factors Influencing Technical Efficiencies among Selected Wheat Farmers in Uasin Gishu District, Kenya
This study examined the factors influencing technical efficiency in wheat farming in Kenya using a stochastic frontier production function in which technical inefficiency effects were assumed to be functions of both socioeconomic characteristics of the farmer and farm-specific characteristics. The paper used random sampling to interview 160 farmers comprising 97 large-scale farmers and 63 small-scale farmers. The results revealed existence of significant levels of technical inefficiencies in wheatproduction, especially among the large-scale farmers. The study found that the magnitude of technical efficiency varied from one farmer to another and ranged from 48.9% to 95.1%, with a mean of 87.2%. This implied that farmers lost close to 13% of the potential output to technical inefficiencies. There was variation depending on the size of farm with small-scale farmers attaining higher technical efficiency than the large-scale farmers. The main factors that influenced the degree of inefficiency were education levels, access to credit, and ownership of the capital equipment. Higher levels of education (12 years and above or secondary and above) significantly reduced inefficiency as did access to credit facilities and owning the farm equipment. The study recommended that farmers be educated on the use of better techniques such as use of certified seeds and application of recommended levels of fertilizer.
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