Analysis of Production Efficiency of Mexican Coffee-Producing Districts
Despite the decline of coffee prices during the 1990s, coffee production remains a main economic activity for producers in Southeastern Mexico. This paper analyzes the coffee production system for 24 municipios, or districts, in Veracruz, Mexico during a five-year cropping period (1997-2002). A stochastic frontier approach is used in order to estimate an input distance function and evaluate production efficiency during the period. Factors such as coffee quality and access to markets are tested in terms of their effect on efficiency. The results show the production process in these municipios, as measured by technical efficiency, seems to be stable over time despite of price fluctuations in the global market. Production of staple crops (corn) along with coffee resulted in lower efficiency. Factors contributing to higher efficiency were higher population density, production of specialty crops other than coffee or staple crops, and higher altitude, which is typically associated with production of higher quality coffee.
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