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Challenging Small-scale Farming, A Non-parametric Analysis of the (Inverse) Relationship Between Farm Productivity and Farm Size in Burundi

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  • Verschelde, Marijn
  • D'Haese, Marijke F.C.
  • Vandamme, Ellen
  • Rayp, Glenn

Abstract

We use a nonparametric estimation of the production function to investigate the relation- ship between farm productivity and farming scale in poor smallholder agricultural systems in the north of Burundi. Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a predominant small scale subsistence farming sector. A Kernel regression is used on data of mixed cropping systems to study the determinants of production including different factors that have been identified in literature as missing variables in the testing of the inverse relationship such as soil quality, location and household heterogeneity. Household data on farm activities and crop production was gathered among 640 households in 2007 in two Northern provinces of Burundi. Four production models were specified each with different control variables. For the relatively small farms, we find clear evidence of an inverse relationship. The relatively large farms show a different pattern. Returns to scale are found to be farm scale dependent. Parametric Cobb-Douglass models tend to over-simplify the debate on returns to scale because of not accounting for the different effects of large farms. Other factors that significantly positively affect production include the soil quality and production orientation towards banana or cash crop production. Production seems to be negatively affected by field fragmentation.

Suggested Citation

  • Verschelde, Marijn & D'Haese, Marijke F.C. & Vandamme, Ellen & Rayp, Glenn, 2011. "Challenging Small-scale Farming, A Non-parametric Analysis of the (Inverse) Relationship Between Farm Productivity and Farm Size in Burundi," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 115550, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae11:115550
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mengistu Assefa Wendimu & Arne Henningsen & Tomasz Gerard Czekaj, 2017. "Incentives and moral hazard: plot level productivity of factory-operated and outgrower-operated sugarcane production in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 48(5), pages 549-560, September.
    2. Tomasz Gerard Czekaj & Arne Henningsen, 2012. "Comparing Parametric and Nonparametric Regression Methods for Panel Data: the Optimal Size of Polish Crop Farms," IFRO Working Paper 2012/12, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
    3. Niragira, S. & D'Haese, M. & Buysse, Jeroen & Desiere, S. & Ndimubandi, J. & D'Haese, L., 2013. "Options and Impact of Crop Production Specialization on Small-Scale Farms in the Noth of Burundi," 2013 AAAE Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia 161521, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    4. Desiere, Sam & Jolliffe, Dean, 2018. "Land productivity and plot size: Is measurement error driving the inverse relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 84-98.
    5. Vink, Nick, 2014. "Commercialising agriculture in Africa: economic, social and environmental impacts," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 9(1), February.

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    Keywords

    inverse relationship; farm size; nonparametric; Burundi; Farm Management; Productivity Analysis;

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