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Measuring Male-Female Productivity Differentials in Ethiopian Agriculture: Policy Implications for Improving the Livelihood of Female Farmers


  • Ehui, Simeon K.
  • Yadeta, Kenea
  • Paulos, Zelekawork
  • Teklewold, Hailemariam


An understanding of the efficiency with which women farmers are operating, particularly where they account for the largest share of the labor force required for agricultural production, is essential for designing appropriate policies to improve the overall performance of agriculture as well as the livelihood of women farmers. This paper contributes to the gender productivity debate by drawing on crop production data collected in three districts (Ada, Akaki and Gimbichu) in East Shoa, Ethiopia during the 1999/2000 cropping season through detailed multi-visit surveys of 80 farm households of which 39 were female-headed households. Using the Tornqvist-Theil index, Total factor productivity (TFP) is measured to analyze crop production efficiency differentials between male and female headed households. The analysis demonstrates that there is little evidence that male-female differences per se account f or productivity differentials in crop production. The results imply that the variation in overall TFP can only arise due to differentials in access to the quality of human and physical resources and services, and differential control of the benefits from output by women versus men. Hence, appropriate institutional frameworks that reduce cultural and social barriers associated with women farmers' access to such resources and benefits should be developed. Policies targeted towards increasing female farmers' access to education, extension services, credit, adequate amount of quality land and other resources including control over the benefits, will improve the overall productivity and livelihood of female farmers.

Suggested Citation

  • Ehui, Simeon K. & Yadeta, Kenea & Paulos, Zelekawork & Teklewold, Hailemariam, 2006. "Measuring Male-Female Productivity Differentials in Ethiopian Agriculture: Policy Implications for Improving the Livelihood of Female Farmers," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25782, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae06:25782

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Luc Anselin & Rodolfo Bongiovanni & Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer, 2004. "A Spatial Econometric Approach to the Economics of Site-Specific Nitrogen Management in Corn Production," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(3), pages 675-687.
    2. Bullock, David S. & Lowenberg-DeBoer, Jess & Swinton, Scott M., 2002. "Adding value to spatially managed inputs by understanding site-specific yield response," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 233-245, November.
    3. Lambert, Dayton M. & Lowenberg-DeBoer, James & Bongiovanni, Rodolfo, 2003. "Spatial Regression Models For Yield Monitor Data: A Case Study From Argentina," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22022, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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    More about this item


    Agricultural efficiency; total factor productivity; gender; Ethiopian agriculture; Labor and Human Capital; D2; Q12; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy


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