Improvement of Technical Efficiency in Rice Farming through Interplanting: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis in Yunnan, China
We gathered survey data from a random sample of 200 farmer adopters and 59 nonadopters of rice interplanting in Yunnan Province, China in 2000. The data were used to analyze the effect of interplanting on technical efficiency of rice production and to identify the sources of inefficiency, using a stochastic frontier production function. Results showed that adoption of rice interplanting was the major contributing factor to increased technical efficiency in rice production. Separate analyses for adopters and nonadopters clearly showed that although rice interplanting was mainly aimed at controlling blast disease, the absence of the disease also increased the productivity of other inputs like labour, seeds and fertilizer. Farming experience and access to extension were both significant variables for improving technical efficiency. As a farmer’s experience increases, so do his skills in optimally allocating the resources at his/her disposal. The more experience a farmer has, the higher his output and the higher the technical efficiency. Similarly, farmers who had access to extension agents readily adopted the interplanting technology and as a result performed better.
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