Communal Land Ownership and Agricultural Development: Overcoming Technical Efficiency Constraints Among Fiji’s Indigenous Sugercane Growers
Communal land ownership is frequently considered a constraint on farm productivity as farmers endeavour to balance socio-cultural obligations with the demands of commercial agriculture. Recently, the Fiji Government has encouraged indigenous Fijians to take up profitable sugarcane growing using traditional practices of ‘communal farming’. Using Stochastic Frontier Analysis, this study finds that under certain conditions, farm productivity and technical efficiency increased for farmers in these co-operative farming groups. It also finds that there were improvements among inexperienced farmers who resided in villages, previously the group at the highest risk of performing poorly. The realisation of these outcomes lies in the influence of a firm structure that allows the expression of cultural and traditional practices, rather than their suppression, while also consenting to the accumulation of economic wealth within a culturally acceptable framework.
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