Challenging small-scale farming, a non-parametric analysis of the (inverse) relationship between farm productivity and farm size in Burundi
We use a nonparametric approach to investigate the relationship between farm produc- tivity and farming scale. A Kernel regression is used on data of mixed cropping systems to study the determinants of production including different factors that have been identifieed 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 produc- tion was gathered among 640 households in 2007 in two Northern provinces of Burundi. Five production models were specified each with different control variables. Returns to scale are found to depend on the farm scale. Our results qualify to a large extent the finding of an inverse relationship between farm size and productivity, though without fully explaining it. Other factors that affect significantly positive production include the soil quality and produc- tion orientation towards banana or cash crop production. Production seems to be negatively affected by field fragmentation.
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