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Challenging small-scale farming, a non-parametric analysis of the (inverse) relationship between farm productivity and farm size in Burundi




  • M. D’HAESE
  • G. RAYP


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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  • M. Verschelde & M. D’Haese & G. Rayp & E. Vandamme, 2011. "Challenging small-scale farming, a non-parametric analysis of the (inverse) relationship between farm productivity and farm size in Burundi," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/745, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:11/745

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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. 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).
    3. 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.
    4. repec:eee:deveco:v:130:y:2018:i:c:p:84-98 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. 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.

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