Determinants of Productivity and Efficiency of Teff Production in Southwestern Ethiopia
Background: Cereal productivity and production efficiency, including that of teff, which is one of Ethiopia's main food crops, are well below the global average. The problem constrains the country’s concerted efforts to attain food and nutrition security. Therefore, raising the productivity and production efficiency of the crop is a prerequisite to meet household and national food security in the country.
Objective: A study was conducted to measure the productivity and production efficiency of teff, and identify factors that determine them in southwestern Ethiopia.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional data were collected from 323 teff producers during the 2018/19 production season using a semi-structured questionnaire from three randomly selected districts. A stochastic Cobb Douglas stochastic production function was used to estimate the frontier production and efficiency levels. Ordinary Least Square (OLS) was used to determine factors that influence technical, allocative, and economic inefficiencies.
Results: The results of the stochastic Cobb-Douglas production function showed that the use of seed, fertilizer, and labor significantly influenced productivity of teff. The estimated mean values of technical, allocative and economic efficiencies were 69%, 60% and 56%, respectively. The Ordinary Least Square results revealed that levels of education, age, fertility of the soil and frequency of extension contact had a significant negative effect on technical inefficiency. Similarly, levels of education, participation in off/non-farm activities and soil fertility had a negative effect on both allocative and economic inefficiencies.
Conclusion: It is concluded that teff producing farmers in the study area have disparities in their technical, allocative, and economic efficiencies, implying that there is room to increase teff productivity by reducing production inefficiencies. The government's policies and strategies should, therefore, be directed towards the expansion of education, strengthening the existing extension services, establishing and/or strengthening the existing off/non-farm activities and improving land management practices.