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Assessing the efficiency of sweet potato producers in the Southern region of Ethiopia

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/08/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Expermental Agriculture
Issue number4
Volume54
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)491-506
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date27/06/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Applying stochastic frontier Cobb–Douglas production function, the study assessed the efficiency of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) producers in the Southern region of Ethiopia. The study revealed the existence of fairly large technical inefficiency in sweet potato production. The technical efficiency ranged from 12.6 to 93.7%, with more than half of the producers above the mean efficiency level (66.1%). This suggests that there is room for output gains through technical efficiency improvement. If the average producers in the study region are to achieve the technical efficiency level of the most efficient producer in the sample (93.7%), they can realize nearly 30% output gains. The analysis of allocative efficiency also revealed that sweet potato producers were producing sweet potato with sub-optimal utilization of production inputs, suggesting that potential for output gains remains to be exploited through reconfiguration of the existing resource use. They can make more value out of their sweet potato production by reconfiguring their current utilization of production inputs in favour of more land and manure but less seed rate. Furthermore, age and education are important determinants of the efficiency of sweet potato production. In view of these findings, it is advisable to put in place appropriate extension intervention programmes that enable sweet potato producers to exploit the potential gains in sweet potato output through technical and allocative efficiency improvement.