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Production technology and technical efficiency: irrigated and rain-fed rice farms in northern Ghana

Benjamin T. Anang (), Stefan Bäckman and Anthony Rezitis ()
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Benjamin T. Anang: University of Helsinki
Stefan Bäckman: University of Helsinki

Eurasian Economic Review, 2017, vol. 7, issue 1, No 5, 95-113

Abstract: Abstract The current paper compared the productivity and efficiency of smallholder irrigated and rain-fed rice farms in Northern Ghana using farm household survey data for the 2013/2014 farming season. The authors accounted for self-selection into irrigation using propensity score matching and conducted a formal test of the homogeneous production technology assumption. The authors employed a stochastic production frontier analysis to obtain technology-specific technical efficiency estimates for both farm groups under different methodological assumptions. The empirical results revealed that the irrigation technology was more efficient under the different methodological assumptions. On average, the irrigators were 9.2% points more efficient than the non-irrigators, but the difference in efficiency was larger with self-selection and the wrong assumption of technology type. The results provide useful insights for the transformation of smallholder production systems and reinforce the need for investment in irrigation infrastructure as a poverty alleviation mechanism and means to achieve food security.

Keywords: Irrigation technology; Northern Ghana; Propensity score matching; Smallholder farmers; Technical efficiency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 D24 O13 Q12 Q15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1007/s40822-016-0060-y

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