Technical Efficiency of Rice Producers in Mwea Irrigation Scheme
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A study to investigate the technical Efficiency associated with rice production was carried in Mwea irrigation Scheme. Two groups of farmers were compared, one group consisting of farmers growing a single crop of rice in a year and the other growing a double crop of rice in a year. Most of rice production in Kenya comes from Mwea Irrigation Scheme. Until 1998, the Government’s National Irrigation Board was running the Scheme. Since, the management has been taken over by a local farmer’s cooperative society, the Mwea Multipurpose Rice Growers. This latter management however lacks the resources and facilities for effective management and this has led to a decline in rice production in the Scheme. There have been constraints in credit and extension facilities as well as other physical production inputs. The study uses a stochastic frontier production function model in which the technical inefficiency effects are assumed to be a function of farmer’s specific characteristics as well as institutional factors. Empirical results indicated that farmers growing a single crop of rice were more technically efficient that those growing a double crop of rice in a year. Farmer’s education level and farming experience as well as availability of credit and extension facilities were found to be significant variables influences technical efficiency. The study recommended that a policy to facilitate the availability of credit and extension services to farmers has to be drawn, as well as a policy which would encourage research on a dry land crop to rotate with rice rather than growing two crops which are technically inefficient.