Factors That Influence Technical Efficiency of Sorghum Production: A Case of Small Holder Sorghum Producers in Lower Eastern Kenya
Nyamwaro, Sospeter O.
Bett, Kiprotich Eric
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Majority of the rural households in Kenya depend on agriculture as a source of food and livelihood. Agricultural productivity has been declining due to many factors resulting in increased food insecurity in the country. Consequently, there is a renewed interest in promoting drought-tolerant crops such as sorghumwhich thrives in the arid and semiarid lands of the developing world. However, performance of sorghum production among the smallholder farmers has still remained low.This study was thus carried out to identify factors that influence technical efficiency of sorghum production among smallholder farmers in Machakos and Makindu districts of the lower eastern Kenya. Collected data on farmand farmer characteristics were analysed by use of descriptive statistics and Tobit model. Result highlights show that technical efficiency was influenced positively by formal education level of the household, experience in sorghum farming, membership in farmers associations, use of hired labour, production advice, and use of manure. Surprisingly household size, meant to enhance labour, had a negative influence. To increase technical efficiency, efforts should focus on improving information flows on agronomic practices. Farmers should also be encouraged to form and actively participate in various farmers associations, which enhance learning and pooling of labour resources, hence improving technical efficiency.