Socio-economic factors affecting technical efficiency of small holder’s maize production in Rwanda
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Maize is still largely a subsistence food crop under promotion as a food security crop and source of income for smallholders. In a bid to attain self-sufficiency, Rwanda made remarkable efforts to develop the subsector. These were mainly directed towards the expansion of the area under maize, organisation of farmers’ cooperatives and easy access to inputs. In improving maize productivity and marketing of maize several both public and private interventions were added in Musanze and Bugesera districts those interventions include breeding, distributions of improved seed that are pest and diseases resistant and promotion good agricultural practices. Despite efforts put up by the Government of Rwanda and other stakeholders, maize still faces low productivity compared to the expected potential yields and the actual yield. The objectives of this study were to estimate the technical efficiency level in maize production in both Musanze and Bugesera districts and to determine some socio-economic factors affecting technical efficiency of maize producers in Rwanda. Primary data was used. Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) with the Cobb-Douglas functions on a random sample of 276 maize farmers. The findings indicated that the mean technical efficiency for maize production in both districts is 23% which means that farmers can increase their output through efficient use of available resources and existing technology if they are to be technically efficient. The study concluded that age, educational level, fertilizers, labor, land size, seeds, visit of agent of extensions and access to credit were significant variables leading to technical inefficiency in Rwanda. On the other hand, family size, type of seeds, and experience, had no significant impact on farmers' inefficiency. To increase technical efficiency for maize production in the Rwanda, the study recommended improvement in education level of the farmers and availability of funds in the optimum time.