Agricultural microcredit and technical efficiency: The case of smallholder rice farmers in Northern Ghana
In the current study, we compared technical efficiency of smallholder rice farmers with and without credit in northern Ghana using data from a farm householdsurvey. We fitted a stochastic frontier productionfunction to input and output data to measure technical efficiency. We addressed self-selection into credit participation using propensity score matching and found that the mean efficiency did not differ between credit users and non-users. Credit-participating households had an efficiency of 63.0 percent compared to 61.7 percent for non-participants. The results indicate significant inefficiencies in production and thus a high scope for improving farmers’ technical efficiency through better use of available resources at the current level of technology. Apart from labour and capital, all the conventional farm inputs had a significant effect on rice production. The determinants of efficiency included the respondent’s age, sex, educational status, distance to the nearest market, herd ownership, access to irrigation and specialisation in rice production. Froma policyperspective,we recommendthat the creditshouldbechannelledto farmerswhodemonstrate the need for it and show the commitment to improve their production through external financing. Such a screening mechanism will ensure that the credit goes to the right farmers who need it to improve their technical efficiency.
¤ Open Access
Breaking the Traditional Trap: Assessing Drivers of Modern Technology Adoption by Smallholder Farmers in Hurungwe District, Zimbabwe
This chapter applies treatment effects to measure the agricultural technological gap and to examine the drivers of agricultural technology adoption in Hurungwe, Zimbabwe. The findings reveal a population technological gap of 12.7%, resulting from lack of awareness. Further, they show that exposure to technology causes adoption rates of agricultural technologies to increase by an average of 42.9% from the average of 3.2% of farmers not exposed to technologies. In addition, the results show that amongst the exposed farmers, exposure causes adoption rates to increase by an average of 33%. Bondage to tradition has a negative influence on the farmer’s propensity to adopt agricultural technologies. In this respect, the chapter recommends activities that reduce technology information asymmetry among farmers through increased publicity.
Influence of socio-demographic factors on the use of mobile phones in accessing rice information on climate change adaptation in Tanzania
The purpose of this study was to examine socio-demographic factors influencing the use of mobile phones in accessing rice information on climate change adaptation by rain-fed farmers in Tanzania with reference to Morogoro region.
A cross-sectional research design was used to collect data from 400 randomly selected rain-fed rice farmers owning mobile phones. Semi-structured questionnaires were used for data collection in eight selected wards in two districts of Kilombero and Kilosa districts in Morogoro Region, Tanzania.
The findings of the study showed that the use of mobile phones to access rice information on climate change adaptation was statistically significantly influenced by respondents’ sex, age, education level, marital status, farm size, farming experience, radio ownership and off-farm incomes. Furthermore, the use of mobile phones in accessing rice information on climate change adaptation among the study districts was not statistically significant.
This paper provides practical recommendations on how to improve accessibility of rice information through mobile phones on climate change adaptation. Implementation of information delivery system to farmers using mobile phones without ascertaining farmers’ socio-demographic characteristics leads to resource underutilization.
The paper provides appropriate knowledge that is needed in improving access to information through mobile phones by Tanzanian farmers and in other communities in developing countries with the aid of the additional theoretical moderators of unified theory of acceptance and use of technology as the research findings suggest. Moderators’ variables have high influence on farmers’ use of mobile phones on accessing rice information on climate change adaptation.
¤ Open Access
Sustainable rice farming systems: farmer attribute and land ecosystem perspectives
This study assesses the sustainability of rice farming through the perspectives of farmer attributes and land ecosystem – sub-categorized as the socio-economic profile of farmers, resources, constraints, investments, and its economic contribution to the economic pursuits of families of farmers. It also proposes a program which can improve rice production in Bulacan, Philippines, and similar contexts. This study discusses the identified rice farming constraints such as inadequate capital, high cost of labor, inadequate supply of farm inputs, poor marketing outlet, high cost of pesticides, high cost of fertilizer, issues on land tenure system, ignorance on the existing rice farming programs of the government, poor storage facilities, high cost of transportation, pests and diseases, and climate change. The contributions of rice farming to the economic pursuits of families of farmers are analyzed in terms of their gross profit, savings, and family living expenditures such as food, clothing, recreation, personal item, health care, education, utilities, transportation, dwelling maintenance, and appliances/furniture. Lastly, the suggestions for sustainable and human health facilitating rice farming in developing countries are discussed.
International Journal of Current Science Research and Review
Journal Covers all aspects of research including new theoretical developments, new experimental techniques, and emerging applications Presents a balanced mix of authoritative and comprehensive reviews, original articles on the state of the art research and brief communications Offers rigorous review and rapid publication of articles.
The Journal publishes original research and review articles reporting on theoretical, numerical and experimental works with multidisciplinary research concept.
¤ Open Access
Understanding energy efficiency using a socioeconomic framework: The case of paddy farming in Malaysia
The agriculture sector is one of the contributors to energy use either as production input or bioenergy output. The utilization of energy use is based on the Cobb-Douglas production theory. Nevertheless, several factors affecting energy use in paddy production include fuel for running machinery, electricity for irrigation, fertiliser for improving soil fertility, pesticides for pest control, and planting seeds. Albeit the relationship between energy use and agricultural productivity is well examined in the literature, the results are mixed. Some studies argue that higher energy use tends to higher agricultural productivity, while others found that energy use efficiency leads to higher productivity. This study investigates farmers’ socioeconomic status in paddy production based on the statistical analysis of paddy productivity, farmers’ income, and production cost in Malaysia’s MADA granary areas. Besides, it utilizes the Energy Analysis approach to analyze energy efficiency based on inputs use selected by farmers. The results show that the harvested area does not affect the farmers’ income, while productivity positively affects farmers’ income. Production costs are not influenced by socioeconomic variables such as ownership and harvested area as they depend on farmers’ willingness to pay for inputs. The energy efficiency in MADA is 6.35, which indicates that farmers can obtain at least six times larger paddy productivity compared to the inputs used in production activities. Keywords: Energy efficiency, farmers, paddy machinery, productivity, rice, socioeconomic
¤ Open Access
Machinery and Technical Efficiencies in Selected Paddy Areas in Malaysia
Malaysia’s paddy sector frequently relies on machinery in its activities, from land preparation until harvesting. However, the shortfall of meeting domestic demand, ineffective use of machinery, mismanagement, and technical inefficiency were among the sector’s challenges. This study analyses the socio-economic effect on machinery and technical efficiencies in Malaysia’s Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) and Integrated Agricultural Development Area Barat Laut Selangor (IADA BLS) paddy areas. Qualitative data were collected using a face-to-face interview. The results confirmed that MADA respondents were highly trained, more educated, and more efficient in using machinery in the agriculture sector than IADA BLS. The same goes for MADA’s productivity, energy outputs, machinery efficiency, labour, and technology use, which were higher than IADA BLS. However, inadequate planning and managing farm activities led to poor paddy field conditions, including insufficient water supply system, irregularly shaped paddy field plots, and increasing difficulties in handling paddy diseases and maintaining the machinery. These challenges resulted in a frequent interruption of paddy production activities, incurring additional costs, decreasing profit, and jeopardising the farmers’ financial status. Therefore, it is recommended to use types of machinery that fit a particular purpose in terms of cost and technology and ensure the required services are carried out on time to maximise machinery efficiency. On the other hand, technical efficiency’s main challenges were the high operation cost and increasing fossil fuel use, combined with a lack of government subsidies. Research and development in agricultural energy use, environment, and government subsidies could decrease production costs and improve paddy production.
¤ Open Access
Interactive Effects of Drought-Tolerant Varieties and Fertilizer Microdosing on Maize Yield, Nutrients Use Efficiency, and Profitability in the Sub-Humid Region of Benin
In sub-Saharan Africa, smallholder farming systems continue to record very low yields despite the availability of appropriate crop management technologies. A 2-year field experiment was conducted in 2018 and 2019 at the Agricultural Research Station of Northern Benin to evaluate the growth response, grain yield attributes, and nutrient- and water- use efficiencies of different drought-tolerant (DT) maize varieties (TZEE-W-POP-STR QPM, TZE-Y-POP-STR, 2008Syn-EE-W DT-STR, and 2000Syn-EE-W of 80–90 days cycle), compared to DMR-ESR-W, a drought-susceptible (DS) variety of 90 days cycle, under different fertilizer options [no fertilizer control, microdosing option 1 (MD1, 25 kg N ha −1 + 4 kg P ha −1 ), option 2 (MD2, 25 kg N ha −1 + 8 kg P ha −1 ), option 3 (MD3, 35 kg N ha −1 + 8 kg P ha −1 ), and broadcast fertilizer at recommended rate (RR, 76 kg N ha −1 + 13 kg P ha −1 ). Generally, combining microdosing with DT varieties showed a very good performance by increasing the leaf area and biomass by 71 and 85%, respectively, at anthesis compared to the conventional practice. Microdosing increases grain and stover yields by 171 and 98%, respectively, compared to an unfertilized control with generally no difference between MD3 and RR treatments. Also, the DT varieties obtained the best yields (+19%), with the highest value observed with the TZE-Y variety. Significant interaction was found between varieties and fertilization for grain and stover yields. During the two cropping seasons, microdose fertilization increases the DT grain yield and gross return by 658 kg ha −1 and 203$USD, respectively, than their application on drought sensitive variety. The results of the current study demonstrated that there is a considerable potential for smallholder farmers of northern Benin to improve the maize productivity by means of DT varieties and of fertilizer microdosing. Using, especially, the MD3 option on the DT variety, TZE-Y, may be the best combination in optimizing the maize production in the sub-humid region of Benin, instead of the climate sensitive variety of the DMR-ESR under the microdosing or a common fertilization practice. However, further testing of the technologies through on-farm experiments are required before a precise advice can be given. Precisely, there is a need to evaluate these management options in farmer's fields, taking into account the climatic, soil, and management conditions to better assess and understand the variation in response and in economic benefits and risk.