Technical Efficiency and Its Determinants on Irish Potato Farming among Small Holder Farmers in Trans-Nzoia County-Kenya

Barasa, Augustine ; (2019)

Increased pressure on land brought about by increased population in the highlands of Western Kenya such as Trans Nzoia Countyhas led to increased land fragmentation and forced farmers to diversify their crops to alternative value chains that are more profitable and take less time to mature. An exampleof an innovation being promoted is the adoption of Irish potato as an alternative to maize farming. However,in determiningfarm productivity, onlyfew studies have looked at the efficiency of the Irish potato production. This has prompted this study to determine the technical efficiencies of smallholder farmers’ Irish potato production in the study area by providingempirical evidence on smallholder resource use efficiency. The objective of the studywas todetermine the technical efficiency and factors affecting it amongsmallholder Irish potato farmers in Trans Nzoia County.Exactly, 384farmers wereselected througha multi stage random sampling in Trans Nzoia County.The respondents wereinterviewed with the help of open and closed ended questionnaires. Data wasanalyzed using stochastic frontier models.The mean technical efficiency index was estimated at 0.65 indicating an opportunity of 35% for farmers to attain full efficiency. Technical efficiency was positively influenced by age of farmers (0.01); Education years (0.06); Years of farming experience (0.05); Frequency of extension services (0.05); Land Size (0.02) and negatively influenced byHousehold size. To achieve full efficiency of production, this study recommended the policy makers to factor in the socio economic characteristics of farmers while promoting alternative crop value chains and strengthen the extension services to potato growers

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS



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