Performance Assessment In Nigeria’S Peasant Agriculture: An Application of Data Envelopment Analysis On Rice Producers In Cross River State, Nigeria
The paper investigated the performance of swamp rice producers in Cross River State, Nigeria, in terms of their productive efficiency, using the non-parametric data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach to frontier estimation. Results show that the efficiency levels of rice producers in the region are generally above 65%, on average, under the assumption of variable returns to scale (VRS), thus indicating substantial levels of inefficiency. Of the 95 farmers sampled, 14 were fully technically efficient, while 4 each were fully allocatively and economically efficient (in the VRS sense), thus providing a benchmark for which the inefficient producers could emulate. Allocative inefficiency was the major source of overall inefficiency, while the key cause of technical inefficiency was the problem of sub-optimal scale. Among others, the study recommends that the problem of sub-optimal scale could be addressed by increasing farm sizes of the 77 farms operating at sub-optimal scale to an average of about 0.4 hectares, while that of allocative inefficiency could be alleviated by providing rice producers in the region with information on the cost-minimizing input mixes of their best-practice peers to enable them become fully allocatively efficient.