Determinants of resource use productivity and efficiency of Ghana’s rice industry
Rice is one of the staple crops that has been targeted the government as a food security crop for addressing hunger and poverty issues in Ghana. However, the rice industry is performing below the climatic potential due to low productivity and efficiency levels of the rice producers. Therefore, there is high reliance on rice importation to meet the ever increasing demand. Self-sufficiency in rice can be achieved by improving the productivity and efficiency levels of rice production in Ghana. Some studies have been done on efficiency of rice production in Ghana. However, none of these studies attempted to fit a metafrontier and to estimate the technology gap ratio, and technical efficiency relative to the metafrontier. These efficiency measures are necessary to compare the performance of rice production between districts. The study therefore analyses the determinants of productivity and efficiency of rice production in Bawku Municipal and Kassena Nankana East district of Ghana using a metafrontier analysis. The dataset used for the study was obtained from the Ghana Agricultural Production Survey conducted in 2011/2012 cropping season. A sample size of 470 rice farmers comprising 350 from Kassena Nankana East and 120 Bawku farmers were used for the study. The empirical results show that land, seed, labour and fertiliser have significant positive impacts on rice output in Kassena Nankana East district, indicating that these variables are essential inputs in promoting rice production in the district. Conversely, land, seed and fertiliser have significant positive effects on rice production in Bawku Municipal, suggesting that these inputs are necessary in enhancing rice production in the district. Generally, the variation in rice production for the study areas is primarily as a result of technical inefficiency on the part of the rice farmers. The stochastic frontier analysis further indicates that the average technical efficiency of Kassena Nankana farmers is 76.90% which is higher than that of Bawku Municipal with mean technical efficiency of 59.10%. Some of the variables of influencing the efficiency level of Kassena Nankana farmers are extension contact, access to credit, household size and row-planting. Extension contact, land renting, education and row-planting had significant negative impacts on technical inefficiency of rice farmers in Bawku Municipal while irrigation and market distance have a significant positive influence on technical inefficiency. The results of the hypothesis test that was performed using the estimated metafrontier indicate that a distinct production frontier exists for both districts implying that separate production frontiers are needed for the two districts. The average technical efficiency scores estimated relative to the metafrontier (TEm) for Kassena Nankana is 0.525 while the average TEm for Bawku is 0.587. Comparing the average TEm of the two districts relative to metafrontier, Bawku farmers have higher efficiency scores than Kassena Nankana farmers suggesting that Bawku farmers are performing better than Kassena farmers at a regional level. The results furthermore indicate that a regional or national production frontier cannot be estimated and used to advise farmers at a district level. Hence, specific district information is needed to advise farmers on how to improve their productivity and efficiency of rice production.