The Determinants of Technical Efficiency of Farmers in Teff, Maize and Sorghum Production: Empirical Evidence from Central Zone of Tigray Region

This study is made to examine the technical efficiency of farmers in Teff, Maize, and Sorghum production in the Central Zone of Tigray. The study used primary data collected from a sample of farm households selected using a combination of probability and non-probability sampling techniques in the 2014 cropping season. A single step stochastic frontier production model is used for Teff, Maize, and Sorghum production separately. Based on the regression output of the stochastic frontier models, there is no evidence of technical inefficiency of farmers in the production of Sorghum. Evidence of technical inefficiency is found in the production of Teff and Maize though the predicted level of inefficiency in Teff is infinitesimal (less than 1%). Therefore, the deviation of actual output from the frontier output in Teff and Sorghum production is the result of the stochastic factors beyond the control of the farmers such as bad weather, drought, and the like. The reason behind low level of output in Sorghum and Teff production is not technical inefficiency of farmers but the low level of the current technology available to the farmers. Therefore, increasing output in these two crops requires shifting the current level of technology. Only farmers in Maize production are found to be technically inefficient with a predicted possibility of 4.5% efficiency gains. The technical inefficiency of farmers in maize production significantly differs across the three Woredas; Werie-Lekhe with the highest inefficiency of about 11% followed by Lailai-Maichew and Kola-Temben with inefficiencies of 6% and 0% respectively.