Analysis of the impact of the agricultural productivity enhancement program on the technical and allocative efficiency of maize farmers in Masindi District
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The Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Program (APEP) was established in Uganda in 2003 by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The program mainly aimed at transforming agriculture from low input/low output subsistence farming to commercially competitive agriculture. Among its various activities, the program extended its extension services to maize farmers in Masindi District. However, there is little information on the impact of APEP training on efficiency (technical and allocative) of maize farmers there. Therefore, this study estimated technical (T.E) and allocative efficiency (A.E) of these farmers and identified the determinants of technical efficiency among them as well as Non-APEP maize farmers in three selected sub counties of Masindi District i.e., Kigumba, Pakanyi and Miria. The sample size was 170 maize farmers interviewed of which 81 belonged to APEP and 89 were non-APEP farmers. Descriptive statistics indicated that APEP farmers devoted more land, had more experience, and spent more on improved seed and fertilizer purchase than the non-APEP farmers, and hence, resulting into better maize yields and gross margins. Elasticity of land used in maize production by APEP farmers was found to be greater than one and hence, elastic. There were 62% APEP and 53% non-APEP farmers found to operate at a level of 60% and above in technical efficiency. Non-APEP farmers (31%) were technically inefficient operating at < 40 percent T.E while only 21% APEP farmers were operating at the same level of technical efficiency. In addition, there was a significant mean difference between technical efficiency of APEP and non-APEP farmers at 1% level. APEP farmers were more average technically efficient (67%) compared with 49% average technical efficiency of Non-APEP farmers. Determinants of T.E were estimated using econometric linear model with robust standard errors. The positively related factors with T.E included membership to APEP, household size, variety of seed planted. Selling at home at the farm gate and years farmer spent in maize farming was found to be negatively related to technical efficiency scores. Allocative efficiency was estimated for both APEP and Non APEP farmers. APEP farmers were allocating more efficiently seed input (A.E=0.92) than all inputs used. Non-APEP farmers were allocating inefficiently all inputs (labour, animal draught power and seed input). Therefore, based on the above results, APEP farmers performed better than non-APEP farmers indicating a positive response to training received from APEP. Thus, it is concluded and recommended that if both APEP and non-APEP farmers are to increase maize output, more training on the usage of inputs especially land and improved seeds in maize production should be considered.