Analysing the effects of access to tractor service on technical efficiency of small-scale maize farmers in Mpumalanga province
A case study of Masibuyele Emasimini programme
Abstract. The Purpose of the study was to analyse the effects of access to tractor service on technical efficiency among small-scale maize farmers following the implementation of Masibuyele Emasimini programme in Mpumalanga Province. Data collection was carried out in the districts of Mpumalanga province and these are: Ehlanzeni, Nkangala and Gert Sibande. Purposive sampling technique was used in identifying the three districts. A total of 101 small-scale maize farmers were purposively selected from the districts and used for the study. The study concluded that small-scale maize farmers do have access to tractor service rendered by the Masibuyele Emasimini programme, with 73% of farmers in Ehlanzeni and 60% in both Nkangala and Gert Sibande district that have access to the service, compared to 27% and 40% without access. Results indicate that there are socio-economic factors influencing small-scale maize farmers’ access to tractor service, for example, irrigation, inter alia. The Cobb-Douglas model found access to tractor service to be negative and insignificant in both Ehlanzeni and Nkangala district. The variable was however positive (although insignificant) in Gert Sibande. The study recommends that modern irrigation systems (preferably, sprinkler) should be provided as part of the programmes’ input list to contribute towards efficient maize production.
Masibuyele Emasimini; access to tractor service; technical efficiency; small-scale farmers; maize production; Mpumalanga Province
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