Estimating technical, allocative and cost efficiencies and their socioeconomic drivers: A case of selected small-scale growers in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


South African small-scale sugarcane growers are faced with high production costs that have an impact on agricultural efficiency and their ability to adopt  newly available technologies for production purposes. This study employed the Data Envelope Analysis (DEA) approach and Truncated regression model to analyse data collected from 160 growers. The findings reported technical, cost and allocative mean scores to be 95.6,% 55.2%, and 57.5% in the Felixton region whereas 95.2%, 69.1% and 72.6% were achieved in the Amatikulu area, respectively. The age, extension support, and off-farm income had a negative effect on agricultural efficiency followed by positive effect of experience, education, access to credit and employment that showed positive relationship. We propose government to work jointly with mill owners to train, develop extension officers and subsidise inputs and equipment to address the poor allocation of resources because of financial constraints currently faced by small-scale sugarcane growers.


Data Envelope Analysis, Small-scale grower, Benchmarking, Sugarcane production, Agriculture efficiency, Truncated regression

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Published : 2020-07-08

Bulagi, M. (2020). Estimating technical, allocative and cost efficiencies and their socioeconomic drivers: A case of selected small-scale growers in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Journal of Agribusiness and Rural Development, 56(2), 155–162.

Mushoni Bulagi
University of Limpopo 1Department of Agricultural Economics and Animal Production, Private Bag X1106, Sovenga, 0727  South Africa

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