Economic efficiency analysis of small-scale tomato farmers in Greater Letaba Municipality


This paper analysed the economic efficiency of small-scale tomato farmers in the Greater Letaba municipality of South Africa’s Limpopo Province. Primary data were collected from 68 tomato farmers based on structured questionnaires and using convenience and purposive sampling procedures. The Cobb-Douglas production function was used to analyse the level of economic efficiency. The study utilised the output approach, where the output achieved by the farmers is compared to the maximum output attainable using the given inputs. The empirical results reveal that mean technical, allocative, and economic efficiency levels are at 0.95, 0.41 and 0.39, respectively. The study also found that land (farm size), seedlings, labour, pesticides and water have a positively significant relationship with the production of tomatoes in the study area. Therefore, it is recommended that the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development provide farmers with enough extension services by employing more extension personnel. Government programmes such as the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme should be intensified – through the pillar of training and capacity building – to reach the small-scale farmers in the municipality, whereby farmers should be provided with training on the recommended minimum and maximum application of inputs like pesticides, fertilisers, seedlings and water in tomato production.


economic efficiency; technical efficiency; allocative efficiency; tomato; and small-scale farm

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Published : 2021-12-28

Nakana, T., Hlongwane, J., & Belete, A. (2021). Economic efficiency analysis of small-scale tomato farmers in Greater Letaba Municipality. Journal of Agribusiness and Rural Development, 62(4), 429–434.

Tshegofatso Morgan Nakana
Tshegofatso Morgan Nakana, Department of Agricultural Economics and Animal Production, University of Limpopo, Sovenga, South Africa  South Africa
Johannes Jan Hlongwane 
University of Limpopo, South Africa  South Africa
Abenet Belete 
University of Limpopo, South Africa  South Africa

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