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


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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Published : 2020-11-08

SECHUBE, M., Belete, A., & Hlongwane, J. (2020). Analysing the effects of access to tractor service on technical efficiency of small-scale maize farmers in Mpumalanga province. Journal of Agribusiness and Rural Development, 57(3), 317–326.


Mmakhashu Sechube is a Master's student in agricultural economics at the University of Limpopo. 

Abenet Belete 
University of Limpopo  South Africa

Professor A. Belete is a lecturer at the University of Limpopo in the department of Agricultural Economics and Animal Production. 


B Sc and M Sc Agricultural Economics (Alemaya Agricultural University, Ethiopia), PhD Agric Economics (University of New England, Australia). 
Professor. Areas of specialization: Agricultural Production Economics and Risk in Agricultural Production. Teaching interests: Agricultural production, mathematical programming technique, risk in agricultural production and farmer decision making. Research Interests: Production economics, economics of agricultural research, farmer decision making, mathematical programming and rural development

Jan Johannes Hlongwane 
University of Limpopo  South Africa

Doctor Jan Johannes hlongwane is a lecturer at the University of Limpopo in the department of Agricultural Economics and Animal Production.

B. Sc Agric. (University of the North, South Africa), M Sc (University of Limpopo, South Africa). Areas of specialization: Agricultural Economics. Teaching interests: Micro and macro-economics, production economics, farm management, agribusiness, international economics/trade, mathematical economics, price analysis and agribusiness management. Research interests: Production efficiency of farmers and trade performance on various commodities

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