Improved rice varieties adoption and technical efficiency of smallholder rice farmers in Ogun State, Nigeria.
Olalekan, Bello Lateef.
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Rice (Oryza sativa) is an essential food crop and the most consumed staple crop in the majority of the urban and rural households in Nigeria. Rice consumption in Nigeria is the highest in Africa; also, the country is one of the largest producers of rice on the continent and simultaneously one of the largest rice importers in the world (FAO, 2016). The high importation is due to the inconsistency and variability in production of rice in Nigeria. Rice yield in irrigated and rain-fed land is 3.0–3.5 mt/ha and 1.5-3.0 mt/ha which is below the potential output of 7-9 mt/ha and 3-6 mt/ha respectively. Low adoption of improved rice varieties (IRVs) is one of the major constraints leading to this low yield encountered by the resource-poor smallholder farmers. The main objective of this study was to examine the factors influencing adoption of IRVs and its impact on productivity and to estimate the differences in technical efficiency among adopters and non-adopters of IRVs in Ogun State, South West, Nigeria. A multi-stage random sampling technique was used to select 250 rice farmers and data was collected through a well-structured questionnaire. The Probit regression model was used to analyse the determinants of IRVs adoption while the stochastic frontier production function was used to model the determinants of rice output and technical efficiency. The results of the probit model showed that education, rice farming experience, access to extension services, access to credit and seed access had a significant influence on adoption of IRVs. The estimates of the average treatment effect (ATT) from the PSM method indicated that the adoption of IRVs increases productivity of smallholder rice farmers by 452kg/ha. The implication of the results suggests that priority must be given to the use of improved agricultural technology such as IRVs in order to enhance rice production. The estimate of the stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) indicates that smallholder rice farmers are producing below their potential output, however, adopters of IRVs are more technically efficient than the non-adopters. The mean technical efficiency of adopters and non-adopters of IRVs is 0.97 and 0.84, respectively. The study determined the sources of farmers’ technical inefficiency from a combined effect of farm-specific, socio-economic, socio-institutional factors and predicted probability of IRVs. The findings of the study suggest that adoption of IRVs plays a crucial role in improving the technical efficiency of smallholder rice farmers. The study, therefore, recommends an agricultural policy aimed at promoting farmers’ education, through effective extension services, providing sustainable credit facilities and efficient relationship between farmer-based organizations and seed companies (private, NGOs and government) to enhance easy accessibility of IRVs by the rural smallholder rice farmers.