Technical Efficiency of Soybean Farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana.
This paper assesses the technical efficiency of soybean farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana. The maximum likelihood estimation technique was used for the estimations in a one-step approach through the translog production function. A sample size of 168 soybean farmers was used for the study. Farmers were selected by using systematic random sampling procedure and interviewed with questionnaires. The overall return to scale in production in the region was found to be 0.79. This is a decreasing returns to scale and means that a percentage increase in variable inputs leads to a less than percentage (proportionate) increase in the overall output of soybean. The mean technical efficiency in soybean production was 0.61. This implies that an average soybean farmer is able to obtain 61% of the frontier output given the input used under existing technology. Farmer groups and farm size are the significant determinants of inefficiency in the area. Finally, inadequate farm credit, inadequate rainfall and lack of improved planting materials are the most serious constraints hindering soybean production. The paper recommends among others that soybean farmers should be given more technical training on best agronomic practices. Policies geared towards encouraging farmers to apply more fertilizer and other chemicals (herbicide and pesticide) should be formulated and enforced by the government and other actors in agricultural development.