keywords: Maize, technical efficiency, farmers, cropping systems, Adamawa State
Maize is a staple food of many households in Nigeria and its production comes under different cropping systems. This study analyses technical efficiency of maize-based cropping systems among small scale farmers in Adamawa State, Nigeria. A multi-stage random sampling technique was used to select 310 maize farmers from eight Local Government Areas of the State using structured questionnaires. Descriptive statistics, such as means and percentages were used to describe the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers and their different maize-based cropping systems, while the stochastic production frontier model was used to determine the technical efficiency of the farmers. The results revealed that majority (68.08%) of the respondents were male with mean age of 47 years. The mean household size was 8 with 77.42% possessing varied levels of formal education. Maize intercropped with other crops was the dominant (73.11%) cropping system accounting for 56.78% of total area cultivated. Farmers were technically efficient in their production, with mean technical efficiency of 0.73. Education, farming experience and extension contact were significant variables that positively influence technical efficiency. The study recommends among others public investments in education since it has complementary and synergistic effect on improved technical efficiency.