keywords: Cassava, technical efficiency, gross margin, stochastic, farm size, constraints
The study was conducted to examine the technical efficiency and profitability of cassava farming in the study area. Primary data were collected with structured questionnaire from 140 respondents through a multi-stage sampling technique. The data were analysed by descriptive statistics, budgetary equations and Stochastic Production Frontier (SPF) model. The results show that average age of the studied farmers was 48 years. Majority (85.7%) were married. Average family size was 6 persons. About 60.0% of them had, at most, primary education. The average farm size of farmers was 3.9 ha with 21 years of experience. Estimates of cost and returns show that labour and fertilizer were the most expensive inputs at 69.9 and 13.15% of the total cost, respectively. The benefit-cost ratio shows that returns on total cost was 44%. The estimates of SPF model revealed that mean technical efficiency was 0.595. Farm size and labour had significant increasing effects on technical efficiency of cassava production at 1 and 10%, respectively; while fertilizer and education had negative effects each at 1% significant level. The major challenges of the farmers were inadequate fund (70.0%), attack of cattle/herdsmen (67.9%) and fluctuation in output price. The study shows that cassava production is profitable but production efficiency can be increased by 40.5%. Therefore, private and government efforts should ensure distribution of improved and adequate inputs for expansion of farm size. Government should provide well-equipped Agro-service centers to promote farm mechanization at affordable charges for increased production efficiency.