In Ethiopia, agricultural production and productivity are very low, and hence increase in production and productivity are vital to meet increasing food demand. This study identifies and quantifies the main sources of productivity growth in Ethiopian agriculture using the translog (TL) stochastic input distance function and the Ethiopian Rural Household Survey (ERHS) panel dataset. The true fixed effects (TFE) panel data estimator is used to separate inefficiency effects from observed and unobserved heterogeneity. The parametric Malmquist productivity index (MPI) is used to decompose total agricultural growth into three major sources. The average technical efficiency score was 0.875; this finding indi¬cates that on average a farmer produces 87.5% of the value of the output that is produced by the most efficient farmer using the same technology and inputs. This implies that they can reduce the inputs required to produce the average output by 12.5% if their farming operation becomes technically efficient. MPI shows that the average annual productivity growth was 17.9% between 1994 and 2009. Further decomposition of the index shows that scale efficiency change is the most important source of this growth, and accounts for about 14.5%. Technological improvement accounts for approximately 4.8% while the contribution of technical efficiency change is negative, leading to an annual productivity decline of 1.3%. This finding suggests that increasing productivity is possible via improving these components by improving training to the farmers, extension services, research and development, and agronomic practices.
Key words: Productivity growth, translog stochastic input distance function, Malmquist productivity index, Ethiopia.
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