Full Length Research Paper
The paper investigated the determinants of beef cattle production and technical efficiency of beef cattle farmers using stochastic frontier production function which incorporates a model of inefficiency effects. A multi-stage random sampling procedure was employed for the selection of 360 respondents comprising 97 nomads, 208 agro-pastoralists and 55 ranchers across the 6 major producing states in Nigeria. The inefficiency effects are assumed to be functions of education of farmers, beef cattle farming experience, access to credit sources and farmers’ membership of cooperative societies. Empirical results indicate that significant increase recorded in output of beef cattle in the country could be traced mainly to the critical inputs. The estimated average technical efficiencies for the three groups were 0.59, 0.69 and 0.83 for the nomadic pastoralists, agro-pastoralists and ranchers, which indicated that there is still much opportunity for increased efficiency given the present state of technology. The need to develop some low cost labour saving technologies to ease labour constraints on farms was emphasized.
Key words: Beef cattle, production technologies, efficiency, stochastic frontier analysis, Nigeria.
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