The ability of maize farmers in Ghana to increase yield levels and attain sustainable production depends on efficient farm practices, hence technical efficiency. This study applied the stochastic frontier methodology to examine the technical efficiency of maize production for the 2011/2012 cropping season. Multi-stage sampling procedure was used to obtain 360 maize households for the study. The determinants of maize output in northern Ghana were farm size, seed, fertilizer and weedicides. The mean technical efficiency estimate was 74% with minimum and maximum values of 12 and 98%, respectively. Agricultural mechanization, experience and gender statistically influenced technical efficiency. The Agricultural Mechanization Services Enterprise Centres programme of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture should be scaled-up to increase access to farm tractor for agricultural mechanization services in order to increase farmers’ production efficiency. Similarly, maize production could improve if younger farmers learn from the accumulated knowledge of experienced farmers. Policies which would stress gender equality as regards access to economic resources, education, information and decision-making would help develop self-confidence in women.
Key words: Stochastic Fontier, Technical Efficiency, maize production, northern Ghana.
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