This study examines the technical efficiency of small-scale beef cattle fattening in eight districts of Mwanza and Shinyanga regions, the lake zone in Tanzania. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire which was administered to 90 randomly selected cattle fatteners from the eight districts. Data were analyzed using descriptive methods and stochastic frontier production function approach. The estimated stochastic frontier production function showed that the herd size was the critical variable that affected weight gain in beef cattle fattening and hence beef output. The efficiency analysis results show that the estimated farm level technical efficiency ranged between 48 to 98% with a mean of 91%, indicating that the majority of the beef cattle fattening operators in the study area are efficient though not at 100%. The socio-economic determinants of the respondents’ technical efficiency were age, education, experience, extension services and ethnicity. These findings can be used by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development extension agents to promote beef cattle fattening in areas where beef cattle fattening is not practiced in the country.
Key words: Average daily weight gain (ADG), cattle fattening operators, enterprises, technical efficiency, Tanzania shorthorn zebu (TSZ).
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