In Benin, maize plays a key role, both in production systems and in commercial transactions and population feeding. Smallholders are facing a decline in productivity due, among other things, to difficulties in accessing agricultural inputs such as improved seeds and fertilizers (NPK and Urea). The project "Sustainable intensification of maize production among small producers in the departments of Alibori and Borgou in Benin" attempted to solve these problems in its intervention areas. The objective of this research is to analyze the technical efficiency of the maize producers of the Municipality of Bembèrèkè who benefited from the project's support. The sample of the study consists of the 95 farmers benefiting from the project interventions in the Municipality of Bembèrèkè. Data on quantities and prices of inputs used as well as quantities and labour costs were collected. We used the stochastic production frontier to calculate the beneficiaries' technical efficiency scores. The results of the analysis show that the average yield obtained on the experimental plot is 1422 kg/ha compared to 1005 kg/ha for the control plot. In addition, the average value of the technical efficiency scores of all the farms studied is 65.2%, varying from 8.8 to 100%. This means that the current production level can be further increased by an average of 34.8% using the same quantities of inputs. The technical efficiency obtained by producers on the experimental plots is higher than that obtained on the control plots. It is 68.5 and 62% respectively. The comparison test performed on the mean difference between the two groups shows that this difference is significant (probability = 0.004). This shows that the technological packages disseminated as part of the project activities have a clear impact on the technical efficiency of producers. The Government must then encourage farmers to make greater use of certified maize seed and specific fertilizers at subsidized prices.
Key words: Technical efficiency, stochastic production frontier, maize, project, Benin.
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