Journal of
Development and Agricultural Economics

  • Abbreviation: J. Dev. Agric. Econ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9774
  • DOI: 10.5897/JDAE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 553

Full Length Research Paper

Determinants of technical efficiency in smallholder soybean production in Bomet District, Kenya

Patrick K. Yegon
  • Patrick K. Yegon
  • Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Njoro Centre, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Lawrence K. Kibet*
  • Lawrence K. Kibet*
  • Department of Economics, Egerton University, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Job K. Lagat
  • Job K. Lagat
  • Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management, Egerton University, Kenya
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 20 October 2012
  •  Accepted: 16 April 2015
  •  Published: 31 May 2015


Increased soybean productivity has great potential for alleviating the perpetual problems of food and nutrition insecurity, poverty and unemployment among the rural households in Kenya. This study analyses the determinants of technical efficiency in smallholder soybean production in a rural farm setting in Bomet District, Kenya. Technical efficiency in this case is the ability of the smallholder farmer to maximize soybean output from a given level of inputs including seed, fertilizer, crop protection chemicals and labour. The primary data used was collected from a field survey using a multistage random sampling design, with the sampling being done at division, location, sub-location and household levels. A structured questionnaire administered in a face to face interview on a proportionate sample of hundred soybean farmers was used. Stochastic Cobb- Douglas frontier model was used to estimate technical efficiency levels while an inefficiency model was used to examine inefficiency variables. Education level, occupation, age and gender affected technical inefficiency. Education level and occupation had negative effects while age and gender had positive effects on inefficiency. Hence, policies targeting promotion of farmer education and farming professionalism would lead to significant increase in the level of technical efficiency in smallholder soybean production.


Key words: Determinants, Stochastic Cobb-Douglas frontier model, technical efficiency, small-holder, soybean, Kenya.