The stochastic metafrontier method is applied to estimate technical efficiency levels in beef cattle production in Kenya. Subsequently, a Tobit model is used to assess factors that might influence efficiency. Results show that the average efficiency level is 0.69, suggesting that there is considerable scope to improve beef production in Kenya. Considering the importance of the livestock enterprise to rural livelihoods and its potential role in poverty reduction, there is need for appropriate development strategies for enhanced efficiency. In particular, livestock development policies should focus on provision of technology-related services. For instance, promoting use of controlled cattle crossbreeding methods would enhance productivity gains. Effective institutional support is also necessary in order to improve efficiency, including improved access to market contracts, better farm management skills and off-farm income opportunities.
Key words: Beef production, technical efficiency determinants, metafrontier, Kenya.
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