Economic and Technical Efficiency of Crop Production in New Halfa Agricultural Production Corporation, Sudan

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Abdelraouf Idris Yousif Ali, Ali
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This study was conducted at New Halfa Agricultural Production Corporation (NHAPC), during 2006/2007 season. It aimed to evaluate the technical efficiency of production and to determine an optimum cropping pattern. The study used primary and secondary data. The primary data were collected from a stratified random sample of 150 tenants through a questionnaire. The secondary data were collected from different relevant sources. A variety of analytical techniques were used which included descriptive statistics, stochastic frontier production function estimation, gross margin analysis, and linear programming. The results indicated that farming is the main occupation, and the average age of tenants was 47 years, 78 % of them had different levels of education and 79% of them were married. The average family size was 8 persons. Most of the labour used was devoted to the main cash crops. The gross marginal analysis revealed that cotton had the highest cost of production followed by groundnut, wheat and sorghum. The average gross returns per feddan were SDG 531.9 for wheat, SDG 742 for cotton, SDG 252.49 for sorghum and SDG 795.82 for groundnut. Groundnut had higher gross margins per feddan followed by cotton, wheat and sorghum. The stochastic frontier production function analysis revealed that most of the estimated ^6; co-efficients of the stochastic frontier model were significant and had the expected signs. The mean production technical efficiencies were 79%, 73%, 78% and 70% for wheat, cotton, sorghum and groundnut, respectively. This shows that there is a scope for increasing sorghum, wheat, cotton and groundnut production by 22%, 21%, 27% and 30%, respectively, with the present level of inputs and technology. The analysis of the determinants of technical efficiency indicated that the number of irrigation, tenancy location, sowing date, weeding, labour and farm income were the most important factors determining production technical efficiency. The tenants' experience, extension contacts, agricultural credit, level of education and inspectors' visits had significant effects on tenants' technical inefficiency of crops production. The results of the LP models showed that the optimal solution allocated 10.87 feddans to groundnut and 4.13feddans to wheat, while sorghum and cotton did not inter the optimal solution. The results also revealed that labour and capital were limiting factors of crop production in the study area. The net returns of the optimal plan were more than the present plan by 57%. For improvement of the technical efficiency of crops production in NHAPC, the study recommended use of herbicides, introduction of high yielding varieties for cotton and sorghum, cleaning and maintenance of irrigation canals. Improvement of extension services and supervision and supply of credit and production inputs at the right time were also recommended
Economic and Technical Efficiency of Crop Production in New Halfa Agricultural Production Corporation, Sudan