Factors affecting technical efficiency of small-scale apple farms in Balochistan Plateau, Pakistan Factors affecting technical efficiency of small-scale apple farms in Balochistan Plateau, Pakistan

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Vol14 No.4: 782-794

Title】Factors affecting technical efficiency of small-scale apple farms in Balochistan Plateau, Pakistan

Author】Ghulam MURTAZA1*; GopalBahadur THAPA2

Addresses】1 Disaster Management and Development Studies, University of Balochistan, Quetta 87300, Pakistan; 2 School of Environment, Resources and Development, Asian Institute of Technology, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand

Corresponding author】gmurtaza_80@yahoo.com

Citation】Murtaza G, Thapa GB (2017) Factors affecting technical efficiency of small-scale apple farms in Balochistan Plateau, Pakistan. Journal of Mountain Science 14(4). DOI: 10.1007/s11629-016-3937-z

DOI】10.1007/s11629-016-3937-z

Abstract】In Balochistan,Agriculture is dominated by small-scale farmers and the apple production sector is confronted with the chronic constraint of low output per unit of input. Although some agricultural policies have been implemented in thisprovince, studies on effectiveness and impacts of such policies over apple production and farmers' performance are still limited. This study is an effort to bridge the research gap on this potential crop in the plateau by investigating technical and scale efficiency of 181 officially designated small-scale apple farmers in mountainous district Mastung in Balochistan; then explored factors that underlie differences in production inefficiency. A two-stage input-oriented Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) methodology was employed to evaluate technical and scale efficiency followed by truncated bootstrapped regression framework to analyze the correlative determinants to efficiency. Average technical and scale efficiencies of larger landholders were higher than medium and small landholders. Analysis indicated that there is still ample scope for inefficient sample farmers to reduce the input use by 33% without compromising the given yield level. Maximum contributions to the total input savings were from the use of urea, farm yard manure (FYM) and labor-use. Farmer's experience, farm ownership, irrigation constraints, and farmer's access to trainings, credit and extension services significantly affectedapplefarmers'technicalefficiency.Based on the findings of this study, strategies are suggested to enhancing efficiencies by farmers' capacitydevelopment through effective extension services and trainings and provision of adequate credit.

Keywords】Small-scale apple farmers; Technical efficiency; Data envelopment analysis (DEA); Bootstrap; Efficiency-improving resources; Balochistan Plateau