Technical efficiency of maize production in Swaziland: A stochastic frontier approach

  • Sicelo I
  • Micah B
  • J I
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Maize farming in Swaziland is divided into subsistence farming on Swazi Nation Land (SNL) and commercial farming on Title Deed Land (TDL). Maize production on SNL accounts for only 10% of total agricultural output in Swaziland. While almost all households in SNL produce maize, the country has never reached self-sufficient levels in maize production. For the past 40 years, Swaziland has not been able to meet the population’s maize requirements. Currently, the domestic shortfalls of maize are covered by imports through the National Maize Corporation. Swaziland continues to experience a downward trend on maize production, while maize demand has been increasing. This study was aimed at estimating technical efficiency of maize production and determining the factors affecting technical efficiency in Swaziland. The stochastic frontier approach was used to estimate the technical efficiency of 127 farmers and the two-limit Tobit model was used to determine the factors affecting technical efficiency of the farmers. The results revealed that there is a wide variability in the production of maize since technical efficiency ranged from 14.5 to 93.3% with a mean of 80.0%. The most important contributors to the maize production process were the amount of seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and labour used per hectare. Technical efficiency was found to be positively associated with farmers’ age, having off-farm income, farmers’ experience, intercropping and use of hybrid seeds. The gamma, (γ), was 68% and significant at 1% indicating that the variation in maize output was due to factors within the control of the farmers. It is recommended that the government needs to provide input subsidies so that farmers can use more inputs to improve their technical efficiency.




Sicelo, I. D., Micah, B. M., & J, I. R. (2012). Technical efficiency of maize production in Swaziland: A stochastic frontier approach. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 7(42), 5628–5636.

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