Technical efficiency impact of participating in development interventions of the vegetableoil subsector among sunflower producers
A key policy concern in African agriculture is low productivity even when new technologies are generated, disseminated and adopted among farmers. This study used a cross-sectional dataset from a sample of 202 sunflower farmers drawn from Northern Uganda to determine technical efficiency and assess the influence of farm management capabilities, development intervention and socio-economic factors on technical efficiency. Results reveal that technical inefficiency among sunflower farmers account for 81% of farm-level output. Further, farm management capabilities (P<0.01), participation in development interventions (P<0.01) and reliance on certified seeds (P<0.01) significantly reduce farmer inefficiency and thus, improve technical efficiency. The study highlights that focusing on farm management capabilities to improve farm efficiency is more cost-saving for realizing economic gains in sunflower production than introducing new technologies. We recommend a policy focus on using approaches such as farmer field schools that ensures farmer advisory services at all critical stages of crop growth.