SOCIOECONOMIC, MANAGEMENT, AND INSTITUTIONAL DETERMINANTS OF TECHNICAL EFFICIENCY: THE CASE OF SMALL PRODUCERS IN IRRIGATED AGRICULTURE IN NORTHEAST BRAZIL
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe Brazilian Government has invested heavily in irrigation projects for small farmers in the semi -arid region of Northeast Brazil. Projects along the San Francisco River have been particularly successful in developing important fruit and produce production centers. Despite the many efforts by government agencies to improve the production performance of small farmers in these projects, there prevails considerable variability in the technical efficiency of producers. The primary purpose of this thesis is to provide a better understanding of the socioeconomic, management, and institutional factors influencing technical efficiency of small producers in an irrigation perimeter in the Petrolina/Juazeiro region. Data were collected from the national agricultural research agency and interviews with farmers and agencies involved in the perimeter. The results of this study indicate that farmer characteristics, such as education and the ownership of a commercial establishment, are important factors influencing efficiency. Results also show that, in general, small farmers in this study do not follow the management practices recommended by the agricultural research agency and extension agents. The analysis in this study concludes by suggesting that there are other factors besides basic farmer and farm characteristics that have considerable influence on technical efficiency.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Agricultural and Resource Economics