Farm Household Production Efficiency in Southern Malawi: An Efficiency Decomposition Approach

Lawrence D. Mapemba, Maganga M. Assa, Nelson Mango


The present study was set out to estimate production efficiency of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L) farmers in the southern region of Malawi’s through efficiency decomposition. A random sample of 72 small-scale farmers was drawn from Balaka district. The findings revealed that farmers in Balaka district have opportunity for productivity gains and cost saving. Mean technical, economic and allocated efficiency were found to be 0.70, 0.57 and 0.82, respectively. Factors like education and credit access augment technical efficiency while credit access, farmer group membership and gender (being male) augment economic and allocative efficiency. Policy thrust like linking small scale farmers to micro-finance institutions for credit access, intensifying family planning programs to reduce family sizes, organizing small scale farmers into groups (cooperatives) and  integrating women into training and extension programs would increase production efficiency of small-scale tomato farming in southern Malawi.

Keywords: Decomposition, Malawi, production efficiency, production frontier, tomato

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