Performance measurement of extensive beef cattle farms in Botswana

Type Journal Article - Agrekon
Title Performance measurement of extensive beef cattle farms in Botswana
Volume 54
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 87-112
This paper examines the technical efficiency of extensive beef farms in different regions of
Botswana and attempts to explain differences in regional performance in terms of environmental
and economic constraints. Using a panel dataset of 26 agricultural districts (distributed across
six agro-ecological regions) for the period 2004 to 2012, we estimate technical efficiency
(TE) indices using a standard stochastic production frontier and meta-technological gap ratios
(MTR) with a meta-frontier approach. The study finds that farmers use available technology
suboptimally and produce far less than potential output. The average TE indices range from
as low as 0.40 for Maun, 0.71 for Western and to 0.79 for the Southern region. The mean
MTR also varies substantially across regions; high for Western (0.83), Southern (0.80) and
Francistown (0.79) regions and low for the Maun region (0.39). A low MTR for the Maun
region is attributed to the re-occurrence of FMD and human and wildlife conflict in this region,
restricting the ability of farmers to fully reach their potential output. The results of this study
have important implications for policy targeting. The study results allow us to identify the
differences in productive performance between beef producers in each region of Botswana,
and hence where policies to improve production technologies could be focused.

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