Lecturer, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
The study analysed the determinants of profit and its efficiency for Ghana's maize farmers
The study analysed the factors influencing profit and its efficiency for smallholder maize farmers in Ghana. The data used was collected from 576 maize farmers in Ghana’s four main agro ecological zones using structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and the stochastic frontier translog profit function were the methods of analysis employed. The results showed that generally, an increase in the prices of fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, seed and labour decreased the profitability of maize production in Ghana. Also, an increase in farm size by Ghanaian maize farmers decreased their profit levels. Furthermore, the maize farmers were found to be seriously profit inefficient as the mean profit efficiency was 48.4%. Maize farmers in the transitional zone of the country were also found to be more efficient in their profit levels than those in other zones. Finally, male gender, formal education, extension contact, access to good roads and credit as well as uses of fertilizer, pesticides and improved seeds were found to be positively related to profit efficiency of the farmers. Improvement in the quality of road infrastructure in Ghana’s maize producing areas could help lower the prices of production inputs so that their costs will not contribute so much to reducing farm profits and efficiency. Stakeholders in maize industry are encouraged to help put subsidies on prices of production inputs to make them accessible and cost effective in employing them. The stakeholders are also advised to help provide extension agents with appropriate incentives that will make them committed to their duties.