Resource use efficiency among small scale wheat farmers in Uasin Gishu district, Kenya

This study evaluates the efficiency of the resources used
by the small-scale wheat producers in Uasin Gishu District. The
aim of the study is to suggest ways of increasing the
productivity of these farms and hence the rural incomes as the
sale of wheat is a source of revenue to the farmers. Increased
productivi ty of the small-scale wheat producers is a step
towards national self-sufficiency in wheat flour which is a
basic foodstuff. The objective therefore, was to determine the
marginal productivity of the resources and then establish the
efficiency of their use.
A Cobb-Douglas production function was fitted to data
collected from a cross-section sample of 50 farmers. Efficiency
of resources used was determined by using the student t-
-distribution to test whether the ratio of the Marginal Value
Product (MVP) and Marginal Factor Cost (MFC) i.e (MVP/MFC) ,
differed significantly at 5% level from 1.O. The results
indicated that the resources engaged in small-scale wheat
production are being used inefficiently. The ratio MVP/MFC for
wheat seed, Diamonium Phosphate (DAP) fertilizer, mechanized
land preparation and Herbicide were all significantly different
from 1.0 at 5% lavel.
The detected inefficiency is attributed to risk aversion by
the farmers. It is expressed in cutting back on quantity of
inputs used. The Ministry of Agriculture should have their own
demonstration farms where recommended level of inputs are used
and sound husbandry practices are observed. The eminent high
quality yields will convince farmers on the benefits of using
the recommended level of inputs. An aggressive extension
service, workshops and field days to disseminate the idea is a
necessary back-up service.