Analysis of technical efficiency of small-scale commercial farmers in Vhembe district


  • M. Muzekenyi
  • J. Zuwarimwe
  • B.M. Kilonzo



Technical efficiency, Stochastic frontier analysis, small-scale commercial farming


Small-scale commercial farmers are regarded as the strategic avenue to achieve meaningful development in rural areas of South Africa.  The government acknowledged that the inclusion of small-scale commercial farming in its development strategies. The paper aims to measure the efficiency of small-scale commercial farming enterprises in Vhembe District in Limpopo Province. Quantitative data were collected from 217 small-scale commercial farmers using structured questionnaires. The data were standardized using a farming enterprise budget system and analysed using the maximum likelihood and stochastic frontier analysis. The results revealed that aggregate output was positive and significantly influenced by age, education level, farm experience, farm labour, and government grants. However, the projected stochastic production frontier model combined with the efficiency parameters showed that labour and credit computed a negative effect on technical efficiency. The results indicated that the average level of technical efficiency ranged between 20% and 96% with a mean of 54%. This indicates that there is potential to increase production among small-scale commercial farmers in the study area by 46 % through efficient use of existing resources. As such, the local government should provide necessary supports such as formal agriculture training, access to credit and information to increase productivity.


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How to Cite

Muzekenyi, M., Zuwarimwe, J., & Kilonzo, B. (2021). Analysis of technical efficiency of small-scale commercial farmers in Vhembe district . South African Journal of Agricultural Extension (SAJAE), 49(1), 91–104.