Agricultural production inefficiency in Nigeria: the contribution of farming householdsâ€™ ill-health disability
Keywords:Agricultural production, inefficiency, farming households, ill-health disability, Nigeria
AbstractWith the predominantly manual nature of most agricultural production activities in Nigeria, health becomes a key determinant of household agricultural labour capacity, the efficiency of household labour and other inputs utilised in agriculture. Hence, this study examined how ill-health disability affects agricultural household production through the dual pathway of reduction in household labour capacity as well as the efficiency of agricultural inputs used in production. We used datasets obtained from the first two completed panel waves of the ongoing Nigerian Living Standard Measurement Study, Integrated Survey on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA). From the health information in the LSMS-ISA panel datasets, household ill-health disability experience and ill-health disability days were constructed and used as ill-health disability measures. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, t-test and the panel data time-varying stochastic frontier production model. The results revealed that agricultural household experience of ill-health disability significantly lowers the value of agricultural output produced and increases the inefficiency of agricultural production. The efficiency of agricultural production could be improved beyond the current level by about 41% through agricultural household membersâ€™ health improvement, encouragement of participation of male heads and more members of the households in production and increasing the number of cultivated agricultural plots. Therefore, agricultural and welfare-related policy efforts should be focused on the improvement in the health and wellbeing of the agricultural workforce to boost the production efficiency and productivity growth of the agricultural sector in Nigeria.