Impact of adoption of mobile-based Information Communication Technologies on production efficiencies among smallholder farmers in the southwest of Nigeria
Keywords:Mobile apps, stochastic frontier analysis, data envelopment analysis, smartphone, inefficiencies
The objective of this study was to assess differences in production efficiencies and identify factors that affect efficiencies and inefficiencies of adopters and non-adopters of mobile-based Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) among cassava farming households in the southwest of Nigeria. Primary data were collected using a structured questionnaire from a sample of 216 cassava farmers (104 adopters and 112 non-adopters) non-randomly selected through snowballing from Oyo and Ogun States during the 2020/2021 production season. Descriptive statistics were calculated and the Production Frontier model was used to estimate technical (TE), allocative (AE) and economic efficiency (EE) of adopters and non-adopters as well as factors influencing production inefficiencies. The results indicated that adopters had mean TE, AE and EE of 75.1, 30.7 and 23.1% respectively compared with non-adopters who had mean TE, AE and EE of 27.9, 85.1 and 78.3% respectively. Therefore, there are differences between the efficiencies of adopters and non-adopters of mobile-based ICTs. Factors driving cassava production efficiencies include farm size, labour used, stem cuts, fertiliser and agrochemical use, level of formal education, number of mobile-based ICTs used, access to extension services and access to credit. To address production inefficiencies of cassava, efforts should be focused on improvement of existing farm resources, sensitisation of farmers on the need to adopt mobile-based ICTs, strengthening of the agricultural extension system, access to credit and investment in the basic education of small scale farmers.