ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 54 Number 2
Research Papers
Efficiency in resource allocation–a study of Malawi smallholders’ performance
J. Farrington
This article investigates the efficiency of Malawi smallholders in allocating the resources, both traditional (labour) and non-traditional (fertilizer and insecticide), at their disposal. The data analysed relate to the main smallholder crop in Malawi and were collected over several survey-years. Production functions of the Cobb-Douglas type are used to determine how close smallholders come in their resource allocation patterns to the theoretical optimum. The problems of using this method of analysis in the smallholder situation are discussed and conclusions are drawn regarding the discrepancy between actual and recommended use-levels of certain inputs, the behaviour of smallholders under uncertain weather conditions and the relative use-levels of traditional and non-traditional factors of production.