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Monday, December 10, 2012

A Case Study of Technical Efficiency of Wheat in Rain-Fed Cropping Zones of Punjab

Posted by Shakil Shaukat On Monday, December 10, 2012



According to a recent study published in Pakistan Journal of Agriculture Sciences, it was found that the farmers in the rain-fed zones of Punjab can increases wheat productivity through increased technical efficiency within the same limits of input use and technology.

These scientists analyzed the technical efficiency in wheat production in the rain-fed cropping zone of Punjab through stochastic Cobb-Douglas production frontier. The study was conducted over randomly selected 70 farm households. And the data from 2009-10 wheat production was analyzed in the present study. The mean efficiency was found out to be 47.1%. the results were suggesting that technical efficiency improvements must be made, hence, production can be doubled in rain-fed zones of Punjab.

The results also suggested that the efficiency can be made by better moisture conservation of the rain water, irrigation and investment in the water resources of the farm. Seed rate on the other hand showed negative impact on productivity; this means that seed rate should be decreased in order to increase efficiency. The use of poor quality seed by the farmer from the farm produce also contributed towards the inefficiency in farm productivity.
Food insecurity is a major challenge and globaly many organizations are working to deal with it. According to the ministry of Finance (2008), wheat provides 72% total protein and 48% of daily calorie diet of population in Pakistan. Although wheat yield has increased over time by 69 percent; from 15.9 mounds per acre in 1986-87 to 26.9 mounds per acres in 2008-09 which is far less than genetic yield potential of 60-80 mounds per acre from semi-dwarf wheat cultivars available in Pakistan. This yield gsp accounts 40% in the irrigated zones of Punjab and even more in rain-fed zones.
Rain-fed zone/Pothowar consists of Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Chakwal and Attock. Rain-fed zone is the smallest zone in terms of area under wheat cultivation and production. In the crop year 2008-09, area under wheat cultivation and total production in this zone were 466.8 thousand hectares and 772.1 thousand tonnes respectively and according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (2010) it accounted for 6.8% of the provincial wheat area and 4.2% of the wheat production, respectively.
Technological development is a slow process, hence the increase in agriculture growth in future will depend on the stock of existing knowledge and how fast this knowledge is disseminated to the farmers. This will help in improving the technical efficiency of the growers.
Improved extension services can play effective role in this regard. Farmers should be taught to use appropriate seed rate. The use of poor quality crop produce as seed should be discouraged and farmers should be taught to use certified seed of wheat varieties approved by the agricultural department for rain-fed areas.Rain-fed farming is very risky in nature, thus resource poor farmers are diverted to different farm and non-farm activities hence efficiency for the crops is reduced.


Reference

Hussain, A., A. Saboor, M. A. Khan, A. Q. Mohsin and F. Hassan (2012). Technical efficiency of wheat production in rain-fed areas: a case study of Punjab, Pakistan. Pak. J. Agri. Sci., Vol. 49(3), 411-417.