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Productivity differences and food security : a metafrontier analysis of rain-fed maize farmers in MasAgro in Mexico

Author: Donnet, M.L.
Author: López-Becerril, I.D.
Author: Black, J.R.
Author: Hellin, J.
Year: 2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10883/18705
Descriptors: Food security
Descriptors: Maize
Descriptors: Farmers
Abstract: Rain-fed maize production in Mexico includes approximately 6 million hectares which variation in productivity represents huge challenges to meeting the sustainable intensification goals of the Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture (MasAgro) program. We use the information available from farmers participating in this program to investigate the differences in productivity and the effects of the promoted practices and technologies in seven defined rain-fed maize regions. We do this by applying metafrontier analysis to measure the technical efficiency and the technology gap. The results show a range of technical efficiency from 70 to 100%, which indicates the gains that can be achieved through improved management of the current inputs and practices of farmers in the program, and a range of the environment–technology gap between 32 and 82%, which indicates the limitations of the production environment which would require innovations in technologies and policies particularly adapted for the dry, the tropical and the more traditional regions. Furthermore, the results show that the use of hybrid seed and selling into maize markets have the largest impact in increasing maize yields in all regions. The difference between the MasAgro farmers and the average farmers in each region suggest that scaling the project will contribute to increasing maize production and Mexico’s food self-sufficiency.
Abstract: Rain-fed maize production in Mexico includes approximately 6 million hectares which variation in productivity represents huge challenges to meeting the sustainable intensification goals of the Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture (MasAgro) program. We use the information available from farmers participating in this program to investigate the differences in productivity and the effects of the promoted practices and technologies in seven defined rain-fed maize regions. We do this by applying metafrontier analysis to measure the technical efficiency and the technology gap. The results show a range of technical efficiency from 70 to 100%, which indicates the gains that can be achieved through improved management of the current inputs and practices of farmers in the program, and a range of the environment–technology gap between 32 and 82%, which indicates the limitations of the production environment which would require innovations in technologies and policies particularly adapted for the dry, the tropical and the more traditional regions. Furthermore, the results show that the use of hybrid seed and selling into maize markets have the largest impact in increasing maize yields in all regions. The difference between the MasAgro farmers and the average farmers in each region suggest that scaling the project will contribute to increasing maize production and Mexico’s food self-sufficiency.
Language: English
Publisher: AIMS Press
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact CIMMYT-Knowledge-Center@cgiar.org indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Country: Mexico
Place: Springfield, USA
Pages: 129-148
Journal issue: 2
Journal: AIMS agriculture and food
Journal volume: 2
DOI: 10.3934/agrfood.2017.2.129
Audicence: Researchers
Country of Focus: MÉXICO


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  • Socioeconomics
    Including topics such as farming systems, markets, impact & targeting, innovations, and GIS

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