Assessing efficiency of input utilization in wheat production in Uzbekistan
Increased technical and scale efficiency in the production of wheat has been of major interest for farmers and administrators alike in Uzbekistan particularly since wheat became a strategic crop to achieve the goal of food self-sufficiency soon after the country’s independence in 1991. A pioneer approach was adopted to estimate technical and scale efficiencies among wheat producing farms in the Khorezm and Fergana regions of Uzbekistan. A method was developed that consists of extending a nonparametric, output-based Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) in two stages to allow the use of double bootstrapping techniques to produce bias-corrected estimates. The findings show that while most farmers have achieved scale efficiency under the current state of agricultural technology, there is room for increasing wheat production via enhanced technical efficiency. Interestingly, findings also show that the higher efficiency estimated for arable land with lower bonitet (soil fertility) scores indicates that farmers with better land quality use their resources less efficiently. It is argued that this in turn implies that under non-competitive market conditions, farmers have little incentives to use resources more efficiently.
Chapter 4.3 in Lamers, John P.A. and Rudenko, Inna (eds), Restructuring land allocation, water use and agricultural value chains.