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Do NGOs and Development Agencies Contribute to Sustainability of Smallholder Soybean Farmers in Northern Ghana—A Stochastic Production Frontier Approach

NGOs and development agencies have a conspicuous presence in facilitating capacity building, access to production resources and markets. Capacity building by NGOs and development agencies is expected to contribute to farm efficiency and sustainability by promoting and enhancing fertilizer use as well as increasing soil fertilities. However, the influence of these factors on technical efficiency as an important dimension of sustainability has not been further explored in Ghana. This study therefore assesses the influence of NGOs on technical efficiency among smallholder soybean farmers by applying stochastic frontier analysis. The data collected from 349 smallholder soybean producers in the three northern regions of Ghana are employed for the analysis. Results show that the mean technical efficiency of soybean production is 0.885, indicating a growth potential of 11.5%. Land area, agro-chemicals and seeds contribute to production growth while labor is over used. We find that NGO facilitation as well as group membership influences technical efficiency. Furthermore, farmers facilitated by NGOs and development agencies are 4.4 p.p. more efficient than non-facilitated farmers. Our study therefore implies that production and efficiency can be improved by providing more services to farmer group members and sustainable interventions from NGOs and social programs.




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