Impact of land fragmentation on rice producers' technical efficiency in South-East China

S. Tan, N. Heerink, A. Kuyvenhoven, F. Qu Futian

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85 Citations (Scopus)


Rice farming is important for income generation in large parts of China and Asia. This paper uses detailed household, crop- and plot-level data to investigate the levels and determinants of rice producers’ technical efficiency for three villages with different characteristics in a major rice-growing area of South-East China, focusing in particular on the impact of land fragmentation. Empirical results obtained by applying a stochastic frontier model showed statistically significant differences in technology level among villages, with the remotest village having the lowest technology level. Within villages average technical efficiency was generally high, ranging from 0.80 to 0.91 for the three types of rice that are grown in the region. For late-rice producers, no statistically significant variation was found in their technical efficiencies. Land fragmentation was found to be an important determinant of technical efficiency in early-rice and one-season rice production. An increase in average plot size increased rice farmers’ technical efficiency. Given average plot size, an increase in the number of plots was found to increase technical efficiency, indicating the presence of variation effects. A larger distance between homesteads and plots contributed to technical inefficiency in early-rice production. The high levels of technical efficiency found in our study support the view that to raise rice productivity in the long run, new technologies need to be introduced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-123
JournalNJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • plot size
  • agriculture
  • frontier
  • scale
  • productivity
  • inefficiency
  • bangladesh
  • credit
  • model
  • cost

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