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Sustainability 2016, 8(5), 465; doi:10.3390/su8050465

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

1
College of Economics and Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
2
Farmer Training Centre, Box 763, Bolgatanga 038 20, Ghana
3
China Centre for Food Security, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
4
Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics, V. Kudirkos g. 18-2, LT-03105 Vilnius, Lithuania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 14 March 2016 / Revised: 29 April 2016 / Accepted: 6 May 2016 / Published: 10 May 2016
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Abstract

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: technical efficiency; sustainability; NGOs facilitation; soybean production; stochastic production frontier; Northern Ghana technical efficiency; sustainability; NGOs facilitation; soybean production; stochastic production frontier; Northern Ghana
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Avea, A.D.; Zhu, J.; Tian, X.; Baležentis, T.; Li, T.; Rickaille, M.; Funsani, W. Do NGOs and Development Agencies Contribute to Sustainability of Smallholder Soybean Farmers in Northern Ghana—A Stochastic Production Frontier Approach. Sustainability 2016, 8, 465.

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