PR - EFFICIENT RESOURCE USE AND FARMER-TO-FARMER SKILL TRANSFERS: THE CASE OF EKSTEENSKUIL RAISIN PRODUCERS, SOUTH AFRICA
Farmer-to-farmer skills transfer activities are recommended as a strategy to improve the technical efficiency of the farmers. However, research failed to explain how farmers should identify their peers; and whether the same individual would be considered a peer for all inputs used in the production process, or if different production inputs require different peers for informing technical efficiency use of the respective inputs. This paper use a sub-vector DEA to determine optimal resource use information that can be used to facilitate farmer-to farmer skills transfers. Results indicated that the peers and combination of peer weights varied for the producers between the different inputs. Therefore it is recommended that farmers should look to different peer for skill transfers. The information on peers and peer-weights was used to estimate gains available to the inefficient farmers if they changed their input use according to their peers. Results showed that gains are available to farmers who change their water and fertiliser use. Results furthermore showed that in some cases it is recommended that the farmer increase the use of a particular input, especially labour. Large gains in resource savings and potential profit savings are available to the inefficient producers.
Keywords: sub-vector DEA model, resource use efficiency, raisin production, South Africa, peers, farmer-to-farmer skill transfers