Does Charco-Dam Technology Affect Production Efficiencies? Evidence from Small-Scale Vegetable Farmers in Nzega District, Tanzania

Peer Reviewed
26 January 2022

Shauri Timothy, Razack Lokina, Martin Chegere


Water for irrigation is an essential and primary factor influencing crop productivity. However, there is limited information on how availability of irrigation water guarantees efficient use of inputs in farm production, especially for the rainwater harvesting technologies managed at household level. This study employed survey method to collect data from 528 small scale vegetable farmers, randomly selected from 5 wards and 5 villages, among the farmers 220 were adopters of Charco-Dam Technology (CDT) and 308 were non-adopters. Technical Efficiency Model was used to estimate production efficiencies of 528 small-scale vegetable producers, and Propensity Score Matching (PSM) Approach employed to evaluate the influence of adopting charco-dam technology on the production efficiencies of these farmers located in Nzega district, Tanzania. Results from the analysis present the essential intuitions about adoption of CDT and its effects on production efficiencies. It was observed that there was inefficient use of inputs (land-size, labour, quantity of improved seeds, amount of chemical used and amount of fertilizer used) among small-scale vegetable producers in the study area. 

The inefficiency was basically observed to be caused by household-size, cost of farm labour as well as growing cabbages and scarlet-eggplants. It is further observed that, farming experience, number of farm workers and radio listening behaviour reduced technical inefficiency (i.e., improve technical efficiency). Further analysis using PSM method, found that the adopters of charco-dam technology in the study area significantly increased the efficient use of inputs as compared to non-adopters, and hence realised high yields. This study recommends that, technologies like charco-dam should be encouraged, especially to small-scale farmers in arid and semi-arid areas. Furthermore, experienced farmers should share expertise on the use of inputs, with other less experienced farmers. In line with this, the role of agricultural information on improvement of production efficiency should not be undermined in improving efficient use of inputs. Hence, programmes and intervention that focus on encouraging farmers to listen to radio programmes related to agriculture, particularly those covering specific crop and location, are recommended.

Sustainable Development Goals
Publication | 4 August 2022