Animal Production / Apiculture / ASSP / DFATD / East Africa / Ethiopia / Honey / ILRI / LIVES / LIVESTOCK-FISH / Research

Technical efficiency of small-scale honey producers in Ethiopia

Using a stochastic frontier production model, this working paper quantifies the extent of technical efficiency and identifies exogenous determinants of inefficiency among small-scale honey producers in Ethiopia.

Results show that traditional practices dominate the apiculture sub-sector in Ethiopia. The findings also reveal that the use of purchased inputs such as bee forage and supplement is very limited among honey producers, indicating that natural bee forage is the primary source of food supply for bees.

The immediate consequence of all these is low production and productivity. The number of hives a household owns, whether a household used improved apiculture technologies, availability of natural forest, which is the primary sources of nectar for bees, and amount of land owned by a households were found to have a significant influence on the amount of honey produced by beekeepers. Our results further show that the mean technical efficiency of honey producers is 0.79 implying that, on average, honey producers produce 80% of the maximum output.

The implication is that 20% of the potential output is lost due to technical inefficiency. The number of hives owned by a honey producer, distance to district town, proximity to market access and household wealth, affect the technical efficiency of honey producers.

The findings suggest that policies that aim to expand the use of improved hives are expected to increase the honey production at household level. The results also suggest that investment on rural infrastructure would be instrumental in improving technical efficiency of honey producers.

Download the working paper:

Shiferaw, K. and Gebremedhin, B. 2016. Technical efficiency of small-scale honey producers in Ethiopia: A stochastic frontier analysis. LIVES Working Paper 20. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.


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