American Journal of Rural Development
ISSN (Print): 2333-4762 ISSN (Online): 2333-4770 Website: Editor-in-chief: Chi-Ming Lai
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Rural Development. 2016, 4(6), 129-133
DOI: 10.12691/ajrd-4-6-2
Open AccessArticle

Analysis of the Technical Efficiency of Smallholder Cocoa Farmers in South West Cameroon

Ngoe Mukete1, , Jing Zhu1, Mukete Beckline2, Tabi Gilbert1, Kimengsi Jude3 and Aniah Dominic4

1College of Economics and Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1 Weigang, Nanjing 210095, Jiangsu Province, China

2School of Forestry, Beijing Forestry University, 35 Qinghua Dong Lu, Haidian District Beijing, 100083 China

3Department of Economics and Management, University of Buea, Box 63 Buea, South West Region, Cameroon

4Farmer Training Centre, Box 763, Bolgatanga 038 20, Ghana

Pub. Date: December 23, 2016

Cite this paper:
Ngoe Mukete, Jing Zhu, Mukete Beckline, Tabi Gilbert, Kimengsi Jude and Aniah Dominic. Analysis of the Technical Efficiency of Smallholder Cocoa Farmers in South West Cameroon. American Journal of Rural Development. 2016; 4(6):129-133. doi: 10.12691/ajrd-4-6-2


In this study, we assess the technical efficiency of smallholder cocoa farmers in the Meme division of South West Region, Cameroon. Through stochastic production functions and field surveys, the study further examines how the cocoa sector socioeconomically impacts the Cameroonian economy. Using a participatory research approach, data were collected from 515 household heads across four villages on the quantity of cocoa produced, number of cocoa trees per hectare, quantity of fertilizer, and labour availability and socio-economic characteristics. Our results showed the technical efficiency to range between 0.11 and 0.99, with a mean technical efficiency of 0.86. We also observed access to credit and extension services to significantly influence technical efficiency. Therefore, innovative institutional arrangements that enhance extension and farmer training, accompanied by improved access to credit are likely to efficiently boost cocoa production in this part of Cameroon and elsewhere.

technical efficiency smallholder farmers cocoa sector cameroon stochastic functions

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Armathé, J., Mesmin, T., Unusa, H and Soleil, B. (2013). A comparative study of the influence of climatic elements on cocoa production in two agro-systems of bimodal rainfall: Case of Ngomedzap forest zone and the contact area of forest-savanna of Bokito. Journal of the Cameroon Academy of Sciences 11(1).
[2]  ICCO. (2014). International Cocoa and Coffee Organization. Cocoa year in Cameroon 2013/2014. Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, XL (1), Cameroon.
[3]  Mukete B and Monono, S. (2014). Assessing the Impact of Consumer Behaviour on Food Security in South West Cameroon. Journal of Food Security 2 (3): 87-91.
[4]  Fule, B. (2013). Small-scale versus large-scale cocoa farming in Cameroon. Which farm type is more ready for the future? Master of Science Thesis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala. Sweden.
[5]  Folefack, P. (2010). Pauvreté et répartition des revenus en zone cacaoyère du Cameroun. Tropicultura 2891: 5-9.
[6]  Nfinn, T. (2005). Cocoa Production in Cameroon. AFTA 2005 Conference Proceedings. Available at cameroon.pdf.
[7]  Nkelle, N. (2010). The Sustainability of Cameron Cocoa Economy. Available at 20-%20Cameroon.pdf.
[8]  Basnayake, B and Gunaratne, L. (2011). Estimation of Technical Efficiency and its Determinants in the Tea Small Holding Sector in the Mid Country Wet Zone of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Journal of Agricultural Economics 4:137-150.
[9]  Amos, T. (2007). Analysis of productivity and technical efficiency of smallholder Cocoa farmers in Nigeria. Journal of Social Sciences 15 (2): 127-133.
[10]  Tchale, H and Sauer, J. (2007). The efficiency of maize farming in Malawi. A bootstrapped translog frontier. Cahiers d'Economie et Sociologie Rurales 82-83: 33-56.
[11]  Nhemachena, C and Hassan, R. (2007). Micro-Level Analysis of Farmers’ Adaptation to Climate Change in Southern Africa. IFPRI Discussion Paper 00714. Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa.
[12]  Chiona, S. (2011). Technical and Allocative Efficiency of Smallholder Maize Farmers in Zambia. Master of Science Thesis in Agricultural Economics. University of Zambia, Lusaka.
[13]  Markowitz, R. (2008). Truth or Economics. New Haven: Yale University Press. USA.
[14]  Wautabouna, O. (2012). Economic Efficiency Analysis in Côte d’Ivoire. American Journal of Economics 2(1): 37-46.
[15]  Wokia-azi, N., Bisseleua, H and Klasen, S. (2010). analysis_of_cocoa_production_in_Southern_Cameroon.
[16]  Tosam, J and Njimanted, G. (2013). An Analysis of the Socio-Economic Determinants of Cocoa Production in Meme Division, Cameroon. Greener Journal of Business and Management Studies 3 (6): 298-308.
[17]  Kimengsi, J and Tosam, J. (2012). Climate Variability and Cocoa Production in Meme Division of Cameroon: Agricultural Development Policy Options. Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences 3 (8): 606-617.
[18]  CVUC. (2014). Communes et Villes Unies Du Cameroun: United Councils and Cities of Cameroon. Available at
[19]  Tadesse, B and Krishnamurthy, S. (1997). Technical Efficiency in Paddy Farms of Tamil Nadu: An Analysis Based on Farm Size and Ecological zone. Agricultural Economics 16: 185-192.
[20]  Kalirajan, K.. (1981). The Economic Efficiency of Farmers Growing High Yielding, Irrigated Rice in India. American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 63 (3): 566-569.
[21]  Jagoret, P., Michel-Dounias, I., Snoeck, D., Ngnogue, H and Malézieux, E. (2012). Afforestation of Savannah with cocoa agroforestry systems: A small-farmer innovation in central Cameroon. Agroforestry Systems 86: 493-504.
[22]  Zapfack, L., Djomo, C., Noumi, V et al.,. (2016). Correlation between Associated Trees, Cocoa Trees and Carbon Stocks Potential in Cocoa Agroforests of Southern Cameroon. Sustainability in Environment 1(2):71-84.
[23]  Binam, N., Tonyè, J., Wandji, N., Nyambi G and Akoa, M. (2004). Factors affecting the technical efficiency among smallholder farmers in the slash and burn agriculture zone of Cameroon. Food Policy 29: 531-545.
[24]  Agom, D., Susan, O., Itam, K and Inyang, N. (2012). Analysis of Technical Efficiency of Smallholder Cocoa Farmers in Cross River State, Nigeria. International Journal of Agricultural Management and Development 2(3): 177-185.
[25]  Cobbina, J. (2014). Technical Efficiency of Cocoa Production in Ghana, a case study of Upper Denkyira East Municipality. Master of Philosophy Thesis, Nkwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.
[26]  Nchare, A. (2007). Analysis of factors affecting the technical efficiency of Arabica coffee producers in Cameroon. African Economic Research Consortium. (AERC) research paper 163, Nairobi, Kenya. Available at
[27]  Onumah, J., Ramatu, M and Onumah, E. (2013). Productivity and Technical Efficiency of Cocoa Production in Eastern Ghana. Journal of Economics and Sustainable Development 4(4): 106-117.
[28]  Binam, N., Gockowski, J and Nkamleu, G. (2008). Technical Efficiency and Productivity Potential of Cocoa Farmers in West African Countries. Development Econonomics 46(3):242-263.