Technical efficiency of corn production in São Paulo State: A stochastic metafrontier approach
Abstract The present article analyzed the corn production technical efficiency in São Paulo state, using the stochastic metafrontier approach, based on the microdata from the Censitary Survey of the Agricultural Production Units of São Paulo state, performed by Secretariat of Agriculture and Supply for 2007/08, and crop and soil, climate and relief suitability information used to segment producers into high, medium and low suitability groups. The results of intragroups technical efficiency estimations revealed significant differences in the levels of efficiencies among these producers. However, the average rate of technological gap was close to unity for all groups of producers, indicating that the differences in technical efficiency observed among producers with different levels of suitability are more related to institutional and managerial issues of prodution than to the level of technology employed. Producers’ groups with the highest technical meta-efficiency average were those in areas of medium, high and low suitability, respectively. The results suggest that policies aimed at increasing technical efficiency and reducing the technological gap in regions with lower agricultural suitability may contribute to increase the productivity of this crop in São Paulo state.