Land Tenure and Technical Efficiency of Smallholder Tea Producers: The Case of Ya’An City, China

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Technická Univerzita v Liberci
Technical university of Liberec, Czech Republic
70 percent of the world and 80 percent of China’s tea production produced by smallholder farmers. However, the tea production per unit area significantly unchanged in the past decades. Understanding factors affecting the technical efficiency of smallholder tea producers is very important to maximize tea production. Aimed at examining the impact of land tenure security and land certification on smallholder tea producers’ technical efficiency, this paper employs the Cobb- Douglas Stochastic Production Frontier (CD-SPF) and Translog Stochastic Production Frontier (TL- SPF) methods for Maximum Likelihood Estimate (MLE) with cross-sectional data collected from 161 randomly selected tea farm plot households in Ya’an city, China. We found that an 1 mu (0.067 ha) increase in the tea farm size will produce a 1.086 tea yield advantage for smallholder tea farmers. We also found that the values of input-output elasticity of land size, household income and labor decrease in turn with 0.144, 0.105 and 0.010 respectively. The results show that farm size is a more crucial input for tea production than income and labor. Moreover, we identify the determinations which enhance the technical efficiency of smallholder tea producers such as land certification, land tenure security age, education, farming experience, total farm size holding, chemical fertilizer, plot steepness and plot distance from home and find that the elimination of land tenure insecurity through land registration and certification makes a clear difference in that. We therefore recommend that tea farmland need to expand and enlarge for better production through comprehensive land consolidation program. We also suggest endorsing the land certificates of all land holders as this will help improve land tenure security, enhance technical efficiency and promote the tea production of smallholder producers.
China, land tenure, technical efficiency, SFA, smallholder