Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Nigeria, like all other rice consuming nations, has experienced a surge in domestic demand for rice since 1970. However, local rice production has not been sufficient to meet local demand, leading to this demand continually being filled by imports. The Federal Government of Nigeria has initiated subsidies programs intended to improve Nigerian rice farmers' technical and cost efficiency levels. This quantitative study evaluated the impact of these policies on the technical and cost efficiency levels of paddy rice farm households in Nigeria. Farrell's (1957) efficiency theory and production theory served as the theoretical frameworks. Data were collected from a cross-section of 300 paddy rice farmers drawn from 3 states in Nigeria. The study used 2 estimation techniques: parametric technique (SF) and the non-parametric technique (DEA). The results showed that paddy rice production in Nigeria was still profitable but low and the estimated average technical and cost efficiency levels from the DEA approach were 0.721 and 0.295, respectively. Evidence suggests that the formulation and implementation of subsidy programs on farm inputs were relevant in the variations of technical and cost efficiency levels across the rice farm households. The study findings support the continuity of the subsidy policies to encourage increased rice production; they also suggest that governments should address the issues of post-harvest losses, degrading irrigation facilities, and ineffective rural development policies. The positive social change implications of this research include providing information to inform government policy changes designed to more effectively address rice importation and pricing, positively impacting the standard of living for rural farmers and communities in Nigeria.