Participation in organizations, technical efficiency and territorial differences: a study of small wheat farmers in Chile

Mónica M. Jaime1*, and César A. Salazar2

The lack of efficient individual solutions for small farmers either in the market or through the State has resulted in a search for collective spaces to strengthen their productive capacities, where participation in organizations emerges as a relevant factor to obtain higher efficiency levels. The aims of this study were to analyze the determinants of technical efficiency of wheat small farmers in Bío-Bío Region (Chile) and to evaluate its relation to a variety of variables, including farmer participation in organizations, for several territories with different agro-climatic conditions. Using information from the VII Agricultural and Forestry Survey, a stochastic frontier production function was estimated. The results show that age, education, farm size, degree of specialization and dependence of activity explain individual technical efficiency levels. Participation in cooperatives and gremial associations is also related to higher technical efficiency levels, especially in territories characterized for a lower wheat productive vocation.

Keywords: Technical efficiency, stochastic frontier production function, participation in organizations, Social capital.
1Universidad de Concepción, Escuela de Administración y Negocios, Av. Vicente Méndez 595, Casilla 537, Chillán, Chile. *Corresponding author (mjaime@udec.cl).
2Universidad del Bío-Bío, Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales, Av. Collao 1202, Casilla 5-C, Concepción, Chile.