Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 782–794 | Cite as

Factors affecting technical efficiency of small-scale apple farms in Balochistan Plateau, Pakistan



In Balochistan, Agriculture is dominated by small-scale farmers and the apple production sector is confronted with the chronic constraint of low output per unit of input. Although some agricultural policies have been implemented in this province, studies on effectiveness and impacts of such policies over apple production and farmers’ performance are still limited. This study is an effort to bridge the research gap on this potential crop in the plateau by investigating technical and scale efficiency of 181 officially designated small-scale apple farmers in mountainous district Mastung in Balochistan; then explored factors that underlie differences in production inefficiency. A two-stage input-oriented Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) methodology was employed to evaluate technical and scale efficiency followed by truncated bootstrapped regression framework to analyze the correlative determinants to efficiency. Average technical and scale efficiencies of larger landholders were higher than medium and small landholders. Analysis indicated that there is still ample scope for inefficient sample farmers to reduce the input use by 33% without compromising the given yield level. Maximum contributions to the total input savings were from the use of urea, farm yard manure (FYM) and labor-use. Farmer’s experience, farm ownership, irrigation constraints, and farmer’s access to trainings, credit and extension services significantly affected apple farmers’ technical efficiency. Based on the findings of this study, strategies are suggested to enhancing efficiencies by farmers’ capacity development through effective extension services and trainings and provision of adequate credit.


Small-scale apple farmers Technical efficiency Data envelopment analysis (DEA) Bootstrap Efficiency-improving resources Balochistan Plateau 


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This study was supported by core funds of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan and the University of Balochistan (Reg. 440/07), under Faculty Development Project. We would like to thank all the respondent farmers for their valuable time, feedback and discussions. Special thanks belong to anonymous reviewers that helped to improve the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Disaster Management and Development StudiesUniversity of BalochistanQuettaPakistan
  2. 2.School of Environment, Resources and DevelopmentAsian Institute of Technology, Klong LuangPathumthaniThailand

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