Adoption of Certified Seed and Its Effect on Technical Efficiency: Insights From Northern Kazakhstan

  •  Muratbek Baglan    
  •  Xue Zhou    
  •  Gershom Endelani Mwalupaso    
  •  Geng Xianhui    


Despite the economic and food security importance of the Kazakh wheat sector, current statistics suggest a yield gap between actual and potential yields. In view of this, farmers, stakeholders and the government are looking for agricultural technologies to increase the output. To this end, adoption of certified seeds is being promoted. The reasoning is that certified seed is produced from seed of known genetic origin and genetic purity, in a controlled and tested manner, processed and declared in accordance with the Law on Seeds and thus, could aid in producing maximum obtainable output. Unfortunately, little is known on whether this could affect wheat production and technical efficiency more than the conventional seed as such a subject has never benefitted from empirical analysis. To begin to fill this research gap, data from smallholder farms in Kazakhstan is used to evaluate the impact of adoption on technical efficiency by applying the stochastic production frontier. Results indicate that adoption of certified seed has productivity effects. Precisely, adopters are 20% more efficient than their counterparts. To a large extent, this is attributable to the quality of seeds used. Therefore, our study demonstrates the importance of certified seed adoption and accentuates the role governments can play in ensuring seed quality for enhanced technical efficiency.

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