Technical efficiency of wheat farmers and options for minimizing yield gaps in Afghanistan
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Afghanistan is a net importer of wheat which is the staple food in the country. In order to improve the levels of food sufficiency, prevailing large yield gaps in wheat need to be reduced. This study assessed the reasons/factors influencing low wheat productivity and/or large yield gaps in different production systems in five major wheat-producing provinces in Afghanistan using a stochastic frontier production function model. The results indicated that the mean technical efficiency of wheat farmers was 0.67, and there was clear scope to improve wheat production by 33% in the short run with the same level of inputs. The potential yield gap could be reduced if adoption of good agricultural practices such as the use of improved wheat varieties with recommended seed rates was promoted through more effective transfer of technologies (training and extension) in the target provinces. Such efforts would help improve domestic wheat production and reduce dependency on wheat imports.