Agricultural Productivity in El Salvador: A Preliminary Analysis

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Feb 2022
The need to enhance food security while reducing poverty along with the growing threat imposed by climate change clearly reveal that it is imperative to accelerate agricultural productivity growth. This paper estimates micro-level production models to identify the major factors that have contributed to productivity growth in El Salvador, including irrigation, purchased inputs, mechanization, technical assistance, and farm size, among others. The econometric framework adopted in this investigation is grounded on recent panel data stochastic production frontier methodologies. The results obtained from the estimation of these models are used to calculate Total Factor Productivity (TFP) change and to decompose such change into different factors, including technological progress, technical efficiency (TE), and economies of scale. The findings imply that efforts are needed to improve productivity in both technological progress and technical efficiency where the latter is a measurement of managerial performance. This in turn indicates that resources should be devoted to promoting the adoption and diffusion of improved technologies while enhancing managerial capabilities through agricultural extension.