As one of Thailand's economic crops, rice plays an important role in generating national income and creating domestic employment for the country. Its production has been increasing because of the expansion of areas planted to rice and not due to increases in productivity. The national average yield is considerably low compared with that of other rice-producing countries.
This study measured the technical efficiency of rice farmers in the central region of Thailand and identified the factors causing technical inefficiency using stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) approach specified as a translog production function. Cross-sectional data were randomly collected from 384 sampled farmers from nine provinces of central Thailand who generally operated their farms using pre-germinated broadcasting method in the major rice crop year 2009/2010.
Results reveal that technical efficiency ranged from 49.69 to 97.17 percent, with a mean of 85.35 percent. Gender, farming experience, good agricultural practices (GAP), and cropping intensity were found to contribute positively toward farm technical efficiency. Farmers should be provided knowledge of GAP and should adopt GAP in their farms' activities. Agricultural extension officers should organize knowledge and experience exchange between successful farmers and other farmers, and promote the use of certified seeds to improve farm efficiency and farmers' income.