Economic analysis of maize production in Maseru, Lesotho
Maize is a staple food and an important source of starch for many households in Lesotho. But, for many years, its domestic supply has failed to meet demand. In order to increase its supply, the Lesotho government has provided many incentives to maize producers, ranging from price support to input subsidies. Despite these efforts, maize supply continues to fall short of demand. Using the Maseru district as a case study, this study determined the economic efficiency of maize production in Lesotho, based on regression and budgetary analytical tools. The study further identified problems that hinder increased maize production in Lesotho. The regression analysis results indicated that, while farmers were economically efficient in using labor, they underutilized land and fertilizer inputs. Budgetary analysis results indicated that farmers earned a net income of M272.93 per hectare. The study also observed that, lack of capital, unavailability of some inputs and high input costs, hindered maize production in Lesotho. From the overall results of the study, it is evident that maize production in Lesotho can be profitable and that domestic supply can be increased if farmers could use all the production inputs efficiently and if credit facilities and inputs can be made available.