The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of agricultural cooperative membership on potato production and technical efficiency.Design/methodology/approachA combination of propensity score matching technique and sample selection stochastic frontier framework that addresses potential selection bias due to observable and unobservable attributes is used to estimate the effect of participation between cooperative members and non-members. Using a stochastic meta-frontier approach, the technical efficiency of farmers was estimated and compared.FindingsThe empirical results show that the effect of participation in agricultural cooperatives is associated with increased yield and technical efficiency. A comparison of group-specific frontiers indicates that cooperative members perform better than non-members. Cooperative membership decisions is significantly associated with household and farm characteristics (e.g. education, participation in off-farm work, total farmland, distance to market and geographic location).Practical implicationsThe findings of this study demonstrate that cooperative organisations can be an important tool to enhance the productivity and efficiency of smallholder farmers. Successful cooperative models together with training programs designed to enlighten farmers on the importance and tangible benefits of collective action should be used to enlarge participation in cooperative organisations. In addition, governments and development agencies should implement targeted investment and capacity building programs related to irrigation management, gender-sensitive awareness and development of the internal institutional mechanisms in cooperatives for the transfer of knowledge and mutual learning so that all members benefit from cooperatives.Originality/valueDespite the pervasive evidence of the impact of cooperatives on productivity and technical efficiency in the Asian region, this study is probably the first attempt in the crop sector in Mongolia. It provides a rigorous empirical analysis of the impact of agricultural cooperative membership on potato production and technical efficiency through a counterfactual design.
China Agricultural Economic Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 19, 2021
Keywords: Agricultural cooperatives; Selection bias; Technical efficiency; Stochastic meta-frontier; Mongolia