Cereal Productivity in West Africa: A Panel Data Analysis
The economic development of Africa, more than any other region, depends on development of the agricultural and agro-industrial sectors, which are fundamentally affected by productivity and land resources; this is particularly true of Sub-Saharan Africa. West African agriculture is characterized by small holdings, low capitalization and low yield per unit of land. It is against this backdrop that this study examined cereal productivity in West Africa, using panel data analysis. Panel data, which covers the period 1997-2013, was utilized for the study. The data for the study were obtained from the World Bank (World Development Indicators). STATA 11 econometric software was used for data analysis. Results revealed that rural population, arable land, land under cereal cultivation and numbers of tractor available for mechanization were the major determinants of cereal productivity. Hausman fixed-random test showed that Fixed Effect Model was better than the Random Effect Model and the Prob>X2=0.0006<0.05 showed that the error terms were not correlated with the explanatory variables. It is therefore recommended that effort should be geared towards mechanizing West African agriculture in order to increase youth participation. Land tenure system should be reversed coupled with provision of tractor, improved seeds and other inputs in order to improve productivity, while order to obtain the best fit in panel data regression analysis, the use of fixed effect model is advocated.
Cereals, Hausman Test, Panel Data, Productivity, West Africa
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