Majority of the households living adjacent to the forest depend primarily on agriculture and secondarily on forest resources. For these households, agriculture plays a key role, for subsistence needs and as the source of income, forest on the other hand is the major source of energy, building materials and income as well.
Decrease in agriculture production lead the rural communities fail to fulfill their subsistence needs as well as incomes, thus exerting pressure on forest resources clearing and extraction. Improvement in technical efficiency in agriculture is one among the ways by which agricultural production can be increased; therefore reduces pressure on further land clearing and forest extraction.
This study examined the technical efficiency in farming activities and its implication on forest conservation in Kilosa District. The empirical analysis was based on the data collected from 301 households selected randomly from five villages in Kilosa district, in which three villages were under REDD project. Two empirical models were estimated in the study; stochastic frontier Translog production function and forest resources extraction model. The stochastic frontier Translog production function was estimated using FRONTIER 4.1 program, whereas Ordinary Least Square (OLS) method was used to estimate forest extraction model.
The empirical findings indicated that the mean technical efficiency of small scale farmers in Kilosa district was 64 percent, implies that farmers in Kilosa District still have the room to improve their farming efficiency by 36 percent. In addition, farming technical efficiency among the households indicated to be influenced by the level of farming inputs usage, gender and educational level of the household head, extension services, farm experience and access to formal credits.
Furthermore the study indicated that, technical efficiency, sex and distance of the village from the forest are significantly negative related to extraction of forest resources, whereas, household size and primary education of the household head shown to be strongly positively related to forest extraction. Thus the study calls for policy intervention so as to improve farming efficiency and reduce deforestation and forest degradation.