International Journal of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development (IJAEERD) ISSN 2716-7969, Vol. 9(1), pp. 203-215, June, 2023.  Advanced Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Technical efficiency of vegetable development programs in Kerala, India

Pradeepkumar T1, Binoo P Bonny2*, Aparna Radhakrishnan3, Dileepkumar R4 and  Shilpa Karat5

1Department of Vegetable Science, College of Agriculture, Vellanikkara, Kerala Agricultural University, P.O. KAU, Trichur, 680656, Kerala, India.

*2&5Department of Agricultural Extension, College of Agriculture, Vellanikkara, Kerala Agricultural University, P.O. KAU, Trichur, 680656, Kerala, India.

3Krishi Vigyan Kendra, P.O. KAU, Trichur, 680651, Kerala, India

4Department of Mathematics, KSMDB College Sasthamcotta, Kollam, Kerala, India.

*Corresponding Author Email:, Mobile: +919447406793

Accepted 29 May, 2023


The paper introduces the context of the study by examining the challenges of hidden hunger arising from the overemphasis on protein-carbohydrate dietary sources in the agricultural and food policy of India. In this setting, the vegetable development program (VDP) introduced at the national level to improve household access to vegetables across the states is discussed. Technical efficiencies, scale efficiencies, and productivity growth are presented as the evaluation measures of VDP implemented in the state of Kerala for the period 2015-2021. Data Envelopment Analysis and the Malmquist productivity index are detailed as the empirical tools of measurement. The results suggest that even though the physical area and capital inputs under VDP recorded an overall reduction in the state over the years, the technical efficiency recorded a steady improvement. More significantly, the observed improvement in technical efficiency reached significant levels in the years of floods (2018-2019) and the COVID-19 lockdown period of 2020-21.  This implied the significant contribution of VDP to household vegetable consumption and nutritional security in challenging times. However, a 20 percent increase in overall output was observed as possible by utilising current levels of resources. The results provided more resourceful measures of evaluation protocols for agricultural development programs.

Keywords: Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), Malmquist productivity index, agricultural development, evaluation measures, nutritional security