Wheat farming system performance and irrigation efficiency in Pakistan: a bootstrapped metafrontier approach

Muhammad Watto, Amin Mugera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The depletion of groundwater aquifers has raised serious concerns about the sustainability of groundwater resources with serious repercussions to irrigated agriculture in Pakistan. Within the context of diminishing water resources, it is important to improve agricultural water productivity by making efficient use of the available water resources. This study uses bootstrapped metafrontier data envelopment analysis to investigate technical and irrigation water use efficiency (IWE) of wheat farming in Pakistan. The study uses a cross-sectional dataset of 200 groundwater-irrigated wheat farms comprising 100 tube-well owners and 100 non-owners (water buyers). The study results suggest considerable improvements in technical and IWE in wheat production among the surveyed farms. The tube-well owners, on average, are 82% and the water buyers, on average, are 77% technically efficient under the metafrontier framework with slightly higher estimates under the group frontier estimations. The IWE estimates indicate, on average, 66% and 65% IWE among tube-well owners and water buyers when assessed under the metafrontier specification. As technical efficiency, the group frontier estimates indicate slightly higher IWEs compared to the metafrontier estimates. The most influential factors affecting technical and IWE include farmers’ education, improved seed variety, and farmers’ perceptions about groundwater resource quality and availability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-706
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Transactions in Operational Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


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