Analysis of the impact of malaria on the labour productivity of cotton farmers in Burkina Faso.

Seydou Yabré, Tito Nestor Tiehi, Fadima Yaya Bocoum, N’Fale Sagnon, Guelbeogo Moussa, Eve Worrall, Pam Zahonogo

Background: Malaria is both a public health problem and a performance barrier in agricultural countries. Burkina Faso has been facing a gradual decline in cotton productivity since 2014. Cotton, the main agricultural export and source of household income, is a labour-intensive rainfed crop. The decline would be partly explained by the low labour productivity due to malaria infection. The study aims to analyze the impact of malaria on the labour productivity of cotton farmers.

Methods: Panel data techniques and methods were utilized on 25 cotton producing provinces over the period 2014-2018 in the Central, Eastern and Western regions. An augmented growth model of Solow was used to explore the association between malaria and labor productivity. The homogeneity and Hausman test were respectively conducted to identify the possible heterogeneity between provinces and specify the appropriate estimation method depending on whether the individual model effect is fixed or random.

Results: At 1%, the Fisher test shows the presence of heterogeneity, hence the adoption of an individual effect model. Similarly, the value of the Hausman statistic is= 42.02 and the P-value = 0.000 < 5%. The individual fixed effect model is the best one and the parameters of the model were estimated by the ordinary least squares method. The econometrics results show that an increase in malaria incidence of 1% leads to a decrease in cotton farmer productivity of 0.425%, all other variables being held constant. In addition, education is found to be important variable in labor productivity improvement.

Conclusions: These results imply further health policies to reduce the incidence of malaria among cotton farmers. In addition, advocate more investment in the education of cotton farmers is need. Because the best educated farmers avoid the misuse of inputs.