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Why are ecological, low-input, multi-resistant wheat cultivars slow to develop commercially? A Belgian agricultural 'lock-in' case study

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  • Vanloqueren, Gaëtan
  • Baret, Philippe V.

Abstract

The use of multi-resistant cultivars allows a significant reduction in fungicide use in low-input cropping systems. However, many major wheat cultivars used in Europe remain sensitive to frequent diseases and require fungicide protection. This paper aims at understanding the factors explaining the low level of adoption of multi-resistant wheat cultivars in Wallonia (Belgium). Cultivar adoption has been an important topic of research, but few analyses have been done in Europe in the past decades. We used a systems approach combining a survey among stakeholders in the food chain and a systematic analysis of the publications of extension services. We identified twelve factors impeding wider adoption of multi-resistant cultivars. These factors explain why current wheat-cropping systems are maintained in a 'pesticide lock-in' situation, an economic concept that could be used more frequently to study agricultural innovations. Considering these intangible 'barriers' to current and forthcoming innovations is a first step towards a more comprehensive policy to promote sustainable agriculture. Similarities between Wallonia and France are discussed and methods of promoting wide use of resistant cultivars are proposed.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 66 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (June)
Pages: 436-446

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:66:y:2008:i:2-3:p:436-446

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. David A. Hennessy & Jutta Roosen & Helen H. Jensen, 2002. "Systemic Failure in the Provision of Safe Food," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 02-wp299, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
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  3. Stephen E. Margolis & S.J. Liebowitz, . "Path Dependence, Lock-in and History," Working Paper Series 10, North Carolina State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Unruh, Gregory C., 2002. "Escaping carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-325, March.
  5. Wilson, Clevo & Tisdell, Clement A., 2000. "Why farmers continue to use pesticides despite environmental health and sustainability costs," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48363, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  6. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-31, March.
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  8. Eric Collet & Marc Mormont, 2003. "Managing pests, consumers, and commitments: the case of apple growers and pear growers in Belgium's Lower Meuse region," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 35(3), pages 413-427, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Desquilbet, Marion & Dorin, Bruno & Couvet, Denis, 2013. "Land sharing vs. land sparing for biodiversity: How agricultural markets make the difference," TSE Working Papers 13-435, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  2. Jean-Philippe Boussemart & Hervé Leleu & Oluwaseun Ojo, 2012. "Exploring cost dominance between high and low pesticide use in French crop farming systems by varying scale and output mix," Working Papers 2012-ECO-11, IESEG School of Management.
  3. Boussemart, Jean-Philippe & Leleu, Herve & Ojo, Oluwaseun, 2011. "Could Society’s willingness to reduce pesticide use be aligned with Farmers’ economic self-interest?," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 120402, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Kevin Maréchal & Hélène Aubaret-Joachain & Jean-Paul Ledant, 2008. "The influence of Economics on agricultural systems: an evolutionary and ecological perspective," Working Papers CEB 08-028.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Vanloqueren, Gaëtan & Baret, Philippe V., 2009. "How agricultural research systems shape a technological regime that develops genetic engineering but locks out agroecological innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 971-983, July.
  6. Jacquet, Florence & Butault, Jean-Pierre & Guichard, Laurence, 2010. "An economic analysis of the possibility of reducing pesticides in French field crops," 120th Seminar, September 2-4, 2010, Chania, Crete 109382, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  7. Gosme, Marie & Suffert, Frédéric & Jeuffroy, Marie-Hélène, 2010. "Intensive versus low-input cropping systems: What is the optimal partitioning of agricultural area in order to reduce pesticide use while maintaining productivity?," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 110-116, February.

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