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Agricultural pesticides and land use intensification in high, middle and low income countries

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  • Schreinemachers, Pepijn
  • Tipraqsa, Prasnee
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    Abstract

    We study levels and trends in agricultural pesticide use for a large cross-section of countries using FAO data for the period 1990–2009. Our analysis shows that a 1% increase in crop output per hectare is associated with a 1.8% increase in pesticide use per hectare but that the growth in intensity of pesticide use levels off as countries reach a higher level of economic development. However, very few high income countries have managed to significantly reduce the level of intensity of their pesticide use, because decreases in insecticide use at higher income levels are largely offset by increases in herbicide and fungicide use. The results also show very rapid growth in the intensity of pesticide use for several middle income countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Cameroon, Malaysia and Thailand. Complementing our analysis with data from the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC), we show that hazardous pesticides covered in the PIC procedure are more weakly regulated in lower than in higher income countries. We discuss the policy challenges facing developing countries with a rapid growth in pesticide use and recommend a four-pronged strategy, including an environmental tax on pesticides with revenues allocated to long-term investments in awareness building, the development of integrated crop management methods and the setting of food safety standards. The interactions between these measures should help contribute to the effectiveness of the overall strategy package.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 616-626

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:37:y:2012:i:6:p:616-626

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Agricultural development; Crop protection policy; Cross-country comparison; Environmental Kuznets curve; Pesticide regulation;

    References

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    1. Galt, Ryan E., 2009. "Overlap of US FDA residue tests and pesticides used on imported vegetables: Empirical findings and policy recommendations," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 468-476, October.
    2. Roitner-Schobesberger, Birgit & Darnhofer, Ika & Somsook, Suthichai & Vogl, Christian R., 2008. "Consumer perceptions of organic foods in Bangkok, Thailand," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 112-121, April.
    3. David I. Stern, 2003. "The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0302, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
    4. Schipmann, Christin & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Supply chain differentiation, contract agriculture, and farmers’ marketing preferences: The case of sweet pepper in Thailand," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 667-677.
    5. Managi, Shunsuke, 2006. "Are there increasing returns to pollution abatement? Empirical analytics of the Environmental Kuznets Curve in pesticides," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 617-636, June.
    6. Van den Berg, Henk & Jiggins, Janice, 2007. "Investing in Farmers--The Impacts of Farmer Field Schools in Relation to Integrated Pest Management," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 663-686, April.
    7. Julius J. Okello & Scott M. Swinton, 2010. "From Circle of Poison to Circle of Virtue: Pesticides, Export Standards and Kenya's Green Bean Farmers," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 209-224.
    8. Wilson, John S. & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2002. "To spray or not to spray? - pesticides, banana exports, and food safety," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2805, The World Bank.
    9. Schipmann, Christin & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Supply chain differentiation, contract agriculture, and farmers' marketing preferences: The case of sweet pepper in Thailand," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 666-676, October.
    10. Falconer, K. & Hodge, I., 2000. "Using economic incentives for pesticide usage reductions: responsiveness to input taxation and agricultural systems," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 175-194, March.
    11. Schipmann, Christin & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Supply chain differentiation, contract agriculture, and farmers’ marketing preferences: the case of sweet pepper in Thailand," Discussion Papers 108349, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    12. Templeton, Deborah Jane & Jamora, Nelissa, 2010. "Economic Assessment of a Change in Pesticide Regulatory Policy in the Philippines," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1519-1526, October.
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