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Economic Evaluation of Pesticide Use Externalities in the Cotton Zones of Punjab, Pakistan


Author Info

  • M. Azeem Khan

    (National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad.)

  • Muhammad Iqbal

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)

  • Iftikhar Ahmad

    (National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad.)

  • Manzoor H. Soomro

    (National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad.)


At the inception of Pakistan in 1947, there was practically no plant protection service in the country and economic soundness of plant protection measures was not even realized for a long time. The use of chemicals as preventive measures to reduce losses by insects and diseases was almost non-existent during 1960s. However, the “grow more” pressure rendered the traditional methods insufficient, to control the ever increasing pest problem from 1970s onwards. Consumption of pesticides in Pakistan has increased from 665 metric tonnes (MT) in 1980 (when subsidy was withdrawn) to 69897 MT in 2002. This colossal increase in pesticide consumption has not led necessarily to an increase in the yield of crops, as demonstrated by Poswal and Williamson (1998) and Ahmad and Poswal (2000). This indiscriminate use of pesticides has destroyed the bio-control agents in the agro-ecosystems and the populations of natural enemies of the insects and pests have declined up to 90 percent during the last decade (of the past century) especially, in cotton growing areas of the country [Hasnain (1999)]. The farmers are mainly concerned about the private cost of pesticide they have to incur to achieve desirable outputs and are least concerned about the undesirable byproducts of their production processes. The pressure to maximize output is enormous especially, on low-income resource-poor small farms and the tenants.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in its journal The Pakistan Development Review.

Volume (Year): 41 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 683-698

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Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:41:y:2002:i:4:p:683-698

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Cited by:
  1. Khan, M. Azeem & Iqbal, Muhammad, 2005. "Sustainable Cotton Production through Skill Development among Farmers: Evidence from Khairpur District of Sindh, Pakistan," MPRA Paper 2540, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2005.
  2. Shahzad Kouser & Matin Qaim, 2012. "Valuing financial, health, and environmental benefits of Bt cotton in Pakistan," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 105, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  3. Muhammad Khan, 2010. "Using the Health Belief Model to Understand Pesticide Use Decisions," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 49(4), pages 941–956.
  4. Ghimire, Narishwar & Woodward, Richard T., 2013. "Under- and over-use of pesticides: An international analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 73-81.
  5. Kouser, Shahzad & Qaim, Matin, 2012. "Valuing financial, health and environmental benefits of Bt cotton in Pakistan," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126544, International Association of Agricultural Economists.


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