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Pesticide productivity, host-plant resistance and productivity in China

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  • Widawsky, David
  • Rozelle, Scott
  • Jin, Songqing
  • Huang, Jikun

Abstract

Pesticides are used as the primary method of pest control in Asian rice production. Conditions in China have led to demand for high and increasing rice yields, resulting in intensive cultivation and adoption of fertilizer responsive varieties. The consequence has been widespread pest infestations. Many studies have estimated pesticide productivity, but few have estimated the productivity of alternative methods of pest control, namely host-plant resistance. None have estimated the substitutability between these methods of pest-control. The productivity of pesticides and host-plant resistance, and the substitutability between them is measured using two-stage Cobb-Douglas and translog production functions. Under intensive rice production systems in eastern China, pesticide productivity is low compared to the productivity of host-plant resistance. In fact, returns to pesticide use are negative at the margin. Host-plant resistance is an effective substitute for pesticides and substantial reductions in pesticide use could be achieved, with no loss in rice production, through improvements in host-plant resistance. These results suggest that pesticides are being overused in eastern China and host-plant resistance is being underutilized. Government policies to promote increased pesticides in rice might be ill advised given the low productivity and negative returns, particularly in light of well known negative externalities associated with pesticide use. © 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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  • Widawsky, David & Rozelle, Scott & Jin, Songqing & Huang, Jikun, 1998. "Pesticide productivity, host-plant resistance and productivity in China," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(1-2), pages 203-217, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:19:y:1998:i:1-2:p:203-217
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    1. Lin, Justin Yifu, 1992. "Hybrid Rice Innovation in China: A Study of Market-Demand Induced Technological Innovation in a Centrally-Planned Economy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 14-20, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ekbom, Anders & Sterner, Thomas, 2009. "Soil Properties and Soil Conservation Investments in Agricultural Production - a Case study of Kenya’s Central Highlands," Working Papers in Economics 340, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. Huang, Jikun & Hu, Ruifa & Pray, Carl & Qiao, Fangbin & Rozelle, Scott, 2003. "Biotechnology as an alternative to chemical pesticides: a case study of Bt cotton in China," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 29(1), pages 55-67, July.
    4. Chen, Adam Zhuo & Huffman, Wallace E. & Rozelle, Scott, 2003. "Technical Efficiency Of Chinese Grain Production: A Stochastic Production Frontier Approach," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22116, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    5. Yang, Hong & Zhang, Xiaohe & Zehnder, Alexander J. B., 2003. "Water scarcity, pricing mechanism and institutional reform in northern China irrigated agriculture," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 143-161, June.
    6. Chen, Zhuo & Huffman, Wallace E. & Rozelle, Scott, 2009. "Farm technology and technical efficiency: Evidence from four regions in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 153-161, June.
    7. Hareau, Guy Gaston & Norton, George W. & Mills, Bradford F. & Peterson, Everett B., 2004. "Potential Benefits Of Transgenic Rice In Asia: A General Equilibrium Approach," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20334, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    8. Chen, Ruijian & Huang, Jikun & Qiao, Fangbin, 2013. "Farmers' knowledge on pest management and pesticide use in Bt cotton production in china," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 15-24.
    9. Van Dusen, M. Eric, 2000. "In Situ Conservation Of Crop Genetic Resources In The Mexican Milpa System," Dissertations 11941, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    10. Clevo Wilson, 2002. "Private costs and the relation between pesticide exposure and ill health: evidence from Sri Lanka," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 5(3), pages 213-227, September.
    11. Wilson, Clevo & Tisdell, Clem, 2001. "Why farmers continue to use pesticides despite environmental, health and sustainability costs," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 449-462, December.
    12. Ekbom, Anders & Sterner, Thomas, 2008. "Production Function Analysis of Soil Properties and Soil Conservation Investments in Tropical Agriculture," Discussion Papers dp-08-20-efd, Resources For the Future.
    13. Khan, Shahbaz & Hanjra, Munir A. & Mu, Jianxin, 2009. "Water management and crop production for food security in China: A review," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 349-360, March.
    14. Van den Berg, M. Marrit & Hengsdijk, Huib & Wolf, Joost & Van Ittersum, Martin K. & Guanghuo, Wang & Roetter, Reimund P., 2007. "The impact of increasing farm size and mechanization on rural income and rice production in Zhejiang province, China," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 841-850, June.
    15. Jikun Huang & Fangbin Qiao & Linxiu Zhang & Scott Rozelle, 2000. "Farm Pesticide, Rice Production, and Human Health," EEPSEA Research Report rr2000051, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised May 2000.
    16. Qaim, Matin, 2003. "Bt Cotton in India: Field Trial Results and Economic Projections," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 2115-2127, December.
    17. Huang, Jikun & Hu, Ruifa & Rozelle, Scott & Qiao, Fangbin & Pray, Carl E., 2002. "Transgenic varieties and productivity of smallholder cotton farmers in China," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 46(3), September.

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