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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Vanloqueren, Gaëtan & Baret, Philippe V., 2008. "Why are ecological, low-input, multi-resistant wheat cultivars slow to develop commercially? A Belgian agricultural 'lock-in' case study," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 436-446, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:66:y:2008:i:2-3:p:436-446
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    1. Jacquet, Florence & Butault, Jean-Pierre & Guichard, Laurence, 2011. "An economic analysis of the possibility of reducing pesticides in French field crops," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(9), pages 1638-1648, July.
    2. Fabienne Féménia & Elodie Letort, 2016. "How to achieve significant reduction in pesticide use? An empirical evaluation of the impacts of pesticide taxation associated to a change in cropping practice," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 16-02, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.
    3. Jean-Philippe Boussemart & Hervé Leleu & Oluwaseun Ojo, 2016. "Exploring cost dominance in crop farming systems between high and low pesticide use," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 197-214, April.
    4. Edwin Nuijten & Monika M. Messmer & Edith T. Lammerts van Bueren, 2016. "Concepts and Strategies of Organic Plant Breeding in Light of Novel Breeding Techniques," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-19, December.
    5. Rémi Perronne & Mourad Hannachi & Stéphane Lemarié & Aline Fugeray-Scarbel & Isabelle Goldringer, 2016. "L'évolution de la filière blé tendre en France entre 1980 et 2006 : quelle influence sur la diversité cultivée," Post-Print hal-01478404, HAL.
    6. 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.
    7. Femenia, Fabienne & Letort, Elodie, 2016. "How to significantly reduce pesticide use: An empirical evaluation of the impacts of pesticide taxation associated with a change in cropping practice," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 27-37.
    8. 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), revised Oct 2015.
    9. Femenia, Fabienne & Letort, Elodie, 2014. "Economic incentives to the adoption of low input cropping systems: the case of multi-resistant wheat cultivars in France," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182743, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    10. 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.
    11. Boussemart, Jean-Philippe & Leleu, Hervé & Ojo, Oluwaseun, 2011. "Could society's willingness to reduce pesticide use be aligned with farmers' economic self-interest?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(10), pages 1797-1804, August.
    12. 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.
    13. Magrini, Marie-Benoit & Anton, Marc & Cholez, Célia & Corre-Hellou, Guenaelle & Duc, Gérard & Jeuffroy, Marie-Hélène & Meynard, Jean-Marc & Pelzer, Elise & Voisin, Anne-Sophie & Walrand, Stéphane, 2016. "Why are grain-legumes rarely present in cropping systems despite their environmental and nutritional benefits? Analyzing lock-in in the French agrifood system," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 152-162.
    14. 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.
    15. repec:eee:agisys:v:157:y:2017:i:c:p:330-339 is not listed on IDEAS

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