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Impact of Bt cotton on pesticide poisoning in smallholder agriculture: A panel data analysis

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  • Kouser, Shahzad
  • Qaim, Matin

Abstract

While substantial research on the productivity and profit effects of Bt cotton has been carried out recently, the economic evaluation of positive and negative externalities has received much less attention. Here, we focus on farmer health impacts resulting from Bt-related changes in chemical pesticide use. Previous studies have documented that Bt cotton has reduced the problem of pesticide poisoning in developing countries, but they have failed to account for unobserved heterogeneity between technology adopters and non-adopters. We use unique panel survey data from India to estimate unbiased effects and their developments over time. Bt cotton has reduced pesticide applications by 50%, with the largest reductions of 70% occurring in the most toxic types of chemicals. Results of fixed-effects Poisson models confirm that Bt has notably reduced the incidence of acute pesticide poisoning among cotton growers. These effects have become more pronounced with increasing technology adoption rates. Bt cotton now helps to avoid several million cases of pesticide poisoning in India every year, which also entails sizeable health cost savings.

Suggested Citation

  • Kouser, Shahzad & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Impact of Bt cotton on pesticide poisoning in smallholder agriculture: A panel data analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2105-2113, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:11:p:2105-2113
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Noltze, Martin & Schwarze, Stefan & Qaim, Matin, 2013. "Impacts of natural resource management technologies on agricultural yield and household income: The system of rice intensification in Timor Leste," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 59-68.
    2. 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.
    3. Qiao, Fangbin, 2015. "Fifteen Years of Bt Cotton in China: The Economic Impact and its Dynamics," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 177-185.
    4. Kouser, Shahzad & Qaim, Matin & Abedullah, 2015. "Bt cotton and employment effects for female agricultural laborers in Pakistan: An application of double-hurdle model," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212014, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Fangbin Qiao & Jikun Huang & Caiping Zhang, 2016. "The Sustainability of the Farm-level Impact of Bt Cotton in China," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 602-618, September.
    6. Krishna, Vijesh V. & Qaim, Matin, 2012. "Bt cotton and sustainability of pesticide reductions in India," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 47-55.
    7. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:9:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0669-z is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Shew, Aaron M. & Nalley, Lawton L., 2015. "Indian Acceptance of Cisgenic Rice: Are all GMOs the same?," GMCC-15: Seventh GMCC, November 17-20, 2015, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 211492, International Conference on Coexistence between Genetically Modified (GM) and non-GM based Agricultural Supply Chains (GMCC).
    9. 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.
    10. Aerni, Philipp, 2011. "Food Sovereignty and its Discontents," Papers 267, World Trade Institute.
    11. Qaim, Matin, 2014. "Evaluating nutrition and health impacts of agricultural innovations," Discussion Papers 185785, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    12. Abedullah & Ali, Haseeb & Kouser, Shahzad, 2012. "Pesticide or Wastewater, Which One is Bigger Culprit for Acute Health Symptoms among Vegetable Growers in Pakistan’s Punjab," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126598, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Chellattan Veettil, Prakashan & Krishna, Vijesh V. & Qaim, Matin, 2014. "Bt Cotton and Ecosystem Impacts of Pesticide Reductions," Discussion Papers 180977, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.

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