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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.

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  • 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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    3. Islam, A.H.M.S., 2018. "Impact of Integrated Aquaculture-agriculture Value Chain Participation on Welfare of Marginalized Indigenous Households in Bangladesh: A Panel Data Analysis," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277412, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
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    5. Cokou Patrice Kpadé & Edouard Roméo Mensah & Michel Fok & Jupiter Ndjeunga, 2017. "Cotton farmers’ willingness to pay for pest management services in northern Benin," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 48(1), pages 105-114, January.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Krishna, Vijesh V. & Qaim, Matin, 2012. "Bt cotton and sustainability of pesticide reductions in India," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 47-55.
    10. Matin Qaim, 2020. "Role of New Plant Breeding Technologies for Food Security and Sustainable Agricultural Development," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 42(2), pages 129-150, June.
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