An economic analysis of the possibility of reducing pesticides in French field crops
The paper aims to study the effects of reducing pesticide use by farmers in the arable sector in France and the feasibility of a policy target of reducing pesticide use by half. The originality of the approach is to combine statistical data and expert knowledge to describe low-input alternative techniques at the national level. These data are used in a mathematical programming model to simulate the effect on land use, production and farmers' income of achieving different levels of pesticide reduction. The results show that reducing pesticide use by 30% could be possible without reducing farmers' income. We also estimate the levels of tax on pesticides necessary to achieve different levels of reduction of pesticide use and the effect of an incentive mechanism combining a pesticide tax with subsidies for low-input techniques.
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