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Agricultural pesticides and land use intensification in high, middle and low income countries

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  • Schreinemachers, Pepijn
  • Tipraqsa, Prasnee

Abstract

We study levels and trends in agricultural pesticide use for a large cross-section of countries using FAO data for the period 1990–2009. Our analysis shows that a 1% increase in crop output per hectare is associated with a 1.8% increase in pesticide use per hectare but that the growth in intensity of pesticide use levels off as countries reach a higher level of economic development. However, very few high income countries have managed to significantly reduce the level of intensity of their pesticide use, because decreases in insecticide use at higher income levels are largely offset by increases in herbicide and fungicide use. The results also show very rapid growth in the intensity of pesticide use for several middle income countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Cameroon, Malaysia and Thailand. Complementing our analysis with data from the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC), we show that hazardous pesticides covered in the PIC procedure are more weakly regulated in lower than in higher income countries. We discuss the policy challenges facing developing countries with a rapid growth in pesticide use and recommend a four-pronged strategy, including an environmental tax on pesticides with revenues allocated to long-term investments in awareness building, the development of integrated crop management methods and the setting of food safety standards. The interactions between these measures should help contribute to the effectiveness of the overall strategy package.

Suggested Citation

  • Schreinemachers, Pepijn & Tipraqsa, Prasnee, 2012. "Agricultural pesticides and land use intensification in high, middle and low income countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 616-626.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:37:y:2012:i:6:p:616-626
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2012.06.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Grovermann, Christian & Schreinemachers, Pepijn & Riwthong, Suthathip & Berger, Thomas, 2017. "‘Smart’ policies to reduce pesticide use and avoid income trade-offs: An agent-based model applied to Thai agriculture," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 91-103.
    2. Grovermann, Christian & Schreinemachers, Pepijn & Berger, Thomas, 2015. "Evaluation of IPM adoption and financial instruments to reduce pesticide use in Thai agriculture using econometrics and agent-based modeling," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211690, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Schreinemachers, Pepijn & Wu, Mei-huey & Uddin, Md. Nasir & Ahmad, Shahabuddin & Hanson, Peter, 2016. "Farmer training in off-season vegetables: Effects on income and pesticide use in Bangladesh," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 132-140.
    4. Patrizia Schwegler, 2015. "Economic valuation of environmental costs of soil erosion and the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services caused by food wastage," Journal of Socio-Economics in Agriculture (Until 2015: Yearbook of Socioeconomics in Agriculture), Swiss Society for Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, vol. 8(2).
    5. Christof Gubler, 2014. "Potential des Anbaus und Absatzmo glichkeiten der Walnuss in der Schweiz," Journal of Socio-Economics in Agriculture (Until 2015: Yearbook of Socioeconomics in Agriculture), Swiss Society for Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, vol. 7(1).
    6. Amarendra Singh & K. Narayanan, 2015. "Impact of economic growth and population on agrochemical use: evidence from post-liberalization India," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 17(6), pages 1509-1525, December.
    7. Snyder, Jason & Smart, Jennifer & Goeb, Joey & Tschirley, David, 2015. "Pesticide use in Sub-Saharan Africa: Estimates, Projections, and Implications in the Context of Food System Transformation," Miscellaneous Publications 230980, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.

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