IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Regional Patterns of Pesticide Consumption Determinants in the European Union


  • Raluca Georgiana Robu

    (Department of International Business and Economics, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, 010374 Bucharest, Romania)

  • Ana-Maria Holobiuc

    (Department of International Business and Economics, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, 010374 Bucharest, Romania)

  • Alina Petronela Alexoaei

    (Department of International Business and Economics, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, 010374 Bucharest, Romania)

  • Valentin Cojanu

    (Department of International Business and Economics, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, 010374 Bucharest, Romania)

  • Dumitru Miron

    (Department of International Business and Economics, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, 010374 Bucharest, Romania)


This article contributes to the discussion about the socioeconomic factors that reinforce pesticide dependence in the European Union and hinder the transition to more sustainable agricultural practices in light of the European Union’s Green Deal objective of reducing the use of pesticides by 50% by 2030. The analysis has a two-pronged purpose: (1) to identify the determinants of pesticide consumption in the European Union by conducting a set of four seemingly unrelated regressions and (2) to emphasize the existence of regional patterns across EU countries formed by the factors that significantly impact pesticide consumption based on a cluster analysis. Per capita GDP, selling prices, population, and real income positively influence pesticide use, whereas subsidies and organic agricultural area negatively influence them. Pesticide use is most affected by GDP per capita and least affected by subsidies. Cluster analysis highlights regional differences reflected in three clusters: (1) the most recent EU member states, (2) the European countries with large population levels, and (3) the countries with the highest GDP per capita. Our findings may contribute to the EU’s capacity to generate policy changes at the member state level and can be built into recommendations to address the persistent overuse of pesticides.

Suggested Citation

  • Raluca Georgiana Robu & Ana-Maria Holobiuc & Alina Petronela Alexoaei & Valentin Cojanu & Dumitru Miron, 2023. "Regional Patterns of Pesticide Consumption Determinants in the European Union," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(3), pages 1-19, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:15:y:2023:i:3:p:2070-:d:1043533

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:ipt:wpaper:jrc73276 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ciaian, Pavel & Rajcaniova, Miroslava & Guri, Fatmir & Zhllima, Edvin & Shahu, Edmira, 2018. "The impact of crop rotation and land fragmentation on farm productivity in Albania," Studies in Agricultural Economics, Research Institute for Agricultural Economics, vol. 120(3), December.
    3. Lohr, Luanne & Salomonsson, Lennart, 2000. "Conversion subsidies for organic production: results from Sweden and lessons for the United States," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 133-146, March.
    4. Qiang Liu & Hongwei Xu & Haijie Yi, 2021. "Impact of Fertilizer on Crop Yield and C:N:P Stoichiometry in Arid and Semi-Arid Soil," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(8), pages 1-12, April.
    5. M. Bruna Zolin, 2008. "The EU and Asia: World Trade Liberalisation and the Evolution of Agricultural Product Flows," Working Papers 2008_18, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    6. 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.
    7. Mathy Sane & Miroslav Hajek & Chukwudi Nwaogu & Ratna Chrismiari Purwestri, 2021. "Subsidy as An Economic Instrument for Environmental Protection: A Case of Global Fertilizer Use," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(16), pages 1-20, August.
    8. KS Pietola & AO Lansink, 2001. "Farmer response to policies promoting organic farming technologies in Finland," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Oxford University Press and the European Agricultural and Applied Economics Publications Foundation, vol. 28(1), pages 1-15, March.
    9. Alina Petronela Alexoaei & Raluca Georgiana Robu & Valentin Cojanu & Dumitru Miron & Ana-Maria Holobiuc, 2022. "Good Practices in Reforming the Common Agricultural Policy to Support the European Green Deal – A Perspective on the Consumption of Pesticides and Fertilizers," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 24(60), pages 525-525, April.
    10. Pingali, Prabhu, 2007. "Agricultural Mechanization: Adoption Patterns and Economic Impact," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: Robert Evenson & Prabhu Pingali (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 54, pages 2779-2805, Elsevier.
    11. Luong Van Pham & Carl Smith, 2014. "Drivers of agricultural sustainability in developing countries: a review," Environment Systems and Decisions, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 326-341, June.
    12. Aminu, F. O. & Ayinde, I. A. & Sanusi, R. A. & Olaiya, A. O., 2019. "Determinants of Pesticide Use in Cocoa Production in Nigeria," Canadian Journal of Agriculture and Crops, Online Science Publishing, vol. 4(2), pages 101-110.
    13. Ecker, Olivier & Breisinger, Clemens, 2012. "The food security system: A new conceptual framework," IFPRI discussion papers 1166, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    14. Liping Wu & Kai Hu & Oleksii Lyulyov & Tetyana Pimonenko & Ishfaq Hamid, 2022. "The Impact of Government Subsidies on Technological Innovation in Agribusiness: The Case for China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(21), pages 1-15, October.
    15. Reddy, B. Suresh, 2010. "Organic Farming: Status, Issues and Prospects – A Review," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 23(2), July.
    16. Sanzidur Rahman & Chidiebere Daniel Chima, 2018. "Determinants of Pesticide Use in Food Crop Production in Southeastern Nigeria," Agriculture, MDPI, vol. 8(3), pages 1-14, February.
    17. Dmytro Serebrennikov & Fiona Thorne & Zein Kallas & Sinéad N. McCarthy, 2020. "Factors Influencing Adoption of Sustainable Farming Practices in Europe: A Systemic Review of Empirical Literature," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(22), pages 1-23, November.
    18. Xiuguang Bai & Tianwen Zhang & Shujuan Tian, 2020. "Evaluating Fertilizer Use Efficiency and Spatial Correlation of Its Determinants in China: A Geographically Weighted Regression Approach," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 17(23), pages 1-23, November.
    19. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
    20. Marianne Lefebvre & Maria Espinosa & Sergio Gomez-y-Paloma, 2012. "The influence of the Common Agricultural Policy on agricultural landscapes," JRC Research Reports JRC73276, Joint Research Centre.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Cuong Le Van & Nguyen To The, 2019. "Farmers’ adoption of organic production," Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 33-59, February.
    2. Feinerman, Eli & Gardebroek, Cornelis, 2005. "Stimulating Organic Farming Via Public Services and an Auction-Based Subsidy," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24723, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Bouali Guesmi & Teresa Serra & Amr Radwan & José María Gil, 2018. "Efficiency of Egyptian organic agriculture: A local maximum likelihood approach," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(2), pages 441-455, March.
    4. Laure Latruffe & Céline Nauges, 2014. "Technical efficiency and conversion to organic farming: the case of France," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Oxford University Press and the European Agricultural and Applied Economics Publications Foundation, vol. 41(2), pages 227-253.
    5. Hattam, Caroline & Holloway, Garth J., 2007. "Bayes Estimates of Time to Organic Certification," 81st Annual Conference, April 2-4, 2007, Reading University, UK 7979, Agricultural Economics Society.
    6. Mohammad Khaledi & Simon Weseen & Erin Sawyer & Shon Ferguson & Richard Gray, 2010. "Factors Influencing Partial and Complete Adoption of Organic Farming Practices in Saskatchewan, Canada," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 58(1), pages 37-56, March.
    7. Madau, Fabio A., 2005. "Technical Efficiency in Organic Farming: An Application on Italian Cereal Farms Using a Parametric Approach," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24545, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. Veldstra, Michael D. & Alexander, Corinne E. & Marshall, Maria I., 2014. "To certify or not to certify? Separating the organic production and certification decisions," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P2), pages 429-436.
    9. Teresa Serra & David Zilberman & José M. Gil, 2008. "Differential uncertainties and risk attitudes between conventional and organic producers: the case of Spanish arable crop farmers," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(2), pages 219-229, September.
    10. Wossink, Ada & Kuminoff, Nicolai V., 2005. "Valuing the Option to Switch to Organic Farming: An Application to U.S. Corn and Soybeans," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24716, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    11. Nguyen Cong Dinh & Takeshi Mizunoya & Vo Hoang Ha & Pham Xuan Hung & Nguyen Quang Tan & Le Thanh An, 2023. "Factors influencing farmer intentions to scale up organic rice farming: preliminary findings from the context of agricultural production in Central Vietnam," Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 749-774, September.
    12. Solfanelli, Francesco & Ozturk, Emel & Pugliese, Patrizia & Zanoli, Raffaele, 2021. "Potential outcomes and impacts of organic group certification in Italy: An evaluative case study," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).
    13. Latruffe, Laure & Nauges, Celine, 2010. "Converting to organic farming in France: Is there a selection problem?," 120th Seminar, September 2-4, 2010, Chania, Crete 109386, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    14. Kuminoff, Nicolai V. & Wossink, Ada, 2005. "Valuing the Option to Convert from Conventional to Organic Farming," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19531, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    15. Guesmi, Bouali & Serra, Teresa & Radwan, Amr & Gil, José María, 2014. "Efficiency of Egyptian Organic Agriculture: a Local Maximum Likelihood Approach," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 183023, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    16. Rees, Charles & Grovermann, Christian & Finger, Robert, 2023. "National organic action plans and organic farmland area growth in Europe," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 121(C).
    17. Kerselaers, Eva & De Cock, Lieve & Lauwers, Ludwig & Van Huylenbroeck, Guido, 2007. "Modelling farm-level economic potential for conversion to organic farming," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 671-682, June.
    18. Chatzimichael, Konstantinos & Genius, Margarita & Tzouvelekas, Vangelis, 2014. "Informational cascades and technology adoption: Evidence from Greek and German organic growers," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P1), pages 186-195.
    19. Lan Tran & Theodoros Skevas & Laura McCann, 2023. "Measuring pesticide overuse and its determinants: Evidence from Vietnamese rice and fruit farms," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 67(3), pages 417-437, July.
    20. Uematsu, Hiroki & Mishra, Ashok K., 2012. "Organic farmers or conventional farmers: Where's the money?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 55-62.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:15:y:2023:i:3:p:2070-:d:1043533. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: MDPI Indexing Manager (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.