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Rising Herbicide Use and Its Driving Forces in China


  • Jikun Huang

    (Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Peking University)

  • Shukun Wang

    (Chinese Academy of Sciences
    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences)

  • Zhihua Xiao

    () (Peking University
    Inner Mongolia Agricultural University)


Abstract China is one of the developing countries that has experienced rapid growth in herbicide use in the past two decades. However, little information is available on what drive this growing use of herbicides. This study aims for a better understanding of the trend and major factors that affect herbicide use in China. Based on national aggregate data and primary household survey data, this study shows that besides falling herbicide prices, rising wages have been a major driver of this rapid growth since the mid-2000s. Analyses based on household data show that off-farm rural labor employment away from home province contributes to the increasing use of herbicides in wheat and maize production. In addition, irrigation and farmers’ education have significant impacts on herbicide use. With increasing wages and off-farm rural labor employment, we expect herbicide use in China to continue rising.

Suggested Citation

  • Jikun Huang & Shukun Wang & Zhihua Xiao, 2017. "Rising Herbicide Use and Its Driving Forces in China," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 29(3), pages 614-627, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:29:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1057_s41287-017-0081-8
    DOI: 10.1057/s41287-017-0081-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    herbicide use; wage; price; off-farm employment; crops; China;


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