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Health effects and pesticide perception as determinants of pesticide use : evidence from Bangladesh

Author

Listed:
  • Dasgupta, Susmita
  • Meisner, Craig
  • Huq, Mainul

Abstract

In a recent survey of 820 Boro (winter rice), potato, bean, eggplant, cabbage, sugarcane, and mango farmers in Bangladesh, over 47 percent of farmers were found to be overusing pesticides. With only 4 percent of farmers formally trained in pesticide use or handling, and over 87 percent openly admitting to using little or no protective measures while applying pesticides, overuse is potentially a threatening problem to farmer health as well as the environment. To model pesticide overuse, the authors used a 3-equation, trivariate probit framework, with health effects and misperception of pesticide risk as endogenous dummy variables. Health effects (the first equation) were found to be strictly a function of the amount of pesticides used in production, while misperception of pesticide risk (the second equation) was determined by health impairments from pesticides and the toxicity of chemicals used. Pesticide overuse (the third equation) was significantly determined by variation in income, farm ownership, the toxicity of chemicals used, crop composition, and geographical location. The results highlight the necessity for policymakers to design effective and targeted outreach programs that deal specifically with pesticide risk, safe handling, and averting behavior. Ideally, the approach would be participatory in nature to address key informational gaps, as well as increasing a farmers'awareness retention. The results also point to specific crops and locations experiencing a higher prevalence of overuse-bean and eggplant in general-and overall production in the districts of Chapainawabganj, Chittagong, Comilla, Jessore, Narshingdi, Rajshahi, and Rangpur. Focusing efforts in these crop and geographical areas may have the most measurable effects on pesticide overuse.

Suggested Citation

  • Dasgupta, Susmita & Meisner, Craig & Huq, Mainul, 2005. "Health effects and pesticide perception as determinants of pesticide use : evidence from Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3776, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3776
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rasul, Golam & Thapa, Gopal B., 2003. "Sustainability Analysis of Ecological and Conventional Agricultural Systems in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 1721-1741, October.
    2. Nguyen Huu Dung & Tran Chi Thien, 1999. "Impact of Agro-Chemical Use on Productivity and Health in Vietnam," EEPSEA Research Report rr1999011, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised Jan 1999.
    3. Maureen L. Cropper, 1994. "Economic and Health Consequences of Pesticide Use in Developing Country Agriculture: Discussion," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 76(3), pages 605-607.
    4. Nguyen Huu Dung & Tran Thi Thanh Dung, 1999. "Economic and Health Consequences of Pesticide Use in Paddy Production in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam," EEPSEA Research Report rr1999021, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised Feb 1999.
    5. D. Fabbri & C. Monfardini & R. Radice, 2004. "Testing exogeneity in the bivariate probit model: Monte Carlo evidence and an application to health economics," Working Papers 514, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    6. Wilde, Joachim, 2000. "Identification of multiple equation probit models with endogenous dummy regressors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 309-312, December.
    7. Hossain, Mahabub, 1988. "Nature and impact of the Green Revolution in Bangladesh:," Research reports 67, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Muhammad Khan, 2010. "Using the Health Belief Model to Understand Pesticide Use Decisions," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 49(4), pages 941-956.
    2. Muhammad Khan, Muhammad Khan, 2009. "Economic Evaluation of Health Cost of Pesticide Use: Willingness to Pay Method," MPRA Paper 30178, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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