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Understanding farmers' reluctance to reduce pesticide use: A choice experiment

Benoît Chèze (), Maia David and Vincent Martinet

Ecological Economics, 2020, vol. 167, issue C

Abstract: Despite reducing the use of pesticides being a major challenge in developed countries, dedicated agri-environmental policies have not yet proven successful in doing so. We analyze conventional farmers' willingness to reduce their use of synthetic pesticides. To do so, we conduct a discrete choice experiment that includes the risk of large production losses due to pests. Our results indicate that this risk strongly limits farmers' willingness to change their practices, regardless of the consequences on average profit. Furthermore, the administrative burden has a significant effect on farmers' decisions. Reducing the negative health and environmental impacts of pesticides is a significant motivator only when respondents believe that pesticides affect the environment. Farmers who earn revenue from outside their farms and/or believe that yields can be maintained while reducing the use of pesticides are significantly more willing to adopt low-pesticide practices. Policy recommendations are derived from our results.

Keywords: Pesticides; Agricultural practices; Production risk; Discrete choice experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q12 Q18 Q51 Q57 C35 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:167:y:2020:i:c:s0921800919300552

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.06.004

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