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Cooperative membership, social capital, and chemical input use: Evidence from China

Jiehong Zhou (), Qing Liu and Qiao Liang ()

Land Use Policy, 2018, vol. 70, issue C, 394-401

Abstract: The proper use of chemical input is an original and key link to ensure environmental sustainability and food safety, as it not only exerts influences in the environment such as soil and water but also people’s health directly. This paper targets at exploiting factors predicting the way that farmers use chemical input, based on first-hand data from 145 vegetable farmers with the membership of cooperatives in China. The role of social capital is investigated beyond traditional determinants. There are three indicators of social capital adopted in this paper, communication of technology and market information, trust, and members’ awareness of common goals. We identify three ways of chemical input use in field investigation. They are using chemical input according to own experience and the instruction on the package, under the guidance of the government, and under the guidance and monitoring of cooperatives. The findings of empirical analysis highlight the role of social capital in influencing the way farmers use chemical input. The awareness of common goals incentivizes farmers to use fertilizer under the guidance of the government and cooperatives, while all the three aspects of social capital are significantly associated with the way that farmers use pesticide. To be specific, farmers in a cooperative with a higher level of communication, trust, and common goals display the tendency to using chemical input based on external guidance rather than own experience.

Keywords: Chemical input; Fertilizer; Pesticide; Social capital; Farmer cooperative (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.11.001

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