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The peer effect of training on farmers' pesticides application: a spatial econometric approach

Li Zhou, Fan Zhang, Shudong Zhou and Calum Turvey ()

China Agricultural Economic Review, 2020, vol. 12, issue 3, 481-505

Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships of technical training and the peer effects of technical training with farmers' pesticide use behaviors. Design/methodology/approach - This study uses survey data from 300 peanut growers in Zoucheng County, Shandong, China, in 2016 and employs spatial econometric models to examine the relationships of technical training and the peer effects of technical training with farmers' pesticide use behaviors. Findings - This paper reveals that important peer effects can be channeled through technical training and that these peer effects are sufficiently significant to encourage neighboring farmers to reduce the amount of pesticide use, to transform the structure of pesticide use, and to increase the usage amount of low-toxicity, low-residue pesticide use per hectare. The estimated parameters for the peer effects from technical training are significantly larger than those from technical training alone, which suggests that the technical training of neighboring farmers plays a greater role than technical training for farmers individually. Originality/value - The research finds that technical training within smaller, localized, groups can induce previously unobservable spillover effects, and this provides a scientific, theoretical and empirical justification for agricultural technology extension that can lead to a rapid, effective transformation of applying new agricultural technologies in an environmentally sensitive and economically sustainable manner.

Keywords: Technical training; Peer effects; Pesticide; Spatial econometric models (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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