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Determinants and overuse of pesticides in grain production: A comparison of rice, maize and wheat in China

Shengyang Sun, Chao Zhang () and Ruifa Hu

China Agricultural Economic Review, 2020, vol. 12, issue 2, 367-379

Abstract: Purpose - The negative externalities of pesticide overuse increasingly concern the public. However, little empirical evidence has been provided for pesticide overuse and the relationship between the governmental agricultural extension system reforms and pesticide use in grain production from a nationwide perspective. The purpose of this paper is to estimate the productive effect and overuse of pesticides, and it also investigates the effect of the governmental agricultural extension system reforms on pesticide expenditure in rice, maize and wheat production in China. Design/methodology/approach - A two-equation system model consisting of an exponential-specific damage-control production function and a pesticide use function is applied to the provincial-level data during the period 1985–2016. Findings - While pesticide expenditure significantly increases grain productivity, the actual pesticide expenditure exceeds the economically optimal level. The commercialization reform of the governmental agricultural extension system contributed to the increase in pesticide expenditure. Moreover, the de-commercialization reform of the governmental agricultural extension system plays a limited role in pesticide reduction. Price fluctuations for grain and pesticide also impose significant effects on pesticide expenditure. Originality/value - This study has two important policy implications for pesticide reduction in China. It is urgent to specify the functions of the governmental agricultural extension system, and encourage the development of the socialized agricultural technology service. More efforts should also be made to remove the bureaucratic intervention on the pricing mechanism of grain product and pesticide.

Keywords: Grain production; Agricultural extension system reform; Damage-control production function; Pesticide overuse (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Working Paper: Determinants and Overuse of Pesticides in Grain Production: A Comparison of Rice, Maize and Wheat in China (2018) Downloads
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