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Impact of Non-Agricultural Employment and Environmental Awareness on Farmers’ Willingness to Govern the Heavy Metal Pollution of Farmland: A Case Study of China

Hua Lu ()
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Hua Lu: Institute of Ecological Civilization, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Nanchang 330013, China

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 7, 1-16

Abstract: Heavy metal pollution of farmland is a significant issue affecting the quality of agricultural products and human health. Farmers’ behaviors can have a direct impact on the level of heavy metal pollution affecting farmland in China. Whether the heavy metal pollution of farmland can be effectively governed at a low cost depends on the farmers. This paper analyzes the mechanism by which the extent of non-agricultural employment and environmental awareness influences farmers’ willingness to govern the heavy metal pollution of farmland using microdata for farmers in China and conducts an empirical analysis via a logit model. The results show that farmers in China display low willingness to govern the heavy metal pollution of farmland and that the increase in non-agricultural income will not significantly improve this willingness. Environmental awareness and farmers’ willingness to govern the heavy metal pollution of farmland are closely related: the higher the environmental awareness of farmers is, the stronger their willingness to govern heavy metal pollution, and the higher the probability of their participating in fallow land treatment. The government can introduce incentives to improve farmers’ environmental awareness of the heavy metal pollution of farmland. In addition, the government should strengthen publicity about the positive effects of fallow land treatment and encourage farmers to participate in the governance of heavy metal pollution of farmland. Given increasing non-agricultural employment opportunities and the transformation of agricultural production modes, agricultural technical training provided by governmental departments can enable them to be more scientific and rational in their agrochemical selection and application, thus reducing or avoiding the heavy metal pollution of farmland at the source. Attention should be paid to the differences between farmers to ultimately reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of treatment.

Keywords: heavy metal-polluted farmland; environmental awareness; non-agricultural employment; fallow policy; willingness; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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