Why farmers continue to use pesticides despite environmental health and sustainability costs

Use of chemical inputs such as pesticides have increased agricultural production and productivity. However, negative externalities, too, have increased. The externalities include damage to the environment, agricultural land, fisheries, fauna and flora. Another major externality has been the unintentional destruction of beneficial predators of insects which has led to a virulence of many species of agricultural pests. Mortality and morbidity among agricultural workers, especially in developing countries from exposure to pesticides, are also common. The costs from these externalities are large and affect farmers’ returns. However, despite these high costs, farmers continue to use pesticides and in increasing quantities. In this paper, we examine this paradox and show why farmers continue to use pesticides despite the increasing costs. We also emphasize ‘lock-in’ aspects of pesticide use.


Issue Date:
2000-11
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
DOI and Other Identifiers:
ISSN: 1327-8231 (Other)
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/48363
Total Pages:
25
Series Statement:
Economics Ecology and the Environment Working Paper
53




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-25

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