Valuation Study

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Impact of Pesticide Use on Farmer Health

Attributes

Medium: Health and/or Human Capital

Country: China

Analytical Framework(s): Replacement Costs

Study Date: 1997

Publication Date: 1997

Major Result(s)

Resource/Environmental Good CNY
(1997)
Average health cost of pesticide use in rice production (per pesticide use) 0.77
Marginal health cost (currency/additional unit of pesticide use) 0.05

Study Note: The overall goal of this paper is to have a better understanding of both positive and negative impacts of farm pesticide use on rice production and farmer's health. To achieve this goal, the paper is organized into the following sections: overview of the pesticide economy in China; trends of pest and weed related problems; profile of pesticide use in rice production and farmer's perception, knowledge, and pesticide use practices; determinants of pesticide adoption by farmers and impacts of pesticide use in rice production; impacts of pesticide use on the rice farmer's health; and summary of the findings of the study and their policy implications.

Study Details

Reference: Jikun Huang, Fangbin Qiao, Linxiu Zhang and Scott Rozelle. 1997. Farm Pesticide, Rice Production, and Human Health. EEPSEA Research Report, No. 1997-RR.

Summary: Pesticides of various kinds have been used on a large scale in China since the 1950s to protect crops from damages inflicted by insects and diseases. Annual pesticide production reached more than 500,000 metric tons after the mid-1990s. China was the second largest pesticide using country in the world in the 1980s and is the largest pesticide-using country in the world in the 1990s. The overall goal of this study is to have a better understanding of both positive and negative impacts of farm pesticide use on rice production and farmer's health.

Site Characteristics: China's chemical pesticide industry has developed rapidly since the early 1950s. Pesticide production was about 1,000 metric tons (tons thereafter) only in 1950. It dramatically increased to 321,000 tons in 1970 (SSB), and reached a historic high of 537,000 tons in 1980 (Table 1). Insecticide production dominated the pesticide industry. More than three-fourths of all pesticides produced in China in the 1980s were insecticides. Fungicides accounted for about 10% of all pesticides produced, and herbicide, 6-7%.

Comments: While the coefficients for pesticide use and location fixed effect (i.e., varying the quality of drinking water and living environment) factors were significant and consistent with expectations, none of the respondents' characteristics had statistically significant effects on farmers' health cost. This was unexpected because some of these variables were found to significantly affect rice farmer's health costs in similar studies donein the Philippines and Vietnam.

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