Understanding farmers' reluctance to reduce pesticide use: A choice experiment2019

    CHEZE B., DAVID M., MARTINET V.Journaux et Revues (scientifiques)

    agriculture / aquaculture, aide à la décision, analyse conjointe / dichotomique, coûts / mesures de réduction, pollution

    Ecological Economics
    Volume 167, January 2020, 106349

    Despite reducing the use of pesticides being a major challenge in developed countries, dedicated agri-environmental policies have not yet proven successful in doing so. We analyze conventional farmers' willingness to reduce their use of synthetic pesticides. To do so, we conduct a discrete choice experiment that includes the risk of large production losses due to pests. Our results indicate that this risk strongly limits farmers' willingness to change their practices, regardless of the consequences on average profit. Furthermore, the administrative burden has a significant effect on farmers' decisions. Reducing the negative health and environmental impacts of pesticides is a significant motivator only when respondents believe that pesticides affect the environment. Farmers who earn revenue from outside their farms and/or believe that yields can be maintained while reducing the use of pesticides are significantly more willing to adopt low-pesticide practices. Policy recommendations are derived from our results.

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