Show Less
Restricted access

Assessment of Pesticide Use Reduction Strategies for Thai Highland Agriculture

Combining Econometrics and Agent-based Modelling


Christian Grovermann

This study combines econometrics and agent-based modelling to evaluate the impacts of a range of pesticide use reduction strategies in the context of Thai highland agriculture. Pesticide productivity and pesticide overuse are quantified, while determinants of the adoption of innovations in pesticide use reduction are estimated. On that basis, the Mathematical Programming-based Multi Agent System (MPMAS), a bio-economic simulation model, is used to ex-ante assess the adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in combination with a series of market-based instruments that boost the transition to more sustainable pest control practices. The MPMAS simulation results demonstrate that, over five years, it is possible to bring down levels of pesticide use significantly without income trade-offs for farm agents. A proportional tax, increasing the price of synthetic pesticides by 50% on average, together with bio-pesticide subsidies for IPM proves to be the most cost-effective and practicable policy package. IPM practices are adopted by up to 75% of farm agents and pesticide use reductions reach up to 34%.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

1. Introduction


1.1 Problem statement

Agricultural commercialisation is a consequence of economic growth and urbanisation (Pingali, 2001). Economic development withdraws labour from the agricultural sector and decreases the availability of land, while it also provides better infrastructure and places new production technologies at the disposal of rural communities. Simultaneously, demand for food, especially in urban centres, rises. In this context, the intensification of crop production poses a continuing challenge to many low- and middle-income countries, particularly as such intensification is seen as having a major and detrimental impact on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems (Tilman, 1999).

The process of agricultural intensification is often accompanied by problems of pesticide overuse and misuse (Ecobichon, 2001; Schreinemachers and Tipraqsa, 2012). Farmers and consumers in developing countries are particularly vulnerable to the health risks posed by pesticides, and especially acute poisoning (Atreya, 2008; Snelder et al., 2008; Thapinta and Hudak, 2000), because of the hazards involved when applying pesticides and the lack of knowledge that exists among farmers as to the safe and correct use of pesticides. It has also been shown that pesticides accumulate in soils, water and the food chain (Sangchan et al., 2012; Thapinta and Hudak, 2000). Surface flows and the erosion of soils that have absorbed chemical substances result in the transport of pesticides away from application sites, while heavy rainfall events can cause high concentrations of active ingredients to accumulate in water bodies, posing a serious threat to aquatic organisms (Sangchan et al., 2013). Humans are...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.