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CONCEPT PAPER

AN ECONOMIC IMPACT AND EXTERNALITIES OF PESTICIDE APPLICATION IN AGRICULTURE: A CASE STUDY MYSORE DISTRICT OF KARNATAKA.
Introduction: Agriculture is the mainstay of the Indian economy, agriculture and allied sectors contribute nearly 14.2 percent of the gross domestic product at present, while about 69.7 percent of the population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood, as per the economic survey of 2010-11. Agriculture has been undergoing metamorphic change since the introduction of green revolution techniques and technologies in India. Agriculture inputs play a crucial role in determining yield levels and in turn augmentation of level of production in the longrun. Improvement in yield levels depends on application of technology, use of quality seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, micronutrients and irrigation. Pesticides are of most significant among various agricultural inputs in boosting agricultural production and productivity, since pesticide act as protective umbrella for other inputs. Pesticide constitute the control tactics for management of pests and

diseases. The production and productivity of crops depends on the efficient control of pests and diseases which are estimated to cause 10-30% losses. Recently, Pesticide related issues have been extensively highlighted in India and Stockholm convention held in Geneva in October 2010. India rejected the proposal to ban endosulfan globally. This should be a cause for concern especially with new cases of health disorders found in Palakkad of Kerala and Dakshina Kannada in Karnataka. Issues of indiscriminate and sometimes excessive use of pesticides as claimed not only damaged environment and agriculture but also entering into food chain.

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a significant number of cancer patients had high levels of pesticide in their blood. As per the standing committee of the Ministry of Chemicals. NGOs and social activists say that. they refuse to believe that the pesticides are carcinogenic. Mainly due to lacuna in the existing legal framework perhaps the user cost is less and social cost is more as the farmers incur only buying the pesticides whereas the government has to spend huge resources on pesticide related public health programs. increasing agricultural productivity became a vital national concern. pesticides may or may not lead to cancer. They say that the cotton growing Malwa region of Punjab. the loss of agricultural crops due to pests. This was coupled with the adoption of economic policies that facilitated the access to and domestic industry of Pesticides. Essential elements like nitrogen.In developing countries like India chemical pesticides are used on a large scale. Bhatinda. An important component of government strategies is to increase agricultural production has been the encouragement of pesticide use by the way of liberal subsidies since pests and disease are of the major causes of yield losses. But in malwa. According to the committee. Furthermore. has been reported to show a rise in the number of cancer cases. pesticides are a major cause of cancer in most villages across the country. most manufacturers agree that there is a lack of education on the use of pesticides among farmers.000 crore per annum. The International Agency for Research on cancer has not listed any pesticide as carcinogenic and the manufacturers have been highlighting this. Environmentalist Sunita Narain (CSE) says. Indeed as food and fibre requirements of growing population increased coupled with the need to generate foreign exchange and market oriented forming system. Nevertheless pesticides that have been banned or restricted to their use in many countries have been liberally used in India. Further more. diseases and weeds is a staggering Rs. phosphorus. as they significantly contributed to the enhancement of agriculture production. legal aspects for pesticide licensing and marketing are very vague in India and also interdepartmental co-operation and co-ordination are very poor. 2 . "A total organic farming is not feasible under high productive intensive agriculture.90.

Each of these plays a role in determining yield level and in turn augmentation in the level of production. micronutrients. as much as 72percent is used in the USA. large-scale use of synthetic pesticides began with the invention of DDT. the share of insecticides in most developing countries is higher than that of 3 . which is key to long term growth. Fungicides and other pesticides account for 20 percent and 5 percent respectively. Asia. Globally. calcium. fertilizers. Prior to 1940. pesticides. Organic farming is good only for Kitchen gardens.potassium. 4 and 8 percent respectively. While developed countries use a higher quantum of herbicides. the consumption of pesticides was negligible and restricted to a few inorganic pesticides. This uneven consumption pattern shows that perils caused by pesticides are also of different proportion in different parts of the world. magnesium and sulphur cannot be supplied through organic manure alone. Improvement in yield. This is mainly because acute labour shortage in these countries makes the use of herbicides inevitable to control the weeds. During world war II. Africa and Latin America consume 12. The productivity goes down by one third in pesticide free farming. Europe and other developed countries. use of quality seeds. steadily. and irrigation.5 million metric tons of pesticides are consumed in the world annually to protect crops and meet the demands of public health. Since then. Out of the total pesticides consumed in the world. the share of insecticides in the total pesticide consumption is lower. depends on a host of factors including technology. Contrary to this. nearly 45 percent of the total pesticides used consist of herbicides (weedicides) while 30 percent consists of insecticides. while all the developing countries together consume only 28 percent. the consumption of pesticides has increased Global Scenario An estimated 4. Herbicides have a larger share in global pesticide consumption than insecticides.

In summary. Indian Scenario The consumption of pesticides began in India principally for malaria control and later gradually extended to agricultural and domestic purposes.0% to 30. red gram and rice) receive 80 percent of the total pesticide consumption. Ten states in our country consume 89 percent of the total Indian pesticide consumption of 43. in urban and rural India. DDT was the first synthetic insecticide used in our country. This is especially true of India and China where weeds could be better controlled by human labour.2%.9%). The increase from 26. The percentage area under all crops with pesticides under irrigated area was highest in Kodagu (90.herbicides.4% to 8. 4 . while pollution due to insecticides is very high in India.  In general. Indian pesticide scenario leads to the following conclusions  Three crops (cotton. Although the share of non-agricultural pesticides was gradually reduced (at present more than 75 percent of the pesticide consumed is mainly for agricultural purposes) the use of DDT and other pesticides has continued in many programmes of public health.4% under irrigated area and under unirrigated area from 8. the pollution due to herbicides is less. The consumption of pesticides varies greatly from state to state.  The general awareness about pollution due to pesticides is at a very low level.584 tones. Karnataka Scenario In Karnataka the use of pesticides has increased in both irrigated and un irrigated areas in 2001-02 as compared to 1996-97 survey.

010. agro-chemicals and farm mechanization have made significant contributions towards raising food production. Raichur (70.107 metric tons in1970-71. intended for preventing destroying or controlling any pest including vectors of human or animal disease. In Karnataka the coverage of area under pesticides under irrigated area treated with pesticides of all size class.9%.1%. and coffee 38.79000 hectares of area covered under plant protection measures. pesticides accounted to 940 metric tons in 2006-07.5% . Chemical pesticide is an essential input for pest control in agriculture which is defined as any substance or mixture of substances. overlapping of cropping seasons and excessive application of agro-chemicals have resulted in high incidences of pests and diseases.000 hectares under which.6%. Mandya and Mysore(55%) of each districts according to input survey of Karnataka of November 2007. cotton 40.6%. The area covered under plant protection measures and consumption of pesticide in Karnataka from 1970-71 to 2006-07. Agriculture has been undergoing metamorphic change since the introduction of green revolution techniques and technologies in India. At the same time.followed by Shimoga (70.5%).2%. Over the years the area covered under plant protection measures came down drastically to 24.2% followed by cardamum 41%.6%).000hectares under which the pesticides consumption accounted to 2. This went up as high as 43. Adoption of modern farming techniques involving improved irrigation. intensive cultivation of high-yielding varieties. under which the pesticide consumption was 4379 metric tons in 1989-90.3%. Increasing crop loss due to pests is a major constraint sustaining agricultural productivity and production. Under un irrigated area treated with pesticides of all size class Tur accounted for higher share of 68. followed by paddy 57. the area covered under plant protection measures was 3.00. Bellary. high yielding varieties. Tur 42. Hence there is a continuous decline in both area under plant protection measures and pesticides consumed after 1989-90 as far as pesticides consumption scenario of Karnataka State is concerned. cotton 54. monoculture of commercially important crops. 5 . coffee accounted for higher share of 89. however. and groundnut 34.

In India pests cause crop loss of more than Rs. Simultaneously increased use of pesticides has resulted in contaminating the environment and the long term implication of the society are found multidimensional. are used on large scale for all crops under a market oriented faming system but under subsistence farming scenario farmers tend to use less quantum of pesticides as they consider that production is sufficient to meet the domestic requirements. thereby affecting health and development. In recent past pesticide related issues have been extensively highlighted in the media including research journals and attracted wider debate and sharp focus among the interested groups in India and elsewhere too. increasing agricultural activity became a vital national concern. The magnitude of the problem would grow further as more and more pests and diseases likely to attack crops and the need to use pesticides in different farms will be necessitated in the years to come. invariably farmers use a high dosage of agro-chemicals for generating 6 . 20 percent by insects.000 crore per annum. 26 percent by diseases. as food and fiber requirements of growing population increased coupled with the need to generate foreign exchange. Issues of indiscriminate and sometimes excessive use of the synthetic pesticides have claimed not only damaged environment and agriculture. Indeed.6.unwanted species of plants and animals. 10 percent by birds and rodents and the remaining (11 percent) is due to other reasons. the loss of agricultural crops due to pests and diseases and weeds is a staggering Rs 90. but also entering in to food chain. In developing countries the main intention of the introduction of pesticides was to prevent and control insect pests and diseases in the field crops and of course initially the use of pesticides reduced pest attack and paved the way for increasing the crop yield as expected.000 crores annually of which 33 percent are by weeds. In developing economies like ours chemical pesticides are used on a large scale. as they significantly contributed to the enhancement of agriculture production. agro-chemical. While intensity of production increases towards market orientation from subsistence level. As per the standing committee of the ministry of chemicals. Theoretically.

the situation will be aggravated in the years to come especially in highly populated countries like India and China. In minimising risk farmers will equate marginal private benefits with marginal private cost to maximise net private benefits of using pesticides are typically increases in yield. Pesticides like herbicides. Three crops (cotton. For instance. Initially pesticides were applied to cereal crops and now due to increase in pests and diseases on other crops as well they are increasingly used. the production increased and in the special circumstances the government provided subsidies to farmers. insecticides and fungicides have been introduced during mid sixties along with other inputs for propagating green revolution packages in Indian agriculture. Another important of government strategies to increase agricultural production has been the encouragement of pesticide use since pests and diseases are of the major causes of yield losses. risk reduction in crop output. Now as the as the cultivable land becomes a scarce and inelastic commodity due to population growth.000 crores and in the coming years this will grow faster and soon will become a major player in the world. The main intention of the introduction of pesticides was to prevent and control insect pests and diseases in the field crops on the one hand and on the other as the use of pesticides has reduced pest attack and paved way for increasing the crop yield as expected. more chemicals including pesticides are required.5. This was coupled with the adoption of economic policies that facilitated the access to opt domestic industry of pesticides. Another aspect is that when the land becomes scarce and the agricultural production moves towards market orientation. redgram and rice) receive 80 percent of the pesticide consumption. The government was proactive in providing liberal packages to agro-chemical industries and expectedly. during 2000-01 the union 7 . The extent of pesticide use in a region rests primarily on the concept of minimizing production risk or reducing yield variance.more income via production. It is observed that in India the annual pesticide business is estimated at around Rs.

2 millions of which Rs. 1991 and Antle and Pingali 1994). Similarly a study conducted by Das Gupta and others (2001) observed that. The continuous decrease after 80's in the use of pesticides may be related to an issue that the farmers are increasingly aware of the adverse effects of such input in India. Across the globe while some empirical studies like Pagiala (1995) found that. 74 millions was contributed by the union government alone to combat Eriophyidemite on coconut palms in the state of Karnataka. a total pesticide used was peak during 80's as the period was undergoing spiral effect of green revolution. eggs. In India. others observed that there was an adverse impact on health (Mencher. The use of synthetic pesticides has increased significantly from 1950-51 to late 90's. where trade liberalization encouraged the farmers to use the same more on exportable crops obviously for economic gains. the premier Central Food Technological Research Institute's study shows that of 204 samples of cereals. pulses. pesticide use actually lowered the yields. the application of pesticides has caused environmental and social cost in Brazil. There is a decline during the latter parts of the reference periods especially 90's. As observed by Rajendran (2002) indiscriminate pesticide dumping by a state owned department made serious environment and economic revelation in the 8 .government released a sum of Rs. Notably. milk. 2003 and VHAI 1991) on the ill effects of agrochemicals largely report that continuous application of chemical inputs has caused damage to the environment and the living beings.96. Dismally the value of crop loss to pests is invariably lower than the cost of pesticide related illness (Rola and Pingali 1993) and the associated loss in farmers productivity (Antle and Pingali 1994) for many Asian countries including India. Review of Literature: The research studies (CSE. meat and vegetables 108 were found to contain pesticide residues (quoted in Vahab and others 1991).

farmers take short-term assessments of pesticide use. As observed by Rajendran (2002). NGO’s. causing serious damages to the ecosystem and human health and there is a trade-off between the health impacts and financial benefits of crop production. In the process they put their efforts to maximize the net returns by minimizing the crop losses. The above earlier studies reveal that there is difference of opinions among manufactures of pesticides. loss of money for health care. As observed by P. pesticide use in most of the developing countries is reported to be unscientific and unregulated. A study conducted by Indira Devi (2009) observed that one-third of the workers read the label on the pesticide packet either themselves or seeking help. Shetty and Marium sabitha (2009). As observed by Leela Solomon (2011) new cases of suspected additional victims of endosulfan have been reported from Mathalamada Panchayat of Palakkad district.5% of them could not understand the toxicity level reading the colour code on the bottle (2010) while. researchers.highly literate state of Kerala in India. As observed by Suresh Sachdeva (2007). A study by Shetty (2004) observed that farmers rely heavily on pesticides for pest control. some of the costs like health risks. long term health effect of pesticide etc. However. education was expected to have a negative impact. but 99. Environmentalists and Economists with regard to the use of pesticides. decreasing potential work. loss of labours due to sickness. The more educated people were expected to be at a lower risk owing to better awareness. Against this backdrop this study is 9 . over application and indiscriminate use of pesticides has had several adverse consequences and deepened agrarian distress.K. should also be taken into consideration before deriving the economic advantage of the use of pesticides. A study conducted by Indira Devi (2009) observed that. As observed by Shetty and others (2008) there is always scope for more pesticide consumption in India in coming decades owing to the growing population. Coupled with high demand for food grains and intensification of agriculture under the fast changing climate. the aerial spraying of pesticides on cashew plantations in Kerala has now been documented to have taken a heavy toll on human health and environmental well being. Agriculturists.

whereas the government has to incur huge resources to spend on the pesticides related public health programs.000 deaths can be attributed annually to chemical pesticides worldwide. and the likely to natural decay. Some pesticides that have been banned in many countries and some pesticides like DDT whose use has been restricted have also been used in India mainly due to lacuna in the existing legal framework. Problem of chemical pesticides is not common in India and developed countries too increasingly experiencing. plants. environment and economic consideration in the context of sustainable development. each year 30 lakhs cases of pesticide poisoning including 2. this issue needs serious attention and quick action for social. which otherwise would have contributed for preventing harmful pests and maintaining eco-balance. Hence. The above findings give enough evidence to agree that under market economy regime and consumerism agricultural goods that carry pesticide residues will have poor demand across the globe. Thus the above studies explained that the environmental terrorism continues to prevail upon the millions of poor and innocents in the country in the pretext of foodsecurity. Thus the continuous application of synthetic pesticides has also contributed for the extinction of useful organisms present in the soil like earthworms. 2001). only one in a hundred citizens do not carry DDT in their bodies and upto 5 lakh illness and 20. According to Mehta (1991) USA.20. Undeniably food security has to be maintained to overcome the starvation and food security in the country by all possible means and practical ways. They raises an important dimension of need for maintaining sustainable agricultural system.000 deaths are reported across the globe (DTE. Perhaps the uses cost is less and social cost is more as the farmers incur only for buying pesticides. According to an estimate made by WHO. bees.proposed to carried out empirically to explore economics of pesticide use and externalities associated with pesticide use. 10 .

Following are the specific objectives of the proposed study. 4. Issues such as economics of pesticide used and health implications are also of topical interest. In addition to this. To examine the economic viability of pesticide application. To identify the determinants of pesticide use in the study area given the above objectives. 3. productivity and the negative externalities associated with it. Broad issues identified in the course of the debate are kept in mind while framing the following objectives. To assess the negative externalities of pesticide use. the study is proposed to examine the magnitude and impact of pesticide use on farm incomes. Studies relating to pesticides application in Karnataka are limited and there are few Studies pertaining to Mysore district. economic stability and environmental sustainability cannot be forgotten. following the hypotheses have been formulated. detailed study on the economics of pesticides use and externalities of pesticide use in Indian agriculture is considered to be very relevant due to the ongoing debate relating to the ban on endosulfan and other pesticides. because in our urge to increase the food production.Research Gap: In recent years there is a policy shift in favour of sustainable agricultural system. 11 . Need for the study: Thus there is a need for a deeper understanding of pesticide application in agriculture. To analyze the growth pattern of pesticide usage in agriculture in Karnataka in general and Mysore district in particular. 2. Objectives : 1.

Also in the context of sustainable agriculture the present 12 . of India and other sources. 2. Economic Survey of Govt. Primary data will be collected from 300 sample households. the present study will be conducted in these taluks. of Statistics and program implementation Govt. Hence. Methodology of the Study: Data Source: This study depends on both secondary and primary data. structured schedules will be used. land holdings and education are the major determinants of the pesticide use. where the area under vegetables is large and the consumption of pesticides is quite large. Study Area and Sample Design: In Mysore district three taluks will be selected. For this. 3. Use of pesticides in the long run is not economically viable. Secondary data will be collected from the Ministry of Agriculture Govt. Schedules will be pre-tested from the farmer households before collecting the data. the present study assumes great significance. of India and Karnataka. of India and Karnataka.Narsipura Taluk which is a paddy growing region and also consumes fairly huge quantity of pesticides and Mysore Taluk. Dept. Pesticide use results in negative externalities. Appropriate sample farmers are selected according to probability random technique. Data on crop wise pesticide used across different farm sizes will be collected. Relevance and Scope of the study: When the entire agriculture spectrum is reeling under stress. Another is T. Income. One is Periyapatna Taluk which is a key tobacco growing region and consumes huge quantity of pesticides.Hypotheses: 1.

The outcome of the study would be highly useful not only to the farmers but also to the policy makers. 13 . The Fourth chapter deals with macro level analysis of pesticide consumption at national and state level in detail. input costs and returns. Limitations: The present study mainly relies on the data collected from the farmers of tobacco. However. since farmers do not maintain proper records about their cultivation expenses. cost effective. efforts would be made to minimize the bias through cross checks at the time of data collection. Therefore. The methodological and analytical style of the proposed study might serve as a model for further research. Chapter Scheme: First chapter of the study deals with introduction where. paddy and vegetables through survey method using a pre-tested schedule. The study would provide feedback to the scientists and the results would be an eye opener to environmentalists to reorient their approaches for popularizing eco-friendly. a detail of importance of agriculture in the Indian Economy was discussed. The Third chapter deals with a brief introduction to Karnataka Economy. Finding out an alternative system of farming in the place of chemical agriculture is the order of the day. The Second chapter deals with the review of literature and research gap. keeping food security in mind. socially acceptable and highly sustainable pesticide free production practices among the farming community. In this regard. some amount of recall bias is likely to be associated with the collected data. the proposed study has more relevance as the entire agriculture system requires alternative production strategies.study is expected to provide alternative strategies thereby it is hoped to contribute a great deal to the development economics.

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