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

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

4% to 8. red gram and rice) receive 80 percent of the total pesticide consumption. the pollution due to herbicides is less. This is especially true of India and China where weeds could be better controlled by human labour.0% to 30. 4 .  The general awareness about pollution due to pesticides is at a very low level. The increase from 26.4% under irrigated area and under unirrigated area from 8. The consumption of pesticides varies greatly from state to state. DDT was the first synthetic insecticide used in our country. Indian pesticide scenario leads to the following conclusions  Three crops (cotton. while pollution due to insecticides is very high in India.584 tones. Indian Scenario The consumption of pesticides began in India principally for malaria control and later gradually extended to agricultural and domestic purposes. in urban and rural India. 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. The percentage area under all crops with pesticides under irrigated area was highest in Kodagu (90. Ten states in our country consume 89 percent of the total Indian pesticide consumption of 43.9%).herbicides. In summary.2%.  In general. 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.

Chemical pesticide is an essential input for pest control in agriculture which is defined as any substance or mixture of substances.5% .000hectares under which the pesticides consumption accounted to 2. cotton 40. Increasing crop loss due to pests is a major constraint sustaining agricultural productivity and production. The area covered under plant protection measures and consumption of pesticide in Karnataka from 1970-71 to 2006-07.6%. intensive cultivation of high-yielding varieties. agro-chemicals and farm mechanization have made significant contributions towards raising food production. overlapping of cropping seasons and excessive application of agro-chemicals have resulted in high incidences of pests and diseases.79000 hectares of area covered under plant protection measures. high yielding varieties. under which the pesticide consumption was 4379 metric tons in 1989-90. Raichur (70.2%. the area covered under plant protection measures was 3.010. followed by paddy 57. monoculture of commercially important crops.6%. Agriculture has been undergoing metamorphic change since the introduction of green revolution techniques and technologies in India. Bellary.00.2% followed by cardamum 41%.9%. Under un irrigated area treated with pesticides of all size class Tur accounted for higher share of 68. Tur 42.5%). In Karnataka the coverage of area under pesticides under irrigated area treated with pesticides of all size class. intended for preventing destroying or controlling any pest including vectors of human or animal disease. 5 . cotton 54. This went up as high as 43. Mandya and Mysore(55%) of each districts according to input survey of Karnataka of November 2007. 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. and groundnut 34.107 metric tons in1970-71. At the same time.3%. pesticides accounted to 940 metric tons in 2006-07.followed by Shimoga (70. Adoption of modern farming techniques involving improved irrigation. and coffee 38. Over the years the area covered under plant protection measures came down drastically to 24.6%). however.1%. coffee accounted for higher share of 89.000 hectares under which.

In India pests cause crop loss of more than Rs. as they significantly contributed to the enhancement of agriculture production. but also entering in to food chain. Issues of indiscriminate and sometimes excessive use of the synthetic pesticides have claimed not only damaged environment and agriculture. 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 . 10 percent by birds and rodents and the remaining (11 percent) is due to other reasons. Indeed. Simultaneously increased use of pesticides has resulted in contaminating the environment and the long term implication of the society are found multidimensional.000 crore per annum. 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.unwanted species of plants and animals.000 crores annually of which 33 percent are by weeds. As per the standing committee of the ministry of chemicals. 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. 26 percent by diseases. Theoretically. as food and fiber requirements of growing population increased coupled with the need to generate foreign exchange. In developing economies like ours chemical pesticides are used on a large scale. 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. agro-chemical. While intensity of production increases towards market orientation from subsistence level. the loss of agricultural crops due to pests and diseases and weeds is a staggering Rs 90. increasing agricultural activity became a vital national concern.6. 20 percent by insects.

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. 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. the production increased and in the special circumstances the government provided subsidies to farmers.000 crores and in the coming years this will grow faster and soon will become a major player in the world. Now as the as the cultivable land becomes a scarce and inelastic commodity due to population growth. the situation will be aggravated in the years to come especially in highly populated countries like India and China.more income via production. The government was proactive in providing liberal packages to agro-chemical industries and expectedly. 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. For instance. Three crops (cotton. The extent of pesticide use in a region rests primarily on the concept of minimizing production risk or reducing yield variance. insecticides and fungicides have been introduced during mid sixties along with other inputs for propagating green revolution packages in Indian agriculture.5. 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. redgram and rice) receive 80 percent of the pesticide consumption. This was coupled with the adoption of economic policies that facilitated the access to opt domestic industry of pesticides. risk reduction in crop output. It is observed that in India the annual pesticide business is estimated at around Rs. Another aspect is that when the land becomes scarce and the agricultural production moves towards market orientation. more chemicals including pesticides are required. Pesticides like herbicides. during 2000-01 the union 7 .

eggs. As observed by Rajendran (2002) indiscriminate pesticide dumping by a state owned department made serious environment and economic revelation in the 8 . pesticide use actually lowered the yields. The use of synthetic pesticides has increased significantly from 1950-51 to late 90's. There is a decline during the latter parts of the reference periods especially 90's. In India. 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. others observed that there was an adverse impact on health (Mencher. the application of pesticides has caused environmental and social cost in Brazil. Notably. 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.government released a sum of Rs. 1991 and Antle and Pingali 1994). meat and vegetables 108 were found to contain pesticide residues (quoted in Vahab and others 1991). Across the globe while some empirical studies like Pagiala (1995) found that. where trade liberalization encouraged the farmers to use the same more on exportable crops obviously for economic gains. pulses. 74 millions was contributed by the union government alone to combat Eriophyidemite on coconut palms in the state of Karnataka.2 millions of which Rs. 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. milk. a total pesticide used was peak during 80's as the period was undergoing spiral effect of green revolution.96. the premier Central Food Technological Research Institute's study shows that of 204 samples of cereals. Similarly a study conducted by Das Gupta and others (2001) observed that. Review of Literature: The research studies (CSE.

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

10 . 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.20. bees. Perhaps the uses cost is less and social cost is more as the farmers incur only for buying pesticides. 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. 2001). and the likely to natural decay. plants. this issue needs serious attention and quick action for social. 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. Hence. Thus the continuous application of synthetic pesticides has also contributed for the extinction of useful organisms present in the soil like earthworms. They raises an important dimension of need for maintaining sustainable agricultural system. only one in a hundred citizens do not carry DDT in their bodies and upto 5 lakh illness and 20. each year 30 lakhs cases of pesticide poisoning including 2.000 deaths can be attributed annually to chemical pesticides worldwide. which otherwise would have contributed for preventing harmful pests and maintaining eco-balance. According to Mehta (1991) USA. whereas the government has to incur huge resources to spend on the pesticides related public health programs. According to an estimate made by WHO.000 deaths are reported across the globe (DTE. environment and economic consideration in the context of sustainable development. Problem of chemical pesticides is not common in India and developed countries too increasingly experiencing.proposed to carried out empirically to explore economics of pesticide use and externalities associated with pesticide use. Undeniably food security has to be maintained to overcome the starvation and food security in the country by all possible means and practical ways.

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

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

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

Directorate of Economics and Statistics. economics of pesticide use and externalities of pesticide use etc. BIBLIOGRAPHY Antle J M and P L Pingali (1995) Pesticides. (1999) Agricultural Statistics at a Glance. XXXVI(39)2263-68. Statistics Division. Ministry of Agriculture. Productivity and Farmer Health : A Phillippines Case Study. (2002) Economic Survey – 2001 -2002. 76(3): 418-30. The last chapter summarizes the major findings and suggests measures for policy formulation. Rajendran S. American Journal of Agricultural Economics. Mencher J P (1991) Agricultural Labor and Pesticides in Rice Growing Regions of India: Some health Considerations. Department of Agriculture and Cooperation. Statistical Analysis Service. Philippines. XXXVII(23)2206-07. Laguna. (1997) Statistics on Pesticide Use (Internet Copy). Rome. New Delhi. Planning Statistics and Science and Technology Department. Bangalore. World Resources Institutes and IRRI. Italy.Human Cost and Environmental Loss. 14 . Via delle Terme de Caracalla. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation).The chapter Five deals with core analysis which includes profile of sample farmers. Health – An Economic assessment. Swaminathan M S (1968) Keynote Address in the India Science congress held (January) at Varanasi. (2002) Pesticide Spraying in Kerala. Economic and Political Weekly. Rola A C and P L Pingali (1993) Pesticides. Los Banos. Economic and Political Weekly. GOK (Government of Karnataka). Rice Productivity and Farmers. GOI (Government of India).

K.22 July-December 2009 pp 263-268. Economic & Political weekly Vol XLVI p. P. Indira Devi. Shetty (2004) “Socio-Ecological Implications of Pesticide Use in India” Vol. P (2009) “Health Risk Perceptions.WHO (1990): : Public health impact of pesticides used in agriculture”. 95(4):457-463. Current Science. No.49 pp.2008 PP 30-32.K.g 21-24 THE HINDU (2011) Eliminating Endosulfan May 4th 2011 Indiara Devi P (2010) Pesticides in Agriculture – A Boon or a Curse? : A Case Study of Kerala. Geneva: World Health Organisation.5261-5267. Awareness and Handling Behaviour of Pesticides by Farm Workers” Agricultural Economics Research Review Vol. Leela Solomon (2011) Endosulfan: Centre in Denial. 15 . THE WEEK (2010) Innocent pestilence ? Jan 13. Shetty. Economic & Political Weekly Vol XLV NOS26&27. M Murugan and K G Sreeja (2008): “Crop protection stewardship and in India: wanted or unwanted”. 39.P.

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