An Economic Analysis of Pesticide Use in India: A Case Study of Bathinda District
The excessive use of the pesticides in agriculture has not only increased production cost but also led to negative externalities. The present study is an attempt to analyse the socio-economic implications of pesticide use in Bathinda district known as the cotton belt due to its maximum area under cotton cultivation. An attempt has been made to find out the impact of pesticides on gross returns ofcotton and paddy crops as well as on the health of farmers and agricultural labourers and also to estimate the efficiency of cotton and paddy farms using different inputs including pesticides. The farmers and agricultural labourersengaged in the cultivation of cotton and paddy crops were randomly selected from two villages i.e. Laleana and Rayia respectively. The primary data was collected from 120 farmers and 80 agricultural labourers through structure schedules. The rate of return of pesticides for the cotton crop for large farmers (Rs. 13.40) was less than the medium farmers (Rs. 14.31) and the small farmers (Rs. 15.44). It was the highest for small farmers (Rs. 15.44) showing that it decreases with the increase in the expenditure on pesticides. Likewise, for paddy ,the rate of return was less for large farmers (Rs. 18.56) as they incurred more on pesticides while the highest for small farmers (Rs. 22.67). Regarding the impact of different inputs used for returns of cotton, pesticides were significant and positive input while for paddy; labour was significant and positive variable. Usage of pesticides had a harmful effect on the health of farmers and agricultural labourers indicating that those were using manual backup sprayer face many problems. The proper awareness to farmers should be provided through various channels.
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