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CLSU 2002-12: Economic Effects of Pesticide Regulation and Farmer’s Education on Rice Production in Nueva Ecija, Philippines

The effects of regulatory program for pesticides and farmers’ education through Farmers’ Field School (FFS) on the pattern of pesticide use at the macro and micro levels were determined. At the macro level, trends in importation, sales, tariffs, and prices from 1985 to 1999 were analyzed. At the micro level, an evaluation was made on the changes in use of other inputs, yield, cost and income above material cost in rice production among FFS and non-FFS farmers using PhilRice and IRRI data during dry season 1994 (representing without regulation) and 1996 ( with regulation), and 1997 dry and wet seasons. The effects of regulation and FFS on yield were analyzed using the bio-economic and Cobb-Douglas production functions. Insecticide use in the country has generally been increasing as indicated by rising imports and sales in the 1990s. Government tariff and pricing policies reduced the disincentive to use chemicals in agricultural production as indicated by increasing implicit tariff; but provided higher potential incentive to domestic formulation as indicated by an increasing effective protection rate. Nevertheless, the government appeared to have been successful in minimizing the availability and use of extremely hazardous chemicals in favor of least toxic ones through regulation. At the farm level, regulation had changed the pattern of pesticide use of farmers from village Matingkis in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. There was a shift from monocrotophos and endosulfan to other chemicals of lower toxicity but this entailed higher volume to compensate for potency loss to attain the equivalent pest control. Farmers’ education as a complementary policy had reduced pesticide use. The FFS farmers in nearby Sto. Domingo, with and without regulation, used insecticide only as a last resort because of better understanding of threshold level. The aggregate cost of material inputs and net income above material cost of farmers were not reduced significantly. But if net income could be improved through appropriate input and pricing policies there would be incentive to continually adopt IPM technology rather than chemical control. In the long run, this could result to healthier population and safer environment. The favorable impact of education on yield was manifested using 1997 data. Yield could be enhanced through farmers’ education based on result of the estimated bio-economic and Cobb-Douglas production functions. Through time, farmers gained more knowledge and better understanding of the dynamics of the ecosystem that improved their decision-making to enhance yield. In view of the positive impact of farmers’ education under continued regulation of harmful chemicals, the government needs to strengthen its efforts to educate more farmers from other areas and in other crops on IPM technology through FFS.

Central Luzon State University
Authors Keywords
Pabuayon, Isabelita; Orden, Maria Excelsis M.; rice production; farmers' practices; farming systems; pesticide regulation;
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Published in 2006 and available in the CLSU library or NO PDF AVAILABLE Downloaded 0 times since November 25, 2011
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