Productivity of pesticides in vegetable farming in Nepal

This paper examines the effectiveness of damage control mechanisms to reduce crop losses from agricultural pests. It uses data from a sample of Cole crop (Cauliflower and Cabbage) growing households in the Bhaktapur district of Nepal to study the impact of pesticides on agriculture production. The results suggest that the marginal productivity of pesticides is close to zero for the average farmer, indicating an excessive use of pesticides. While the study estimates the optimal amount of pesticide per hectare of Cole crop to be 680 grams of active ingredients, the average farmer in Bhaktapur uses 3.9 times as much pesticide as this optimal amount. Over 70% of the farmers in the sample use pesticides above the optimal level despite very small increases in yield attributable to pesticide applications. Results suggest that the time has come to re-examine the current strategy of the National Integrated Pest Management programme and the curriculum of the Farmers

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