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Impact of economic growth and population on agrochemical use: evidence from post-liberalization India

Singh, Amarendra Pratap, Narayanan, K.
Environment, development and sustainability 2015 v.17 no.6 pp. 1509-1525
agrochemicals, economic impact, equations, fertilizers, food security, issues and policy, per-capita income, pesticides, population growth, rural infrastructure, India
This paper analyzes the impact of population and per capita income on agrochemical use in India. Traditionally, few researchers have used I = PAT equation in its original form to study the impact of population and per capita income on agrochemical use. In this paper, a variant of I = PAT is used which relates per capita income and per hectare population with per hectare agrochemical use. The sample covers the period 1990–2008 for 25 Indian states. Our results suggest that per capita income has a nonlinear relationship with per hectare agrochemical use. Observed negative relationship between pesticide use per hectare and persons per hectare is indicative of public awareness regarding harms related with intensive use of pesticides; however, a positive relationship between fartilizer consumption per hectare and population pressure, found here, reiterates importance of fertilizers for food security. An examination into dematerialization of agriculture is also carried out at all India level which indicates that declining intensity of fertilizer and pesticide use in post-1990 period is mainly attributed to structural change in the economy. In summary, the paper concludes that India needs environment friendly agriculture policies and rural infrastructure to manage agriculture-related environmental problems.