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By H.R.RAJENDRA PRASAD M.A.,M.Phil., Lecturer in Economics Govt. P.U.College Ponnampet, Kodagu District.

Research Guide Dr. K. E. SRIRAMAPPA Professor, DOS in Economics and Co-operation University of Mysore Mysore.


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. 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. In developing countries like India chemical pesticides are used on a large scale, as they significantly contributed to the enhancement of agriculture production. Indeed as food and fibre requirements of growing population increased coupled with the need to generate foreign exchange and market oriented forming system, increasing agricultural productivity became a vital national concern.


A review of past research helps in identifying the conceptual and methodological issues relevant to the study. This will enable the researcher to collect relevant data and subject them to sound reasoning and meaningful interpretation. In this context attempts are being made to review the relevant research literature related to the present study.

By keeping in view of the following objectives of the study the reviews are presented. To study the growth pattern of pesticide usage in agriculture in Karnataka in general and Mysore district in particular. To analyze the economic viability of pesticide application. To study the negative externalities of pesticide use. To study the determinants of pesticide use in the study area.

Reviews on the growth pattern of pesticide usage in agriculture Mukund Joshi (2005) , Input survey of Karnataka (2008), The Hindu Survey of Agriculture (2010) Reviews on economic viability of pesticide application Kishore (1994), Teague and Brorsen (1995), Kim (2000), Khan et al. (2002), Jikun et al. (2003), Tzouvelekas et al. (2005), Engindeniz and Engindeniz (2006) & Alka Singh et al. (2007). Reviews on negative externalities of pesticide use Arunkumar (1995), Rakesh (1999), Wilson and Tisdell (2000), Wilson and Tisdell (2001), Pimentel (2004), Carlsson et al (2007), Shetty and Marium Sabitha (2009), Indira Devi (2010) & Leela Solomon (2011). Reviews on determinants of pesticide use Sivayoganathan, Gnanachandran, Lewis (1995), Shetty (2004), Jeyanti and Kombairaju (2005), Gupta et al. (2008), Juthathip and Genesh (2009) & Indira devi (2009).

Based on the above reviews summary of review of literature relating to growth pattern of pesticide use in Karnataka. From the above reviews it is clear that pesticides consumption in Karnataka during 1970-71 to 2006-07 has by and large remained constant for a very long period (in our example it refers to the period (1970-71 to 1996-97). We call this as the first phase or the stable phase in the pesticide consumption of in the State except in the year 1984-85 wherein the pesticide consumption was its highest, this is due to the spiral effect of the green revolution. The period from 1997-98 to 2006-07 may be regarded as the second phase or the declining phase in the pesticide consumption of the state. This period has seen the per hectare consumption declining from about 500 gms per hectare to just around 10gms per hectare. The major reason for this declining trend can be seen in the changing stress on incorporating organic farming and incorporating Integrated Pest Management Practices in agricultural policies are the preferred solution to the agriculture development of the state.

Summary of review of literature relating to economic viability of pesticide use is as follows: Increasing crop loss due to pests is a major constraint sustaining agricultural productivity and production. Chemical pesticide is an essential input for pest control in agriculture. The extent of pesticide use in a region rests primarily on the concept of minimizing production risk or reducing yield variance. In minimizing risk farmers will equate marginal private benefits with marginal private cost to maximize net private benefits. Due to this farmers use excessive pesticide which is not economically viable in the long run.

Summary of reviews relating to externalities of pesticide use is summarised as follows:

Pesticides had increased agricultural production and productivity. However, negative externalities, too, have increased. The externalities included damage to the environment, agricultural land, fisheries, fauna and flora. Another major externality had been the unintentional destruction of beneficial predators of insects which had led to a virulence of many species of agricultural pests. Mortality and morbidity among agricultural workers, especially in developing countries from exposure to pesticides were also common. Pesticides that have been banned or restricted to their use in many countries have been liberally used in India. 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.

Summary of reviews relating to determinants of pesticides use: Education plays an important role as it exposes farmers to the various aspects and opportunities related to agriculture. It also enables them to read and understand instructions in the package of practices and the labels on pesticide containers. Awareness in the farming community is the net result of their education, involvement in programmes conducted by the government and pesticide industry, exposure to media, and interaction with other progressive farmers. a positive and significant relationship was observed between knowledge level and socio-psychological characteristics such as education, extension contact, mass media use, age, land holding and Income level.


In recent years though there is a policy shift in favour of sustainable agricultural system, the study is proposed to examine the magnitude and impact of pesticide use on the income yield and negative externalities associated with it. In addition to this, 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 discussion relating to the ban of endosulfan and other pesticides. Studies relating to pesticides application in Karnataka are limited and there are few studies pertaining to Mysore district.


When the entire agriculture spectrum is reeling under stress, the present study assumes great significance. In this context of sustainable agricultural system, finding out an alternative system of farming in the place of chemical agriculture is the order of the day keeping food security in mind.