Impact of information and communication technologies on fertilizer and pesticide use efficiency of China's grain production

Qiubo Zhu, Mariska van der Voort, Guangcheng Ren, Junfei Bai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Based on a panel data from National Rural Fixed Point Survey (NRFP), this study explored the effects of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the fertilizer and pesticide use efficiency of China's grain production and the mechanisms using stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) and two-way fixed-effects model with two-stage least square (2SLS) estimation. The results show that the average fertilizer use efficiency (FE), pesticide use efficiency (PE) and comprehensive fertilizer and pesticide use efficiency (CFPE) of grain production were 0.286, 0.404, and 0.364 respectively during 2003–2011. It should be noted that the CFPE decreased by 48.39% during 2003–2011 and showed a descending trend in all regions. ICTs had significant positive effects on FE, PE, and CPFE which could be explained by providing farmers more sustainable knowledge and hence shifting farming practices from overusing fertilizer towards using farmyard manure as a substitute. ICTs' positive effects were more pronounced for farmers with higher-level education and in central region. Additionally, ICTs had significant spillover effects, extending from users to nonusers within the villages. These results suggest that ICTs could be considered as an effective way to increase the fertilizer and pesticide use efficiency and promote the sustainable development of agriculture in China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2331-2356
JournalReview of Development Economics
Volume27
Issue number4
Early online date9 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • fertilizer and pesticide use efficiency
  • grain production
  • information and communication technologies

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