Collective Action on Improving Environmental and Economic Performance of Vegetable Production: Exploring Pesticides Safety in India
Pp. 127-135 (9)
Sreejith Aravindakshan and Sherief A. K.
From the chemical input-intensive yield-enhancement practices of the Green
Revolution era, agricultural research and development focus is gradually shifting
towards establishing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in fruits and vegetable sector.
The dominant problems affecting fruits and vegetables in terms of safety is presence of
pesticide residues. Globally, authorities have long highlighted this risk and imposed
appropriate maximal limits of residues (MLRs). In spite of imposing MLRs in fresh
vegetables, negative health effects of pesticides residue in consumers have been
increasingly reported from states of India like Kerala. Along with other factors, food
quality and safety declination resulting from inappropriate chemicals and pesticide use
during crop production is widely documented as one of the root-causes of the health
issues. The weak quality assurance schemes in developing countries impede
smallholders’ inclusion in high value chains due to imperfect institutional and
governance arrangements throughout the system. Apparently, erstwhile studies have
emphasized the significance of collective action among smallholders as a solution to the
above constraints. However, past studies on vegetable production in India are either
from a horticultural and entomological perspective on increasing production and
productivity, pest management or on cost of cultivation and those solely from an
econometric, institutional and collective action perspective have been hardly studied.
Still lesser are studies understanding the inter-linkages between smallholders’ collective
action and pesticides risk reduction in vegetable production of India. In this backdrop,
the current study examines various econometric models and suggests suitable models to
assess the institutional mechanisms on improving environmental and economic
performance of vegetable production in India under collective action.
Agricultural practices, bio-control agents, crop rotation, data
envelopment, ecological conditions, food safety, insecticides, organic farming,
pathogenic, pesticide safety, pest management, poverty reduction, quality
assurance, smallholders, vegetable production.
Farming Systems Ecology, Wageningen UR, the Netherlands.