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Tropentag, October 5 - 7, 2004 in Berlin

"Rural Poverty Reduction
through Research for Development and Transformation"

IPM-FFS Impact Analysis: A Case Study of Cotton Production in Shandong Province, China

Lifeng Wu1, Suwanna Praneetvatakul2, Hermann Waibel3

1University of Hannover, Agriculture, Environment and Development, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Germany
2Kasetsart University, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Faculty of Economics, Thailand
3University of Hannover, Department of Economics and Business Administration, Germany


Farmer Field Schools (FFS) in developing countries are a hotly debated issue. Though it is widely agreed that they are a modern way of providing a better ecosystems understanding for farmers and evidence of significant yield impact and cost savings exists, their fiscal sustainability and their cost-effectiveness are questioned.
Cotton is one of the most important crops in China, covers more than 5 Mill. ha and annual production is about 4.5 Mill tons on average. It is mainly cultivated on small-scale family farms. Pest pressure in cotton is relatively high and large amounts of pesticides are applied to protect the crop.
Twice the amount of pesticides is applied to cotton per unit acreage compared to rice, 4 and 7 times more as applied in wheat and corn production, respectively. This excessive reliance on pesticides inevitably poses serious problems e.g. to the environment, human health and can cause resistance in target pests. That is why from the year 2000 on the FAO-EU IPM Program for Cotton in Asia started to train farmers in integrated pest management in six Asian countries (Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, Philippines and Vietnam).
The paper uses a “difference in differences” (DD) model to evaluate the impact of FFS training in Shandong Province, China, on important farm-level outcomes such as gross margin, yield and pesticide expenditures.
Based on panel data collected before and after the project was conducted, the results indicate that, compared to the control group of non-trained farmers, FFS participants had significantly higher gross margins and yields, while cost of pesticides decreased remarkably. For the third group of exposed farmers, who did not attend the training but live in the same village, no significant difference is found with respect to the growth rate of gross margin and yield, but pesticide cost were reduced significantly.

Keywords: China, cotton, difference in difference model, farmer field school, impact assessment

Contact Address: Diemuth Pemsl, University of Hannover, Department of Economics and Business Administration, Königsworther Platz 1, 30167 Hannover, Germany, e-mail: pemsl@ifgb.uni-hannover.de

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