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Abstract

Using survey data from 242 pesticide retailers, this study attempts to uncover how pesticide retailers in China make recommendations to farmers and identify influencing factors on those recommendations. Our data include a total of 586 recommendations to farmers about pesticide use from the 242 retailers. The study finds that, among approximate one quarter of the recommendations, the recommended types of pesticides cannot control the insects and diseases that affect farmers’ crops. Retailers typically recommend pesticide overuse more than appropriate use or underuse of pesticides. The Probit estimation results illustrates that government inspection, years in doing business, and information from government agricultural extension institutions are positively associated with the likelihood of retailers recommending the correct use of pesticide, while participation in technology training organized by pesticide firms reduces the likelihood of retailers recommending the correct use of pesticides. Furthermore, there is a positive association between having relatives who are pesticide retailers and the likelihood of retailers making recommendations of pesticide underuse, while there are negative associations between both being registered with the authorities and years in doing business with the likelihood of retailers making recommendations of pesticide overuse. Retailers in township seats and villages tend to recommend wrong pesticide types and excessive amounts of pesticides to farmers. Policy implications of the findings are then discussed.

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