Overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides is a major policy concern for many countries. Chinese government has adopted many technologies and management practices to reduce their use. However, little is known about the effects of social-economic method such as short supply chain (SSC) participation. SSC is an important organizational innovation in fresh food supply chains aiming at directly connecting farmers and consumers. Closer relationships between farmers and consumers may result in production behavioral changes. Thus the purpose of this paper is to investigate the impacts of SSC participation on agrochemicals application.Design/methodology/approachBased on the household level data collected from Jiangsu province in China, this paper employs an instrumental variable (IV) method to address the self-selection bias when we evaluate the effects of SSC participation on use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides. In addition, this paper also distinguishes between growth inputs and facilitating inputs in the production function when we calculate the marginal production values of chemical fertilizer and pesticides.FindingsThe empirical results show that SSC participation significantly reduces chemical fertilizer use by 351 kg and pesticides costs by 1659 Yuan (RMB) per hectare, accounting for 43.4% of the average chemical fertilizer use and 49.4% of the average pesticide costs, respectively for Chinese vegetable farms. However, SSC participation still cannot improve the use efficiency of agrochemicals.Originality/valueThis paper uses both application quantities and allocation efficiencies of chemical fertilizer and pesticides to comprehensively evaluate the effects of SSC participations. The results will reveal the core role of SSC played in promoting sustainable development of Chinese agricultural sector dominated by small-scale farmers.
China Agricultural Economic Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 19, 2021
Keywords: Short supply chain participation; Agrochemicals; Use intensity; Allocative efficiency; Marginal production values; Vegetables farms