Do EU pesticide standards promote environmentally-friendly production of fresh export vegetables in developing countries? The evidence from Kenyan green bean industry
Okello, Julius J
Okello, Ruth M
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Developed countries are major markets for developing country fresh produce. Demand by developed country consumers for spotless produce has encouraged developing country consumers to rely increasingly on pesticides in producing fresh export vegetables. However developed country pesticide standards enacted in response to reports of increased farmer and farm worker pesticide poisoning and the food safety scandals of the 1980s and 1990s require changes in the way growers use pesticides. The EU has especially developed stringent food safety standards relating to, among other things, pesticide usage. Under EU pesticide standards (EU-PS) farmers are trained by their buyers on safe use of pesticides and then closely monitored under contract. This paper looks at the impact of these standards on developing country farmers’ use of alternative pest management practices, pesticide protective clothing and the actual usage of pesticides. It finds that compliance with EU-PS increases the use of alternative pest management practices and protective clothing. However, EU-PS has mixed effect on the quantity of pesticides used. The paper also finds that farmer’s education and access to information play an important role in the use of alternative pest management practices. The paper concludes that EU-PS encourage the use of alternative pest management practices and pesticide protective gear in production of fresh export vegetables. The findings imply that EU-PS promote environmentally-friendly methods of production of fresh export vegetables in developing countries.