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Journal Articles Ecological Economics Year : 2022

Why does France not meet its pesticide reduction targets? Farmers' socio-economic trade-offs when adopting agro-ecological practices

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Abstract

Despite substantial policy efforts made by the French government to reduce dependence on pesticides, farming practices are only changing slowly. This paper analyses the socio-economic trade-offs that 110 farmers are currently facing in the transition to agro-ecological practices. A mixed-method approach - a quantitative discrete choice experiment (DCE) and qualitative interviews - was set up to understand these farmers' motivations and perspectives, and how policy can improve to accompany them on the road to low chemical input farming. Results of the DCE indicate that the majority of the farmers in our sample are keen to change practices but are at a loss as to how this can be done, as a number of preferences for this transition came out as inconclusive. Qualitative interviews with a representative sample of the farmers that took part in the DCE complemented this result by illustrating a deep uncertainty for the future and a disconnect felt between authorities and themselves as a group. We argue that this uncertainty contributed to a lack of clear-cut solutions established through the DCE. The in-depth discussions with farmers illustrated the wish for concrete and local policy measures based on farmers' networks and peer support.
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hal-03716593 , version 1 (28-11-2022)

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Amalie Bjørnåvold, Maia David, David Bohan, Caroline Gibert, Jean-Marc Rousselle, et al.. Why does France not meet its pesticide reduction targets? Farmers' socio-economic trade-offs when adopting agro-ecological practices. Ecological Economics, 2022, 198, pp.107440. ⟨10.1016/j.ecolecon.2022.107440⟩. ⟨hal-03716593⟩
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