A Study of the Characteristics of Rural Household Affecting the Behavior of Applying Pesticides
Shenrong Gao, Dandan Xing and Xia Tong*
Nantong University, School of Business, China
Submission: April 07, 2016; Published: August 05, 2016;
*Corresponding author: Xia Tong, Nantong University, School of Business, Nan Tong, Jiangsu, P. R. 226001 China.
How to cite this article: Shenrong G, Xia T. A Study of the Characteristics of Rural Household Affecting the Behavior of Applying Pesticides. Agri Res & Tech: Open Access J. 2016; 2(1): 555579. DOI: 10.19080/ARTOAJ.2016.02.555579
Small-scale farmers constitute the main Chinese agricultural production. Based on the investigation and relevant data from 500 small-scale farmers in Jiangsu and Zhejiang Province, this paper analyzes their behavioral characteristics of experience from family, friends and neighbors, education background and cultivation areas have a positive effect on the frequency of applying pesticides, while gender has a negative one. Therefore, farmers should keep on learning to master advanced technology and concept and promote the awareness of safety production. Besides, they also need to improve self-quality, regularize their acts of production and ensure the safe quality of agricultural products from the beginning.
Keywords: Small-scale farmers; Pesticides application; Behavior characteristics; Empirical study
Small-scale farmers are the basic unit of the production of agricultural products. The scholar like Ying Xia  is the earliest to study farmers. Yunhua Zhang gathers the investigation data of farmers from different places and empirically analyzes the behavior of applying pesticides which influence the quality of agricultural products. Yaogang Zhang argues that production behavior of farmers is the most crucial human factor to the quality of agricultural products. Gilardi Letal declares that farmers play a decisive role in the quality of agricultural products. According to Jianxin Zhao and Zhonggen Zhang , farmers are the main subject of the production of agricultural products and it’s vital to control the quality of agricultural products at the very beginning.
Li Hao concludes that the key link to manage the quality of agricultural products is farmers’ production behaviors. Juan Qaio and Lei Cao studies that farmers’ production behaviors are the direct factor to final quality level of products. Xiao feng Zhang illustrates that the main body of Chinese agricultural production is farmers which is also the constitution foundation of micro-economy in rural areas. The key factor of influencing the quality of agricultural products is farmers’ supplement behaviors.
Therefore, it’s a basic, crucial and significant issue to probe into farmers’ behavioral characteristics of applying pesticides and to explore the countermeasures to the problem of agricultural product quality at the very beginning from the perspective of farmers.
Selection of survey places: Firstly, they are both economically strong and big province. As the economically strong province, their conditions to develop agriculture are richly endowed by nature. Moreover, they have developed economy and residents have high demand for quality of life.
Survey pattern: The formal questionnaire is modified and determined on the basis of the preliminary research in Wuxi. Taking into consideration the differences of dialects, local college students who are heading to their hometown are invited to help conduct this survey. To make sure the authenticity and validity of the questionnaires, direct interview is adopted. Investigators ask questions and farmers answer them and fill in the questionnaires on the spot. The number of questionnaires randomly distributed in Nantong, Fengxian and Wuxi in Jiangsu province was 320 while that of Anji in Zhejiang province was 180. Five hundred farmers related to tea, vegetables, rice and apples were selected . The interviewees may not be heads of household, but they
must be the ones that apply pesticides. The number of final valid
questionnaires was 473.
Multiple regression analysis has already been widely applied
to the social sciences research. The behaviors, attitudes and
preferences to be studied are qualitative. To explore the factors
influencing these decisions or actions, Logistic regression is
applied to multiple regression analysis of non-continuous
variable. The establishment of empirical model:
The prototype of Logistic function is:
In pattern(1), exp[u] = eu , t means time, P means the
number of population in t, L is the maximum limiting value, a
and b both mean relevant parameter. Based on the requirement
of nonlinear probabilistic model, P is transformed into the
probability p=p(y=1), and the upper limit is changed into 1, with
the value of set probability in the reasonable range (0, 1). The
independent variable may be not the t, so t can be changed into
any independent variable x whose range has no limitation. The
logistic probability function can be reached:
(2) can be transformed into:
On this basis, the multiple analysis of logistic probability
function can be done with more input independent
variables. Σbx Means the multiple linear combination
a + b1x1 + b2x2 + b3x3 +…+ bkxk , means constant term a. If
is constantly equal to 1, z =Σbx , then logistic probability function
The pattern 4 can be transformed with a series of :
Take the logarithm of (8) from two sides, then
Logistic regression common form (10) can be reached with
logistically transforming (9):
Because the behavior of applying pesticides is complicated
and units of measurement and varieties cannot be integrated,
the big gap between varieties and prices curtails only when
the survey data of using pesticides is accurate. The dependent
variable used in the paper refers to the frequency of actually
utilizing pesticides . To inspect the significance of each factor
affecting the frequency, dichotomy Logistic regression model is
adopted (Table 1). The Logistic regression equation is:
S.E. is short for Std. Error, which means the standard
deviation of regression coefficient estimated value. Wald is the
statistical value of regression coefficient test.
Sig is Wald test significance probability. With SPSS software,
backward condition step wise regression is adopted to conduct
logistic regression calculation.
From (Table 2) above, the variable “family income” is
not obvious, so it was rejected. The remaining independent
variables were regressed, the variable “government policy” was
not obvious, so it was rejected. And then the variable “age” was
rejected, the variable “training accepted or not” is also rejected.
At last, the remaining independent variables are regressed,
which shows the variable “experience from family, friends and
neighbors, gender, age, education background, income of family,
cultivation areas” is obvious (Table 3).
Variable(s) entered on step 1: experience from family, friends
and neighbors, gender, age, education background, income of
family, cultivation areas (Table 4).
Through calculation, the logistic model of influencing factors
of applying pesticides is:
From the model above, it is obvious that there are four
factors affecting farmers’ choices of pesticides . They are
experience from family, friends and neighbors, gender, education
background, and cultivation areas.
The more experience gained from family, friends and
neighbors, the less frequency farmers apply pesticides. The
frequency of farmers’ experience attained to apply pesticides
reduces by 0.433 than those who do not get it. The higher the
education level is, the less frequency farmers apply pesticides.
The frequency that farmers who are well educated apply
pesticides reduces by 1.55 than those who are not.
The bigger the cultivation areas are, the less frequency
farmers apply pesticides. The frequency that farmers who have bigger cultivation areas apply pesticides reduces by 0.454 than
those who own smaller ones. Gender is a very important factor
and perhaps in rural areas, men get much more education than
women, so the frequency that men apply pesticides reduces by
0.478 than women.
Based on the cases in Jiangsu and Zhejiang Province, the
main conclusions and policy implication include:
The behavior of applying pesticides is related to farmers’
gender, schooling years and experience from family, friends and
neighbors, which illustrates that the three factors have apparent
impact on the behavior and they are the essential characteristics
Therefore, improving all farmers’ education level is the
fundamental countermeasure to thoroughly solve the hidden
danger of the quality of agricultural products from the very
beginning. In the future, the new rural construction process
should increase the input of popularizing agricultural technology
The cultivation areas and family features also influence
the behavior in different degrees. The frequency of applying
pesticides has negative correlation with the cultivation areas.
The policy implication is that in the rural deepening reform,
on the basis of respecting farmers’ will the land circulation
of moderate scale can reduce the blindness of the behavior of
This paper was supported by the 2010 Humanities and
Social Sciences Project of Education Ministry “ Farmers’ Using
Behaviors of Pesticides, Research of the Plant Scale and Export
Quality of Agricultural Products” (10YJC790240); 2011 Nantong
University, Initial Funding of Social Science Ph.D. (03080294);
2011 Social Science Foundation Project of Nantong “The Research
of the Structural Transformation of Export Products under the
View of Low-carbon Economy in Nantong “ (2011CNT003);
Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education.