The impact of population pressure on global fertiliser use intensity, 1970–2011: An analysis of policy-induced mediation

Publication date: March 2020Source: Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 152Author(s): Tao Xiang, Tariq H. Malik, Klaus NielsenAbstractPopulation growth generates various challenges for humankind. One such challenge is linked to the trade-off between food security and food safety (environmental quality). Increasing population and shrinking agricultural land necessitates productivity gains in agricultural production in order to secure food security. However, intensive use of agrochemicals (fertiliser and pesticides) impacts on food safety through deteriorated environmental quality. This security-safety dilemma is recognised but has rarely been thoroughly examined empirically. In this paper, we address the dilemma by examining increased fertiliser use due to population pressure. Based on a dynamic fixed-effects model and panel data for 77 countries for the period 1970–2011, we provide a solid empirically analysis of the trade-off. First, the findings show that population pressure has significant impacts on fertiliser use in countries with high population pressure. The impacts are both direct and indirect (i.e., mediated by agricultural protection and food trade policies). Our analysis demonstrates that an increase in population pressure by 1% yields a 0.118% increase in fertiliser use intensity for this group of countries. Second, the direct impact is aggravated by agricultural protection, but attenuated by food import in high-pressure countries. Third, cou...
Source: Technological Forecasting and Social Change - Category: Science Source Type: research

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