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Open AccessArticle

An Ex-Post Evaluation of Agricultural Extension Programs for Reducing Fertilizer Input in Shaanxi, China

1
Department of Economics and Management, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, China
2
Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
3
International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC 20006, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Federica De Leo, Pier Paolo Miglietta and Iain Gordon
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9040566
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 24 March 2017 / Accepted: 2 April 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
It is difficult to control agricultural Non-point Source (NPS) pollution, caused by overusing of chemical fertilizer, through laws alone. An agricultural extension program is an alternative way to reduce fertilizer input. This paper estimates the average change in fertilizer use of farmers, which is attributable to their participation in the agricultural extension program. The Inverse-Probability Weighted matching method is used to evaluate the average treatment effect for the farmers who engaged in the program and, to a limited extent, evaluate the impact of individual elements of the program. Surprisingly, we find that farmer-to-farmer training may have had a counterproductive effect while the posters may be the most effective program element in reducing fertilizer use in the context. View Full-Text
Keywords: fertilizer use; agricultural non-point source pollution; agricultural extension program; participation; inverse-probability weighted fertilizer use; agricultural non-point source pollution; agricultural extension program; participation; inverse-probability weighted
MDPI and ACS Style

Hua, C.; Woodward, R.T.; You, L. An Ex-Post Evaluation of Agricultural Extension Programs for Reducing Fertilizer Input in Shaanxi, China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 566.

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