Recently, LCC researcher, Associate Professor Yuquan Zhang's group published a paper on “Operating pesticide use reduction within the boundary of food security in peri-urban settings” in Fundamental Research.
Pesticide use in peri-urban areas affects the urban environment and public health, and reducing the use may present food security issues for urban dwellers. In this study, we explore how a municipality-adopted goal of a 20% reduction in pesticide use could be achieved, along with local food security and environmental implications, for Shanghai located in the densely populated East China. A regional Shanghai Agricultural Sector Model incorporating district- and technology-varying crop budgets, was developed to simulate the effects of pesticide reduction policy. Here we find that achieving the reduction goal had the largest implications in districts with high pesticide use totals and intensities, potentially reducing pesticide non-point source pollution in the Yangtze River Estuary and Dianshan Lake; the production levels of rice and leafy vegetables would be most affected; and adopting machinery that allows more precise pesticide application modulates these results. Moreover, imposing the requirements at the district-level caused more severe local food security concerns, and less environmental benefits. Furthermore, a closed Shanghai's agricultural economy would substantially enlarge the regional heterogeneity in the above-mentioned outcomes. Exploring the effects of a quantity control policy on current-use pesticides at different aggregation levels has important implications for regulating the use of agrochemicals.
Dr. Yuquan Zhang, Associate Professor of LCC