Acta Universitatis Danubius. Œconomica, Vol 14, No 5 (2018)

Environmental Impact and Economic Cost of Agricultural Inputs

Samuel N Mlangeni, Collins C Ngwakwe


This paper evaluated the effect of agricultural input (fertilizer) on carbon emission (methane and nitrous oxide) in South Africa and the likely environmental costs of such emissions. The paper applied a quantitative research design and data were from secondary sources, mainly from the archives of Index Mundi, the US EPA and the World Bank. The Pearson correlation results show that fertilizer input is related to agricultural nitrous oxide and methane emissions at a P-value of 0.027 and 0.05 respectively. This thus, confirms that fertilizer input causes an agricultural induced emission of greenhouse gases (nitrous oxide and methane). Furthermore, findings from the estimation of potential environmental costs of methane and nitrous oxide emissions showed that these have had rising and steady environmental costs to the society, which, unfortunately is born by the society. Consequently, the study recommends agricultural related emission policy to enable farmers internalise some of the environmental costs of agricultural inputs that are born by the society, which is the socioeconomic costs. Such further research should determine a fair model that may be used to internalise environmental costs of agricultural inputs but to avoid consumers of agricultural produce from paying for such costs.


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