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On-farm urban vegetable farming practices and health risk perceptions of farmers in Kumasi

  • Abdul Wahid Arimiyaw
  • Kabila AbassEmail author
  • Razak M. Gyasi


The paper examines risk perceptions of urban and peri-urban vegetable farmers in relation to their on-farm activities. The study involved 66 in-depth interviews with vegetable farmers from four farming sites in urban and peri-urban Kumasi using interview guide and systematic observations. Relevant data were analysed thematically using NVivo 9 analytical software. Findings show that most vegetable farmers used contaminated water for irrigation and also applied fertilizers and pesticides to crops without any regulations. While these practices are potential health threats to both farmers and the unsuspecting public, the farmers perceived it otherwise and demonstrated lack of knowledge of the harmful health effects of these chemical compounds and the wastewater utilised. The paper argues that the current vegetable farming practices in the study communities are consequences of farmers’ low risk perception, which is shaped by socio-economic, political and cultural circumstances. Effective monitoring by environmental health agencies, coupled with sustained public education and campaigns on the potential health risks of unsafe farming practices could engender acceptable behavioural change among farmers.


Farming practices Health risk perception Vegetables Kumasi Ghana 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consents

Informed consents were obtained from all research participants. Participants were assured of strict confidentiality and anonymity of the responses they provided.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Rural DevelopmentKwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyKumasiGhana
  2. 2.African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)NairobiKenya

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