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.
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Appendix 1: Sample interview guide
Appendix 1: Sample interview guide
How safe is your source of water for irrigation?
Do think that vegetables irrigated with contaminated/polluted water pose any human risk?
What kind of risks are farmers exposed to when using contaminated/polluted water for irrigation?
What kind of risks are consumers of wastewater irrigated vegetables exposed to?
What processes do you take the manure through before applying it to the field?
Does the application of fresh manure to vegetables pose any risk?
How often are pesticides applied to the crops? Is the use pesticide associated with any risk?
Have you personally suffered adverse effects linked to pesticide use?
Do you know or heard of someone who has suffered adverse effects linked to pesticide use?
Is the use of protective gears of any benefit to the farmer?
What risks are associated with vegetable farming and how can these be reduced?
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Arimiyaw, A.W., Abass, K. & Gyasi, R.M. On-farm urban vegetable farming practices and health risk perceptions of farmers in Kumasi. GeoJournal 85, 943–959 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10708-019-10003-7
- Farming practices
- Health risk perception