here to view list of all practices
This initiative aimed at developing appropriate interventions to lessen health risks from the use of irrigation water polluted with untreated wastewater in urban vegetable farming. This is a common challenge in many cities in low-income countries which have huge urban vegetable demands due to increasing populations but have no capacity to adequately treat its wastewater. We involved all key stakeholders, more so farmers, to identify, test and assess the performance of the interventions. We have developed 7 simple, appropriate and low-cost interventions (best practices), which a number of farmers have already adopted. These include simple water treatment methods such as on-farm sedimentation ponds and filtration techniques as well as better water application methods such as bucket drip kits. This, with slight changes of farmersí practices has reduced contamination levels on vegetables and irrigation water significantly, without having major negative impacts on agricultural productivity. We have also developed training materials for extension workers and already more than 60% of nearly 1300 urban vegetable farmers have been trained on these best practices. There is now increasing recognition and acceptability of urban vegetable farming in Ghana. Most importantly is empowering farmers to solve their own challenges and indeed the knowledge and awareness levels of farmers in regard to irrigation related health risks have increased. We are now up-scaling this initiative to other urban areas with similar challenges in Ghana and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa.