The availability of permanent streams of sewage-contaminated wastewater emanating from the twin city of Hubli–Dharwad in India has enabled small-scale farmers to diversify their cropping practices. Close to the cities, farmers have adopted a year-round, intensive vegetable horticultural system. Not only do the nutrients in the wastewater increase crop yields, but this practice is particularly lucrative during the dry season when wholesale market prices rise between two- and six-fold. Further away from the cities, less intensive farming systems are used, but the wastewater still confers advantages in terms of early-season irrigation and increasing production from fruit trees in agroforestry systems. However, there are adverse health implications, including bacterial contamination of vegetables and intensive application of pesticides to combat the insect pests that infest these crops. Ways of managing these adverse effects are discussed.
Environment and Urbanisation (2003)15 (2) 157-170