VEGETABLE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS AS LIVELIHOOD STRATEGIES IN LIMA-PERU: OPPORTUNITIES AND RISKS FOR HOUSEHOLDS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

B. Arce, G. Prain, R. Valle, N. Gonzales
The paper analyzes the livelihood opportunities from vegetable production available to poor households in Lima, Peru and examines the health and environmental risks that exist for producers which affect local government management. A baseline survey in four neighborhoods in the lower zone of the Rimac watershed in Lima, Peru found that agriculture contributes significantly to household income and complements other non-farm income sources. Three quarters of producers are involved in mixed cropping of vegetables, mainly for commercial sale. Median farm size is 2.0±1.2 ha and principal crops are lettuce, beetroot, turnip, aromatic herbs, basil, celery, cilantro, radish, and cabbage. Local producers’ problems include biophysical constraints such as pests and diseases, water shortages, and contamination of irrigation and drinking water. There are also institutional constraints such as the lack of recognized land titles, difficulty in organizing local agrarian interests, and problems in the interactions between producers and local political organizations. A major health concern not directly recognized by many producers is pesticide use. Spatial and temporal proximity among actors along the urban production chain worsens the health risk to producers, middlemen, and consumers. The risks are derived from the level of toxicity of pesticides used, the frequency of applications, the length of growing season, and the closeness to harvest, among others. Of pesticides used for lettuce and cabbage, 60% are highly toxic, with variable frequency of application. Producers are unfamiliar with insect lifecycles and concepts of ecological agriculture. To address these issues urban-adapted Farmer Field Schools have been introduced. This is supported by two local governments that identified commercial opportunities for production and marketing of ecological horticultural products.
Arce, B., Prain, G., Valle, R. and Gonzales, N. (2007). VEGETABLE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS AS LIVELIHOOD STRATEGIES IN LIMA-PERU: OPPORTUNITIES AND RISKS FOR HOUSEHOLDS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. Acta Hortic. 762, 291-302
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.762.28
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.762.28
pesticides, livelihood, health risks, environmental risks, farmer field school, horticultural products
English

Acta Horticulturae