Pesticide Residues in Urban Water Bodies: Organic Farming as a Community Based Mitigation Strategy in Hyderabad Peri-Urban Area

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"The contamination of natural water bodies and tanks by pesticide residues is of great concern in the Greater Hyderabad Area. The rural and peri urban agriculture around Hyderabad is conventional with heavy usage of pesticides and chemicals, highly concentrated on paddy and vegetable cultivation. Agricultural pesticides are mainly of organochlorine and organophosphorous compounds. These pesticides are considered to be dangerous not only for the environment but for human beings as well. Pesticide residue reaches the urban water environment through direct run off, leaching, careless disposal of empty containers, equipment washings. According to a study by School of Chemical sciences, India, pesticide concentrations exceeded allowable levels for drinking water in samples of river water and groundwater in Hyderabad. Inorder to reduce the levels of agricultural pesticide and chemical residues in urban water bodies, community based ‘Organic farming’ is being implemented as an alternative strategy. The paper focuses on the case study conducted in two mandals of peri urban areas around Hyderabad, Manchal (Rangareddy district) and Bommalaramaram (Nalagonda district). The community managed sustainable agriculture (CMSA) in these villages was initiated by NGO’s, PEACE and Vikasith Bharath foundation in cooperation with Self help group members in the year 2006. About 50 farmers in Manchal and 50 farmers in Bommalaramaram are practicing organic vegetable cultivation. The case study unveiled that due to organic practices in agriculture there is substantial scope for reduction in pesticide residues in common water bodies around Hyderabad, reduction in cost of cultivation of crops and improved health condition of farmers. The case study reveals the significant contribution of community managed sustainable agriculture in safeguarding the urban common property resource (CPR), the water bodies."



urban affairs, water management, organic farming