Next Article in Journal
Next Article in Special Issue
Previous Article in Journal
Previous Article in Special Issue
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(9), 4323-4338; doi:10.3390/ijerph10094323
Article

Appraisal of Hygiene Indicators and Farming Practices in the Production of Leafy Vegetables by Organic Small-Scale Farmers in uMbumbulu (Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)

1
, 1
 and 2,*
Received: 30 June 2013; in revised form: 9 August 2013 / Accepted: 4 September 2013 / Published: 13 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [295 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]
Abstract: During October, November and December 2011 (when highest sales of Agri-Hub fresh produce are observed), irrigation water, compost, lettuce and spinach sampled from four different farmer cooperatives supplying the local Agri-Hub in uMbumbulu (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) were analyzed monthly for the presence of total and fecal coliforms and Escherichia coli using the most probable number (MPN) technique. The pH values for all irrigation water samples analyzed were within the acceptable range of 6.5–8.5 for agricultural use. Fecal coliform levels were <1,000 MPN per 100 mL irrigation water and <1,000 MPN per g of compost. The vegetables produced by Agri-Hub small-scale farmers met the requirements for total coliforms of <200/g set by the South African Department of Health at the time of sampling. E. coli MPN values for irrigation water and vegetables were below the limit of detection. In addition, the farming practices of 73 farmers were assessed via a survey. The results revealed that more than 40% of farmers used microbiologically safe tap water for irrigation and that trained farmers have a significantly better understanding of the importance of production hygiene than untrained farmers. These results reiterate the importance of interventions that build capacity in the area of food safety and hygiene of small-scale farmers for market access of formal value chains.
Keywords: small-scale farmers; organic farming; food security; food safety; hygiene indicator organisms; coliforms; irrigation small-scale farmers; organic farming; food security; food safety; hygiene indicator organisms; coliforms; irrigation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Export to BibTeX |
EndNote


MDPI and ACS Style

Mdluli, F.; Thamaga-Chitja, J.; Schmidt, S. Appraisal of Hygiene Indicators and Farming Practices in the Production of Leafy Vegetables by Organic Small-Scale Farmers in uMbumbulu (Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 4323-4338.

AMA Style

Mdluli F, Thamaga-Chitja J, Schmidt S. Appraisal of Hygiene Indicators and Farming Practices in the Production of Leafy Vegetables by Organic Small-Scale Farmers in uMbumbulu (Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(9):4323-4338.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mdluli, Fezile; Thamaga-Chitja, Joyce; Schmidt, Stefan. 2013. "Appraisal of Hygiene Indicators and Farming Practices in the Production of Leafy Vegetables by Organic Small-Scale Farmers in uMbumbulu (Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 9: 4323-4338.



Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert