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Title: Farmer’s attitude toward treated sludge use in the West Bank, Palestine
Authors: Rashid, M.
Kattou’a, Mary G.
Khatib, Issam
Sato, Chikashi
Keywords: Sewage irrigation - Palestine - Case studies;Sewage sludge - Palestine;Sewage disposal plants - Finance
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Springer
Source: Rashid, M.M., Kattou’a, M.G., Al-Khatib, I.A., Sato, C. (2017). Farmer’s attitude toward treated sludge use in the West Bank, Palestine. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 189(7): 353. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-017-6074-4 Publisher: Springer.
Abstract: An application of treated sewage sludge on agricultural land has been widely accepted, as this method is simple and economical for disposal of wastewater residues. When applied properly on an agricultural land, sludge can replenish organic matter and nutrients in soil. Although sewage sludge has been used in agriculture in many parts of the world, its acceptability varies with different cultures and beliefs among farmers. Farmers’ concerns on sludge use are primarily due to its anthropogenic origin, pollutants that it carries, a general perception of sewage being dirty, and its offensive odor. This paper aims to investigate farmers’ perceptions on land application of treated sewage sludge on their farm. This study targeted two farming communities, namely, Anza and Beit Dajan villages, located in Jenin and Nablus districts in the West Bank, Palestine. In this study, a sample of 106 farmers were randomly selected and surveyed through a mixture of structured and openended questions. Results indicated that, overall, farmers have positive perceptions on land application of sludge. A majority of the farmers are in favor of the concept of sludge use when a planned wastewater treatment plant is constructed and it becomes operational. Results also indicate that a majority of the farmers are in favor of using sludge for fertilizing fruit trees, rather than growing vegetables and other plants in a greenhouse, and that many of them have knowledge of sludge properties and advantages and disadvantages of sludge use in agriculture. Despite the positive perceptions by the majority of farmers, a small fraction of the farmers are in disfavor of the use of sludge for the following reasons: psychological and social concerns, potential health risks, and their religious beliefs. Results further suggest that the land application of treated sewage sludge can be accepted by more farmers if the consumers are willing to buy agricultural products fertilized by sludge, sludge meets the public health requirements, and sludge is available at low costs. To improve farmers’ perceptions on the land application of sludge, several measures are recommended.
Other Identifiers: DOI 10.1007/s10661-017-6074-4
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