Peri-urban areas on the fringes of cities in India have witnessed rapid and unsystematic growth in recent years. In response to increased demand for food, traditional agricultural practices have been supplemented by highly intensified, industrial-style production units, often in peri-urban areas.
Agriculture intensification poses significant public health risks, including the potential for zoonotic disease transmission, the emergence of new diseases and the overuse of veterinary antibiotics, which contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance in pathogens affecting humans and animals.
The peri-urban ecosystem in India provides a relevant environment for addressing the challenges of zoonotic diseases and for promoting synergies between health, environment protection and development.
This is a research initiative at the peri-urban human-animal-environment interface for improved local healthy food production, healthy livestock and enhanced public health.
Two major research projects will form an initial basis of the research initiative’s activities: the first focuses on the zoonotic potential of bovine tuberculosis and the second on antibiotic use in peri-urban smallholder dairy farms as risky and unsustainable means of increasing food output.
Each of the studies will culminate into proofs of concept of changed incentives and better practices. These initial research projects in the peri-urban ecosystem will provide a basis for expanding the work of the initiative to identify and address other key development and public health issues in this setting.
The general objective is to contribute to stronger evidence-based cross-sector policy and local capacity for integrating public health and livestock health, urban planning, local food production and social development in peri-urban settings of India.
The specific objectives are to:
Bangalore, Guwahati and Mumbai
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)
The project will develop and disseminate proven technologies through partnership and participatory approaches to increase productivity of beans in order to increase rural household income, reduce poverty and enhance food and nutrition security of resource poor farmers, especially women. The project will test and identify locally adapted and high-yielding varieties of beans that are drought tolerant in the face of climate variability and pest and disease resistant to minimize yield losses in the field. It proposes to develop and scale-up appropriate crop and soil fertility management practices across agro-ecologies and among rural communities.