An investigation into the crop management methods adopted by farmers in Trinidad, West Indies

Authors

  • Kishan Patloo Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies
  • Azad Mohammed Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies
  • Adesh Ramsubhag Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies
  • Jayaraj Jayaraman Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies

Keywords:

Crop management methods, chemical use, farmers? survey, biodiversity

Abstract

Crop management and plant protection methods adopted by farmers in various regions of Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago were investigated. A sample survey was conducted for growers selected from 11 locations in Trinidad representing various agricultural zones. Questionnaires containing both open-ended and closed-ended questions were included and 31 farmers across the country were interviewed. Results of the survey confirmed the extensive use of synthetic pesticides by farmers due to the general perception that chemicals were the easy and effective option for managing diseases and pests. Farmers stated that they face several difficulties including getting land, irrigation water and in acquiring labour. Levels of biodiversity of insect fauna in the sample fields were measured using Simpson?s diversity index. The majority of farms tested had low biodiversity of insect fauna due to the excessive and frequent application of pesticides. The pesticides applied were generally lethal to non-target insects which evidenced in the low biodiversity of insects.

Issue

Section

Research Papers