Gendered Production Roles and Integrated Pest Management in Three Jamaican Farming Communities
Schlosser, Gary L.
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In the promotion of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as an alternative to pesticides, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Office of International Research and Development (OIRD) at Virginia Tech, and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) supported my research to uncover the socio-economic constraints to IPM adoption and to determine the amount of gendered participation in three rural Jamaica farming communities. The thesis examines the gendered participation in crop production, marketing, and decision making as well as the ability of farmers to identify key pests of three nontraditional agricultural exports: callaloo, "Scotch Bonnet" hot pepper, and sweet potato. While men generally participated to a greater extent in crop production and decision making, women also made a significant contribution. Less female participation is due in part to women owning, renting, or leasing a smaller amount of land. However, decision making about income derived from farming was found to be almost equally split between males and females. Another important finding is that women were able to identify key crop pests. To facilitate the introduction of IPM in the three communities, the small-scale farmers' limited access to irrigation and markets must be addressed. Moreover, the thesis advocates that instead of the singular focus on pest control, the holistic spirit of IPM should be seen as the catalyst for an overall integrated approach to rural farm development.
- Masters Theses