This SABA was researched to provide Information to the readers about peasant farming in Hawthorn, Wasteland Jamaica. In the Caribbean this is a major type of farming practiced. This practice is done in almost all areas in Jamaica; therefore it was easy to acquire information.
A peasant farmer is an agricultural worker who is primarily engaged in farming and has a lower standard of living than the others. Families are mostly required to help in this farming practice because the farmer can’t afford to pay other people so therefore, the children and other relatives are used. Several types of crops are grown here as farmers don’t have the money to focus on one main crop. Another disadvantage in small farming is that farmers are too poor to afford fertilizers so where there is mixed farming, animal waste in used in the replacement of fertilizers.
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Data Collection How the data was collected The researcher did an interview with several farmers within the study area, using questionnaire as shown in the appendix. Whereas no other contact was dad after two visits, no further attempt was made to interview the remaining farmers. The use of internet, books and statistical information were also used to obtain data. Where data was collected The study area was part of the district of Hawthorn in Wasteland, Jamaica, which is shown the in map extract. When data was collected The interview was completed on the 13th of January 2013 between 10 am to 12 pr. 0% agreed that lack of capital was one of their biggest problems, because they can’t purchase the right material the needed due to their income. 20% suggested that bad roads were lacking and inaccessible for them to bring out heir produce, so that was very hectic on them. Soil erosion was also another factor that affected the peasant farmers. 20% of the farmers stated that soil erosion is a major problem. There are some techniques which farmer can apply as a mean of checking the rate soil erosion, the rate Of flow Of Water can be slowed down. F the farmers agreed that it was parallel larceny due to their homes being a distance from the farm, so therefore thieves could steal crops with the farmers having any idea of it. 5% agreed that lack of machinery was their problem because they had to use a simpler tool which sakes up a lot of time. 50% claimed that their farmer was on a flat piece of land. 20% agreed that their farm was on a gently sloped; another 10% claimed that the land was steep and 20% said that their farm was on other lands; therefore approximately 70% of the farmers were satisfied with their land topography.
Majority of the farmers agreed that there should be an availability of loans, so that they can purchase the right tools and equipment needed to continue or upgrade the farm, which in turn will boost the income they receive. 20% claimed they should be improvement in the transport network so that their reduce can be marketed on time. Another 15% claimed that there should be better soil management techniques for the farmers to apply when soil erosion occur, which will minimize the damage to the farm and crops. Some 5% of the farmers said that there should be social assistance to the farmer and his family.
The pie chart above shows how peasant farmers marketed their produce. 45% sold their produce to the local market, 15% suggested that supermarkets/ green grocery would purchase from them. Some farmers, who produced an excess, more than the others, export theirs to different countries that are willing to purchase them. % said that their produce was marketed by community members. Pest Nymph Ants I Aphids I Spittle bugs I I Beetles Mealy bugs I I Insects and pests Number of respondents I KEY The above pictogram shows that majority of the respondents, that is, 34 of the respondents stated that ants affected their farms.
Twenty- four (24) stated that their farms are affected by Aphids. Sixteen (16) of the respondents indicated that they were affected by Nymphs and eleven (1 1) are affected by spittle bugs. Eight (8) of the respondents are affected by mealy bug while only seven (7) are affected by beetles. FINDINGS This survey has revealed a number of findings with respect to the peasant farmers in Hawthorn, Wasteland Jamaica. These include: * Peasant farmers are suffering from insects and pests which affect their produces badly. Some peasant farmers encounter problems like lack of machinery where a lot Of time is needed. They face other problems like parallel larceny, soil erosion, bad road and lack of capital. * Some of the peasant farmers think that the ministry of agriculture should make availability of loans so that they can acquire the right equipment. Also, improvement in the transport network, better soil management and also social assistance to the farmers.
CONCLUSION From the information obtained, it may be concluded that Hawthorn is a suitable location for peasant farming even With the minor problems they are facing. It is located very close to Savanna- la- mar. Majority of the farmers agreed that their farms were mostly affected by ants. Some of the farmers stated that they experienced certain problems such as: lack of machinery, soil erosion and parallel larceny. Parallel larceny is high, a lot of crops, animals and equipment are stolen which discourages the farmers. They therefore abandon their lands and seek other occupation.