GENERAL TOPIC: FARMING
SPECIFIC TOPIC: “What are the factors affecting banana production in Richmond,
AIM: To investigate the factors affecting banana production at Richmond, St. Vincent and to
formulate possible solutions to alleviate the situation.
St. Vincent W.I .
02, October 2014.
My name is Valdes Pierre of the St. Vincent Grammar School and I am
conducting a questionnaire as a part of my field study for my Geography SBA on the topic What
are the factors affecting banana production in Richmond, St. Vincent?
The SBA is needed to gain marks for my CXC/CSEC examination. I would
like if you really support me by filling out the questionnaire. Your names will not be given due to
Your gratitude and support will be very much appreciated.
Research Question: “What are the factors affecting bananas farmers in Richmond, St.Vincent?”
Instructions: Put a tick () in the box which best represents your response and give opinion if
1. Sex: Male Female
2. Age group: 15 – 18years 19 – 22 23 – 26 27 & over
3. Education: Primary Secondary other specify _________________
4. Do you plant bananas? Yes No
5. How long have you been planting bananas?
1- 10 years 11 – 20 years 20 – 30 years 30years plus
6. Which of the following types of bananas listed below do you plant?
Ice cream Blue Java Tissue Culture
Ken pound Fig Musa Acuminata
7. Has your bananas been affected by any of the following diseases?
Leaf Spots Moko Black Sigatoka other specify _______
8. Which of the fore-mentioned diseases would you say is the most dangerous?
________________________ State why __________________________________
9. What other crop(s) have being affected in recent times by diseases?
10. Is your crop being affected by a lack of storage facilities?
11. Do you have enough lands for your banana cultivation?
12. Is the Government assisting the farmers on controlling the diseases which are affecting
13. Do you have sufficient finances (money) to take care of your crop annually?
14. What you as bananas farmers can do to help in the controlling of the disease that
are affecting your production?
15. Have you as a farmer have all the required equipment to cultivate your crop
annually? Yes No
16. How do you suggest that the Government through its Ministry of Agriculture
should address the problems farmers are experiencing in the production of bananas?
PRESENTATION OF DATA
Figure 1 is a pie Chart indicating: How long the surveyed farmer have been planting
How long have you been planting bananas?
1 - 10 years
11 - 20 years
20 - 30 years
30 yearsand over
Figure 2: Table of question 6: Showing the types of bananas listed below that the surveyed
TYPES OF BANANAS NUMBER OF RESPONDENTS
Blue java 1
Tissue culture 20
P.s some of the respondents indicated that they have actually planted more than one types.
Figure 3 is a Bar Chart of question 7. Indicating: which of the diseases affected the surveyed
P.s Some of the farmers claimed that they have been affected by more than one of the diseases
Scheduling for administration of the questionnaire
For the purposes of collecting the relevant data for this research project, the researcher used printed
questionnaires. The farmers who planted bananas at Richmond do not live in one concentrated area
or district of the Chateaubelair community; hence the researcher contacted the representative for
Fair Trade in the district to provide a list the farmers of bananas at Richmond (see the attached list
in the appendix). For this list, the farmers who were to complete the questionnaire were selected
How it would be done?
With the list of names collected the researcher placed them in a box, shook it twenty times in order
to select the names of twenty farmers. These persons who have been selected were contacted to
complete the questionnaire.
The researcher gave to selected farmers each a questionnaire to be completed on 16th
and collected them on 20th
October, 2011. All twenty questionnaires were completed.
The researcher travelled to the homes of the selected farmers in Chateaubelair and Fitz-Hughes and
gave to them each the questionnaire and indicated to them when they were to complete it.
ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA
The analysis of the data collected revealed that of the twenty (20) farmer selected for this research
project, thirteen (13) or sixty-five (65%) per cent were males and seven (7) or thirty-five (35%)
percent were females. This, therefore, showed that more males than females were engaged in
banana production at Richmond, St.Vincent.
Further, the age group divulged that all or one hundred (100%) of the farmers were of the age group
27 and over. In addition, eleven (11) or fifty-five (55%) percent only achieved Primary education,
seven (7) or thirty-five (35%), secondary and two (2) or ten (10%) percent reached university level.
What was significant altogether, was that most of the farmers lack the intelligence necessary to
produce quality bananas to meet today’s market standard. It also indicated a lack of continuity as no
young people were currently planting any bananas. what is more striking is that these factors were
linked directly to question 8, where the researcher asked the farmers,” which of the fore-mentioned
diseases would you say is the most dangerous and to state why?” Sixteen (16) or eighty (80%)
percent claimed Black Sigatoka, only four (4) or twenty (20%) percent said Moko. This therefore
said to me as the researcher that many of the farmers did not have a clue of the dangers associated
with each of these diseases. However, of the four (4) farmers who said Moko, two (2) were from
those who reached university and they highlighted the dangers of Moko. These included, the
destruction of all the affected plants, refraining from planting on that plot of land for a period of
eighteen (18) months. This is in addition, to treating every affected plant before it is destroyed,
whereas with Black Sigatoka, regular aerial spraying with fungicide and good field husbandry will
control the disease. Maybe, the sixteen (16) or eighty (80%) of the farmers who said Black Sigatoka
were caught up with the current problem of this disease in St.Vincent and this was what triggered
their response to this particular question.
When asked if the government were assisting the farmers in controlling the diseases which were
affecting their production, the majority gave a resounding yes, but said to certain extent. They
qualified ‘to a certain extent ‘to mean that they are not doing the required number of aerial spraying
that is required to effectively control the disease. This can be correlated with question14 in which
the researcher asked “what they as bananas farmers can do to help in the controlling of the diseases
that are affecting their production?” Some gave mixed reactions to this question which was rather
interesting. Some said that they cannot do anything, some said the powers were not in their hands,
while others said they can practice good field husbandry meaning removing the affected leaves,
placing these leaves with the top exposed to sunlight, controlling the moisture content in the field
by limiting the amount of the weeds in the field and fertilised regularly. In sumarising this aspect it
should be noted that if the farmers were serious about bananas being their livelihood they would go
all out to ensure that they do all that were necessary to protect and preserve it.
in answering question 13, five (5) or twenty-five (25%) percent of the farmers said that they had
sufficient finances to take care of their banana production annually, while fifteen (15) or seventy-
five (75%) percent said that they do not have enough. Maybe this can be construe in the context that
many of the farmers who said not enough are rather small producers who merely cultivated between
one hundred (100) and two (200) hole of bananas at any one time and shipped just under forty (40)
boxes. Most of money gained from these shipments is used to finance many of their homes and
some goes back into the production. Those who said that they have sufficient were engaged in other
means of survival other than bananas.
The final question of the instrument was asked to solicit suggestions as to how the government
through it Ministry of Agriculture should address the problems farmers are experiencing in the
production of bananas. The majority of the farmer responded appropriately to this question. Among
the many suggestions the following stands out: effectively control of pests and diseases by spraying
with fungicide at the required intervals, reintroducing banana extension officers, help with the
transportation of harvested crops, giving more credit to farmers for inputs, pay more attention to the
agricultures sector in general especially to bananas and farmers. Be there to assist farmer if and
when they needed help.
Indeed many of the farmers were very vociferous in many of their responses and felt that the plight
they are currently experiencing is not one of their own makings but rather one that is a result of the
government lackluster approach to agriculture not just at Richmond but in St.Vincent and the
Grenadines in General. Some felt that the government priorities were in the wrong place. They
opine that agriculture is the bread basket of the country and bananas certainly need more attention
than it is currently getting.