FARMERS' PERCEPTIONS ON SELECTED SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION ASPECTS AND THEIR RELATION WITH THE AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE IN SURINAME

The government of Suriname has prioritized development of sustainable agricultural production in Suriname, especially in the rural areas, and has integrated the millennium development goals in their strategies and policy vision (Van Eeckhout, 2008). Policymakers, scientists and entrepreneurs (including farmers) are convinced that the agricultural sector in Commewijne has potential to assist Suriname in realization of the millennium goals in 2015 so that poverty will be reduced in communities in Commewijne, and sustainable agricultural activities must play an important role in the development of this district. To get an overall view of the farmers' perspective on the socio-economic problems, the quality of the Agricultural Extension service, and the bottlenecks with regard to all aspects of agricultural production, a base line agricultural survey was developed, modified and validated by a panel of experts. With this instrument one hundred farmers were interviewed in Commewijne and the data was analyzed using SPSS statistics. Findings revealed the following problems: (1) drinking water is a problem for many farmers in this district; (2) the standard of living is low; (3) shortage of water in the dry season; (4) excessive water on the agricultural soils in rainy periods; and (5) high price fluctuations for agricultural products. Findings also reveal that farmers are experiencing problems with: (1) pest and disease management; (2) farm bookkeeping; and (3) insufficient technical information about plant cultivation, and crop protection. Furthermore, farmers felt that the information from field extension staff was insufficient with regard to pesticide education, fertilization, good agricultural practices, integrated pest management (ΓΡΜ) and with irrigation and drainage aspects. Recommendations include training for farmers in: GAP, FFS, weed knowledge and weed control, farm bookkeeping and farm administration, pesticide education and pesticide control, fertilizer education and fertilizer deficiencies of crops, and use of sustainable cultivation systems (mulching, compost, ΓΡΜ, etc.). Furthermore, recommendations also include training of the field extension staff on technical aspects of agricultural production.


Issue Date:
2012
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/253718
Total Pages:
10




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-29

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