Some Social, Environmental and Economic Implications of Increased Soil Erosion and Agro-Chemical Use in Caribbean Agriculture

Agricultural cultivation in the islands of the Caribbean is carried out on lands of varying degrees of slope. The increased use of steeper slopes in recent times has led to increased land slips and soil erosion on hillsides, and flooding and sedimentation of coastal regions. Also, there has been a large increase in the use of agricultural chemicals in agricultural production. These two factors present a formidable pollution threat which will ultimately impact on the social and economic wellbeing of the Caribbean people. In 2000, a project was initiated to research "The impact and amelioration of sediment and agrochemical pollution on Caribbean coastal waters". This project which used Jamaica and St Lucia as the case study countries looked at various aspects of this problem including the quantification and toxicity of agro -chemicals imported, the on-farm use of agro -chemicals and associated soil management and farming practices, the fate of agro-chemicals in the land-water interface and the harmonization of agro-chemical management in the Caribbean. This presentation reports on some of the important findings of this study. In particular, the data on the increased importation of agro-chemicals is presented, some of the farming practices which are likely to influence soil sediment and agro-chemical pollution are highlighted and the possible effects of the use of these toxic chemicals on public health and the environment are discussed. In conclusion, implications of improper soil and agro-chemical management to the social and economic fortunes of the Caribbean are also discussed and recommendations are given for alleviating this emerging problem.

Issue Date:
Aug 15 2004
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
Record Identifier:
Total Pages:

 Record created 2017-11-30, last modified 2018-01-23

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