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Abstract

As a consequence of the diagnostic function of the Plant Pathology Department, Ministry of Food Production and Marine Resources, a database of the important diseases of crops grown in Trinidad and Tobago has been developed over the years. This database is compiled from records of plant samples collected from surveys, field visits and plant clinics conducted by the staff of the department, and specimen submissions from farmers, extension officers and home gardeners. In this paper, 1967 diagnostic entries, representing 27 selected crop species from six families for the period 1990 to 2000, were reviewed. Data were analyzed to determine the prevalence and distribution of diseases, causal agents and crop species affected. Seasonal and annual variations of disease incidence are discussed. Results indicated that 28.8% of recorded health problems were associated with fungi while bacteria, viruses and nematodes accounted for 23.2%, 13.9% and 1.2% respectively. Health problems with undetermined aetiology accounted for 8.2% of reports. The Solanaceae was the family most prone to disease. The records revealed a high use of pesticides, emphasizing the need for an Integrated Crop Management (ICM) approach to plant health.

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