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Small farmers in the East Caribbean spend about 30% of total crop labour on land preparation, and another 30% on post-planting weed control depending on the cropping system. Methods rely largely on hand labour, using cutlasses, hoes, forks and hand pulling of weeds. The only herbicide used in any quantity is paraquat. Constraints to the adoption of improved technologies include cash availability, the practice of mixed- or inter-cropping, and the complexity of many farm systems. Many herbicides are susceptible to rain, and their species spectrum is often limited. A holistic approach is necessary to ensure integration of weed control into the entire cropping system. Guidelines for the design of improved weed control systems are discussed and CARDI's programme in weed control in the FSR/D project is outlined.


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