In Jamaica, scarce foreign exchange makes it very important to examine carefully every aspect of technology employed in agricultural production to ascertain its appropriateness to local conditions and particularly its labour employment opportunity. On small farms where a fraction of an acre is involved in peanut production it is most advantageous for optimum utilization of family labour to employ manual methods of weed control. In this way family income is optimized. Improved cultural practices and management involving maximization of land use would increase the efficiency and effectiveness of manual methods of weed control on small farms which collectively could supply Jamaica's needs for "ball park" peanuts. Peanut industrial development in Jamaica however depends on expansion of the size of individual areas devoted to this crop. With increased size of areas, manual methods of weed control become less desirable. It would be disastrous, as far as efficiency is concerned, to depend on a large number of hired workers employing manual methods of hired workers employing manual methods of weed control only on individually large areas of peanut production. Economy and competitiveness of the final product will dictate a shift to a higher level of technology and capitalization involving the use of chemicals and fuel powered cultivators. Although an integrated system involving all methods of weed control is essential for successful peanut production it would be unwise to specify any particular package of technological practices for weed control as the desirability of any practice or group of practices varies widely with circumstances and is determined by optimization of income, factor utilization and the satisfaction of well-being.


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