Factors influencing useful plant richness on land managed by small-scale farmers in Windsor Forest, Jamaica

SANDER, Logan - Yale University, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Ina VANDEBROEK - New York Botanical Garden

Free-listing, semi-structured interviews, guided farm visits and quantitative analysis were used to identify attributes of 16 farmers and their 51 farms and homegardens (“yards”) that correlate with reported useful plant ethnovariety richness in Windsor Forest, a rural village in Portland Parish, Jamaica. On a per-unit area basis, homegardens contained more ethnovarieties than farms (p=.018), while overall, farms contained more ethnovarieties (p=.012), because of their larger size. Higher levels of theft were reported from farms than homegardens which are located closer to homes (p=.001). The use of chemicals had no effect on useful plant richness, except for a negative effect on tree crop ethnovarieties (p=.065). Age of a farmer had no effect on the richness or type of useful plants. These results underscore the complexity of agrobiodiversity conservation in rural Jamaica.