Farmers’ Experiences with the Giant African Snail Infestation: A Case Study in the Orange Grove Farming District, Trinidad West Indies

Marcus Ramdwar


The giant African snail was confirmed to be present in Trinidad in October, 2008. The study presents a case study on the farmers’ experiences with the giant African snail in Orange Grove, an active agricultural district in Trinidad which confirmed the presence of the snail in 2016, eight years after it was confirmed on the island. A qualitative approach was undertaken for this investigation. A semi-structured survey instrument was administered to thirty (30) participants who were impacted by the presence of the snail in their crop production fields. A purposive and convenience sampling strategy was used to select the participants for the study. Additionally, prolonged engagement and persistent observation techniques were used to capture the farmers’ experiences with the snail infestation in their crop fields for a period of ten (10) months. The information gathered from the study was analyzed using thematic analysis. The main themes derived from the analysis were “crop production practices influence on the giant African snail infestation”, “unmanaged and excessive weed growth” and “current approaches for controlling the giant African snail”. The study concluded that uncoordinated approaches for the management of the snail population and the lack of collective action among the members of the farming community could sustain the pest population in this farming area. Strategic planning and collective synchronized action among the farmers are crucial to containing, suppressing and eradicating the snail population within this crop farming area.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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