Barker, David; Beckford, Clinton L.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Geography and Geology
Finding sustainable ways of staking yams and sourcing yam sticks in Jamaica: An environmental and economic imperative
Date of Publication
The yam stick problem in central Jamaica refers to the increasing scarcity, increasing price and declining durability of yam sticks. Yam farmers utilize traditional methods of staking yams in yam hills. The dramatic increase of yam production over the last two decades and the depletion of local sources of yam sticks has created a situation where farmers are almost entirely dependent on an informal commercial trade in yam sticks for the supplies of staking material. A major source of yam sticks is Jamaica's threatened forest resources so the yam stick problem has implications not only for the economic viability of yam production but also the integrity of the country's forests. Ongong research aims to investigate and introduce more environmentally sustainable and economically viable cultivation methods into yam farming communities in central jamaica. This paper reports on farmers' evaluations of a number of alternatives to the traditional methods of staking yam hills, and on the field trials with live yam sticks.....