Menu Close

Old Farmers, Invisible Farmers: Age and Agriculture in Jamaica


Woodsong, Cynthia (1994). Old Farmers, Invisible Farmers: Age and Agriculture in Jamaica. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 9(3), 277-299.


Increases in both the percentage and absolute numbers of elders, originally observed in industrialized countries, are now a concern for a growing number of developing countries. At present, most elders are found in rural areas where many remain active in agriculture to very advanced years. There is concern that the rural concentration of elders may have negative consequences for agricultural production. This paper presents ethnographic material from Jamaica, where agriculture occupies an important place in the life course of many elders. Contrary to popular perceptions, farming is not exclusively the domain of elderly Jamaicans, but rather occurs at various stages in the life course in ways which make such activity 'invibible" to farm surveys and agricultural development policy. Such policies fail to account for the special abilities and needs of elder farmers.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology


Woodsong, Cynthia