Although the four islands have similar colonial backgrounds and more-or-less parallel development of the postwar banana industry, Welch finds dramatic variations in land use from island to island. She argues that the most critical factor in differences in land use is not politico-economic affiliation, agrarian structures, or the physical environment but the growers' associations that regulate the banana industries. She provides an account of the origin and development of banana growers' associations in the Eastern Caribbean, assesses the impact and influence of their policies and activities, and examines the way in which both associations and land-use patterns have evolved since the 1960s.
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