Free trade and the development of sustainable agriculture in the Caribbean
NU. CEPAL. Sede Subregional para el Caribe
Includes bibliographyThis study examines the options for Caribbean countries in pursuing development of their agricultural sectors given the changes taking place in the international economy. The most significant of these changes is the liberalization of the trading regimes for primary agricultural products, in particular banana, by the European Union. This has serious implications for small Caribbean countries that rely on exports of one or a few commodities and are unable to compete in free markets. However, countries could reposition their agricultural sectors to take advantage of export niche markets and/or growing regional and tourism markets. The approach examined and recommended, based on case studies in selected Caribbean countries, is sustainable farming using organic methods of production. This type of farming sustains the livelihood of farming communities as well as preserves the environmental resources. To be successful, the approach would require policy and institutional support especially for small-scale farmers, as this method of production is knowledge intensive, requiring access to information and management capability.