Posted on: June 15 2016
Written by: Compete Caribbean June 30 2014
Document: [ Download Document ]
Publication Category: Agriculture
Caribbean agriculture consisted of the production and export of traditional bulk commodities, notably bananas and sugar, as well as rice, coffee and cocoa.
This activity was based on preferential trade arrangements with the European Union, under the Lomé Conventions and The Cotonou Agreement. With the removal of preferential access based on quotas for traditional crops and other reforms to the EU’s trading policies, as well as the increased pressure of globalization, Caribbean agriculture has struggled to compete internationally, and has experienced considerable reductions in the production of crops for local consumption as well.
Agriculture is also a key source of employment in many Caribbean countries, accounting for approximately 16% of the overall employment in the region — 30% in Guyana, 25% in Dominica, 20% in St.Lucia, and 18% in Jamaica.
Continued decline in agriculture will therefore have significant impacts on the economic and social viability of rural communities; and if left unchecked, will likely result in deterioration of real incomes and an increase in poverty rates in rural communities.