Domestic Food Production and Food Security in the Caribbean: by Clinton L. Beckford, Donovan R. Campbell (auth.)

By Clinton L. Beckford, Donovan R. Campbell (auth.)

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Extra resources for Domestic Food Production and Food Security in the Caribbean: Building Capacity and Strengthening Local Food Production Systems

Example text

Livestock mainly include pigs, goats, and sheep. 1 Overview It could be argued that while the issue of food security is a global concern, Caribbean peoples and governments are just now fully grasping its significance for the region. Through the mass media, many people in the Caribbean are aware of the chronic food shortages in other parts of the world and the phenomenon of hunger. With the exception of perhaps Haiti, however, the sensationalized and dramatic incidence of food shortages and hunger seen especially in parts of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa is absent from the Caribbean.

There is a tendency to think of Caribbean small-scale farmers as subsistence cultivators, a factor that stems largely from the essentialization of smallholder farmers in the developing world in the academic literature. In other parts of the developing world, particularly tropical Africa and subtropical Asia, smallholder farming is mainly a subsistence activity, but this is not the case in the Caribbean. LeFranc (2006) points out that it is difficult to find places in the Caribbean where smallscale farming is primarily a subsistence activity.

With the exception of perhaps Haiti, however, the sensationalized and dramatic incidence of food shortages and hunger seen especially in parts of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa is absent from the Caribbean. This has perhaps led to an underestimation of the problem of food insecurity in the region and a complacent attitude. There is serious doubt, for example, about the extent to which there is accurate knowledge and full understanding of the extent of hunger in the region. We argue that given certain realities, food security in the Caribbean is at best precarious.

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