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Document Abstract
Published: 2007

Trade policy, trade and food security in the Caribbean: structural issues, multilateral negotiations and competitiveness

Global trade liberalisation contributed to food insecurity in the Caribbean and responsive agriculture-based policies are needed
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There is considerable controversy over the impacts of trade policy and trade on food security. This book provides an overview of the interface between trade, trade policy and food security in the Caribbean. The publication also focuses on the Caribbean region as a component of the Small and Vulnerable Economies (SVEs) group.

The document notices that increasing food insecurity and loss of rural livelihoods has been the experience in several countries of the Caribbean. Still, global trade liberalisation contributed to this as it resulted in traditional export crops losing access to markets. Further, it led to increased food imports, crowding out domestic food crops and livestock activities.

Based upon the Caribbean experience, the authors conclude that trade liberalisation alone is not enough for development, and if not pursued in an integrated manner it may increase food insecurity and poverty.

The paper states that: 

  • it is critical to design trade policies that are responsive to the challenges facing small open economies in the region
  • these policies should be coherent and integrated into a larger policy and institutional framework which promotes agricultural development and food security

Yet, the authors stress that in designing an adequate strategy for the Caribbean countries, the following considerations require increased attention:

  • a clear vision for the agriculture sector and its future
  • a coordinated agricultural trade policy 
  • national and regional institution and private sector strengthening and interface
  • increased and more effective participation by a broad cross-section of stakeholders
  • an enabling environment for investment; specific commodities related to food security should be targeted
  • technical and financial resources; participating in programmes such as the Aid for Trade initiative is recommended
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J.R.D. Ford (ed); G. Rawlins (ed); P. Conforti (ed)

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