College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date

8-2012

Document Type

Thesis

College/Department Conferring Degree

International Studies

Keywords

food security and agricultural policy, land distribution, farming technologies, state marketing, access to credit

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate and analyze Trinidad and Tobago’s recent agricultural policy decisions and their effect on the way small farms and commercial large farms coexist to contribute to the country's food security. Food security is defined as when all persons can access sufficient and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life, and have enough income to access that food in a safe, socially acceptable way. This research uses qualitative data from farmers, representatives of agricultural organizations, and consumers/vendors at open air markets in Tobago, and secondary data from local government offices and international organizations. Information also comes from the country’s three main daily newspapers. The research suggests that the State has been striving to integrate the commercial farms into domestic, regional and international markets by emphasizing the role of technology and aggressive marketing. The research also suggests that the State is striving to improve the circumstances of small farmers through education, training and technology with regard to farming methods based on best practices; higher output quality standards; inclusion into the commodity value chain process; marketing support; and increased access to credit and financial incentives. The link between increased output at the commercial farms and lower domestic food prices has not been fully explored in this research, but initial reactions from farmers suggest that small farm incomes have been negatively affected.

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