Agricultural Support Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean. 2018 Review

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May 2018
Perez, Darrel
If we must eat to survive, we must make agriculture sustainable. To make agriculture sustainable, we must consider the necessary strategic actions to understand the challenges in the sector, solve problems and innovate. That is why in July 2017, several Ministers and other senior representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture of Suriname, Guyana, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Belize, Barbados and The Bahamas participated in the Caribbean Agricultural Policy Forum organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The Forum analyzed the agricultural policy strategies of the different countries and their impact on the performance of the sector. It was an opportunity to discuss the challenges the Caribbean’s agricultural sector faces, including: the vulnerability of small producers to price volatility in the global market and of course the impacts of climate change. The dialogue was based on agricultural public policy data collected for each Caribbean country within the framework of the IDB’s Agrimonitor initiative. The following publication gathers the main findings and summarizes how agricultural policies affect producers and consumers as well as how the limited funding for agricultural services, such as research and infrastructure, could limit the ability of Caribbean farmers to compete effectively in global markets. The analyses presented are therefore meant to contribute to the Caribbean’s regional dialogue for the design of more effective agricultural policies, which we hope will strengthen the sector and improve the lives of people in the region.