Analysis of Agricultural Policies in Jamaica (2015-2019)

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Dec 2021
The agricultural sector plays a crucial role in Jamaicas economic development by contributing to employment (15.93% of the active population in 2019; higher than the regional average) and exports (18% of total exports in 2019). This monograph offers an update of the Producer Support Estimate (PSE) methodology applied to Jamaica for the period 2015-2019 and documents the evolution of agricultural policies-related GHG emissions over the same period. Between 2015 and 2019, the market price support remained, by far, the main PSE component in Jamaica, heavily concentrated in the poultry subsector, followed by sugar. The positive trend in non-distorting General Service Support Estimate (GSSE) observed between 2012 and 2014 came to a halt. %GSSE even slightly decreased between 2015 and 2019, making Jamaica lag even further behind other countries. Concerning the GHG emissions, the picture has not changed significantly either. The poultry and sugar subsectors remained those that received most policy support and those that emitted the most. Several policy recommendations arise from this report, such as a shift away from an over-reliance of policy support on MPS and an increased focus on less-distortive forms of support, such as GSSE. Additional R&D investments, physical infrastructures, climate risk management systems would help address some of the agricultural sectors most pressing productivity and profitability issues. Lastly, it is advisable to diversify and rebalance the support provided by agricultural policies across subsectors to better align agricultural policy goals with GHG emissions reduction objective.