Author Affiliation, Ana.
Agricultural intensification in Jamaican small-scale farming systems: vulnerability, sustainability and global change.
Date of Publication
The paper contrasts two regions of intensive small-scale farming in Jamaica, a fruit and vegetable area in southern St. Elizabeth and a yam growing region in southern Trelawny. The former is the island's principal domestic food supply area while the latter is Jamaica's main export region. Yet, the relative success of these regions may have come at the price of increased vulnerability in the face of global change. The regions are located in different topographical and environmental settings and both farming systems represent successful adaptations by small farmers to local conditions. In one case, Guinea grass mulch is used to compensate for low rainfall while, in the other case, sticks from local woodlands and forests are used to stake yam hills. The intensification and commercialisation of production over the last 30 years has created local scarcities of farm inputs (mulch and yam sticks) which has led to higher production costs. The paper explores the dimensions of sustainability and vulnerability in these locally important food producing regions, in the context of the utilisation of local natural resources, the effects of trade liberalisation and food imports, and the recent hurricane and drought impacts in Jamaica.....