Can a Small Island State be Food Secure? Industrial Ecology Perspective on Food Security in Jamaica
The Caribbean region is home to 40 million inhabitants, with another 35+ million arriving as tourists annually. Yet, it produces only 15% of its food requirements. Can a small island nation be food secure? This study will investigate the opportunities and barriers to localizing food production in Jamaica through an “industrial ecology” lens, a research field that systematically analyses an economy’s resource use and efficiency. Jamaica, a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) in the Caribbean, imports 80-100% of its staple food items; a precarious dependence, that has increased by 40% in the last decade, making it exceptionally vulnerable to fluctuations in the global food prices and availability (Okoli, 2016; FAO, 2016). Among the Caribbean SIDS, Jamaica’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, for achieving food security is faced with major challenges. Undernourishment is still significant, while the prevalence of obesity is on the rise, currently affecting 8.4% and 25% of the population respectively (Sustainable Development Report, 2019). This demonstrates the dual nature of island food security problem that demands solutions going beyond the conventional paradigms of economic development, to retrofit the linear food production system.
Sep 01, 2019