CARICOM food import bill set to reach US$8-10 billion by 2020

- only Guyana, Belize, Haiti producing more than 50% of what they consume

Food sufficiency: Guyana is one of only three CARICOM countries that produces upwards of 50% of the food consumed by the population.

For all the talk in the Caribbean regarding the relatively food secure status of many of the territories, the real picture is not one that generates unbridled optimism according to an article headlined “Five Overlooked Facts About Caribbean Food Security” authored by the Barbadian writer,  Daphne Ewing-Chow, and published on February 20th in Forbes magazine.

The report, which relies significantly on the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) perspective on regional food security, paints a picture of a region which, for all its food production potential, remains financially burdened by an ever rising food import bill, seemingly with no end in sight to an ever rising dependency on foreign foods.

The article sets out what it says are five issues surrounding food security in the region, not least of which is the prognosis that its estimated US$4.75 billion 2018 food import bill is expected to increase to US$8-10 billion by 2020.  According to the report, while Guyana, Haiti and Belize are the only CARICOM member countries producing more than 50% of the food they consume, the present food import figure for the region represents upwards of 60% of total food consumption for almost all CARICOM members, with half of them importing more than 80% of the food they consume…..

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