The Government of Jamaica places agricultural development among its priorities and employs domestic policy measures and border protection to support agriculture. This report provides a qualitative analysis of the alignment of agricultural policy programs in Jamaica with the goals and existing challenges of the sector, supplementing it with a quantitative evaluation of agricultural support. The analysis finds that agricultural policy uses a limited number of instruments and concentrates on only a few sub-sectors. A comparison of the trends in agricultural support demonstrates that Jamaica’s share of gross farm receipts originating from agricultural policy (34.9% in 2012-14) was higher than in most LAC countries. The share of support to general services in total support was among the lowest regionally (8.2%).
The relative importance of agriculture in Suriname’s economy has declined over the last two decades. Meanwhile, as agricultural output fluctuated, the country’s economic growth was boosted by development in the mining and services sectors. However, agriculture is still socio-economically significant, as it is a major provider of employment in rural areas, accounts for 5% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings, and is a key contributor to food security through the production of rice, the population’s main staple food.
Although the agricultural sector contributes only 0.5% to Trinidad and Tobago’s GDP, it accounts for over 4% of employment and is important for the diversification of the economy. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago supports agriculture through a combination of incentives to agricultural producers, support for research and infrastructure, and border protection measures. Support to producers averaged 22.4% of gross farm receipts in 2013-2015, and a significant share of that support (44%) was provided in the form of transfers to general services. At the same time, total transfers arising from agricultural policy amounted to only 0.34% of the national GDP. Reorienting agricultural policy towards goals and actions that are less production-distorting, and that address agricultural productivity and profitability, will help create a possibly small, but efficient agricultural sector, as well as exploit certain specific competitive advantages.