Restructuring and Redundancy: The Impacts and Illogic of Neoliberal Agricultural Reforms in Jamaica
Journal of Agrarian Change
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Since the onset of IMF lending in the late 1970s, Washington-based planners have progressively compelled the Jamaican state to abandon its role in agriculture. Jamaica's agricultural adjustment occurred in two stages: first, agricultural development programmes were rolled back in the 1980s; second, liberalizing pressures in the 1990s threatened both the uncompetitive plantation sector (imperilling preferential markets) and domestically oriented small farmers (initiating a flood of cheap food imports). Today, agriculture in Jamaica is on the brink of irrelevance, with serious social and economic consequences in the balance. In critically assessing the process, impacts and illogic of agricultural restructuring in Jamaica, this paper highlights the uneven outcomes of global market integration and points to the urgent need for a reassertion of local sovereignty.