Project

Agriculture and Jamaica’s Rural Poor

Jamaica has been called the richest poor nation on earth. Jamaicans take pride in their island’s abundance of fruits and vegetables, and hunger is not an extreme problem. On the other hand, rural farmers remain poor, and scratching out a living that will support a family is hard. Trade liberalization has hurt Jamaica's ability to be a major global supplier for items such as bananas, and at the same time, Jamaica is importing foods easily grown on the island.

Against the backdrop of a global recession, Jamaica’s government is investing in a more self-reliant agricultural economy with programs that promote urban gardening for families, school-run garden projects, and increased banana production for export to the European Union. However, despite the push for local food production, Jamaicans continue to import most of the food they consume, and rural farmers remain poor.

Julia Rendleman is a Pulitzer Center student fellow through Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

A Changing World? Pulitzer Center Photography Exhibition

Pulitzer Center student fellows travel the world to report on issues that affect us all—telling stories that might otherwise go untold. This exhibit features selected work by student fellows, shot on location in countries now undergoing rapid transformation, from the roads in Bangkok to a Maasai village in Tanzania.

Jamaica: Fresh Milk Down the Drain

Like many other Jamaican dairy farmers, Oral Rayson is dumping thousands of gallons of milk down the drain because imported powdered milk has become a cheaper alternative for locals.

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