The Future for Agriculture in OECS Countries: Rural Sector Note | Land Portal

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December 2005
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This draft report prepared by an FAO - Investment Centre team upon request of the World Bank, is based on an extensive review of available information including technical papers and policy statements on OECS agriculture and on findings of short visits to the OECS countries to review development projects in the rural areas initiated by private investors, which could be of interest to the design of future agricultural sector development strategies. The objective of the report is to provide additional thoughts to the ongoing debate on the future for OECS agriculture and to the broader issue of regional strategies. Substantial additional work at field level and discussions at policy level would obviously be needed to translate the proposals outlined in the report into concrete operational recommendations. </p> The OECS countries share a number of common features including fragile ecosystems, historical dependence of agriculture on a few key export commodities and a domestic private sector that is very limited in human resources and financial capacity. Although diverse in terms of agricultural potential and prospects, the OECS countries are all suffering from a marked deterioration of the agricultural sector performance, problems in adjusting to trade liberalization, the severe competitive pressures from more efficient agricultural producers and a common search for appropriate agricultural sector policies that could provide an adequate response to overcome the current crisis.</p>Banana and to a very minor extent sugar, both crops with preferential market access to European countries, have been for long time the mainstay of the OECS agricultural economy. The national institutional systems including extension and the marketing arrangements have all been geared to the management of export crops economies while little attention was paid to food crops or diversification crops.

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Lucani, P.

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