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#142 Domestic Food Systems and New Internationalization of National Economies: The Cases of Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago

By Margaretta DeMar

In recent years, despite efforts aimed toward agricultural development in many Caribbean countries, malnutrition remains a major problem in the region and food imports to the region have risen steadily. Similarly, in recent decades, there has been a transformation of the international economic system such that national economies have increasingly been integrated into the international economy. Many productive decisions which previously responded to factors at the national or lower levels are now responding to factors at the global level, even when transnational capital is not directly involved. At the same time, the internationalization of economies which were already substantially integrated into the international economy, such as those ofthe Caribbean, has undergone a qualitative change. A "new international division of labor" has changed the role of many underdeveloped countries from that of being producers of primary products integrated into the international economy solely through commodity trade to being new locations of production for international capital. This paper examines the evidence of this transformations of the international economic system as it is found specifically in the food systems of Jamaica, the DominicanRepublic, and Trinidad and Tobago, with a view to future analyses of the impact of this transformation on Caribbean food imports and Caribbean malnutrition.


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