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Sustainable Food Production Systems and Food Security: Economic and Environmental Imperatives in Yam Cultivation in Trelawny, Jamaica

  • Clinton Beckford


    (Faculty of Education, University of Windsor, 401 Sunset Avenue, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4, Canada)

  • Donovan Campbell


    (Department of Geography and Geology, University of the West Indies, Kingston 7, Jamaica)

  • David Barker


    (Department of Geography and Geology, University of the West Indies, Kingston 7, Jamaica)

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    Members of the genus Dioscorea, food yams, were introduced to Jamaica from Africa during the slave era and have remained a staple in local diets and national cuisine. Yam cultivation has also been an important economic activity providing employment for thousands of rural Jamaicans. Until the 1960s yams were grown for local use by subsistence growers for home consumption or by commercial growers for sale in local produce markets. Since then, however, yam has also grown to become an important export crop. With its value added potential virtually untouched, this crop possesses intriguing possibilities from the standpoint of food security and rural livelihoods in yam growing areas of Jamaica. At the same time there are concerns about the ecological and economic sustainability of yam farming under current conditions. In this paper we will analyze the sustainability of yam cultivation and consider concrete strategies for increasing the environmental sustainability and enhancing its contribution to food security.

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    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 541

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:541-561:d:11796
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    1. Clinton L. Beckford, 2009. "Sustainable Agriculture and Innovation Adoption in a Tropical Small-Scale Food Production System: The Case of Yam Minisetts in Jamaica," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(1), pages 81, March.
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