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Cuba's alternative/inward-looking development policies. Changing production patterns and land decentralisation: towards sustainable small farming (1990-2008)


  • Elisa Botella-Rodríguez

    () (PhD candidate, Institute for the Study of the Americas. University of London)


While most Latin American countries followed outward-looking policies of agrarian development, since the 1990s Cuba shifted towards food self-provisioning, internal liberalisation and sustainable small farming to face the harsh crisis that followed the Socialist demise of the late 1980s. Although it was an indispensable response to the worst crisis in Cuban history, Cuba is today one of the few countries experimenting with alternative development on a national scale. By considering the current context of globalisation where free trade agreements and progressive agrarian liberalisation have created asymmetrical trade relations, increasing import dependency and vulnerability for small farmers in less developed countries, this paper aims at answering the following questions: (1) What were the policies implemented under inward-looking agrarian development in Cuba (1990-2008)? (2) How did the policies transform Cuba's agrarian production patterns and land structures? (3) How have the inward-looking policies generated new spaces for small farmers in Cuba?

Suggested Citation

  • Elisa Botella-Rodríguez, 2010. "Cuba's alternative/inward-looking development policies. Changing production patterns and land decentralisation: towards sustainable small farming (1990-2008)," Documentos de Trabajo de la Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria 1011, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria.
  • Handle: RePEc:seh:wpaper:1011

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Cuba; small farming; sustainability; inward-looking development policies.;

    JEL classification:

    • N56 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • P28 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Natural Resources; Environment
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • Q27 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Issues in International Trade

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