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Success and failures of inward-looking development in Cuba (1990-2008): opportunities and problems for small farmers


  • Elisa Botella-Rodríguez



While the rest of Latin America followed outward-looking policies of agrarian development during the 1990s and early 2000s, Cuba implemented an inward-looking model during this period. In the midst of the most severe crisis in its history, the Special Period, Cuba dramatically shifted from export dependency to inward-looking development. Cuba is a unique case in terms of agricultural development. Cuba’s agricultural development model provoked important transformations in the country’s agriculture sector. It revolutionised food production patterns and decentralised land structures and commercialisation. But did these changes create spaces for private small farmers to increase national food production during the 1990s and early 2000s? And if so, what particular spaces were created? This paper explores these questions concentrating on three key dimensions: 1) income and employment; 2) production and productivity levels; and, 3) small farmers’ contribution to national food security.

Suggested Citation

  • Elisa Botella-Rodríguez, 2014. "Success and failures of inward-looking development in Cuba (1990-2008): opportunities and problems for small farmers," Documentos de Trabajo de la Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria 1406, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria.
  • Handle: RePEc:seh:wpaper:1406

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mesa-Lago, Carmelo, 2005. "Social and economic problems in Cuba during the crisis and subsequent recovery," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.
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    More about this item


    Cuba; small farmers; inward-looking development; food security; agriculture development; land structures;

    JEL classification:

    • N56 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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