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加勒比海地區糧食安全問題之探討

A Study on the Food Security Issues in the Caribbean Community

Advisor : 林國慶

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Since the 2008 food crisis, there has been an increasing concern over maintaining food security throughout the World, especially in developing countries. The World Bank expects that 44 million more people will be pushed into poverty because of the more recent food price hikes of 2011. Climate change, oil price increases, expansion of emerging economies and increases in the demand for biofuels have caused the recent increases in the world price of food. Net food importing, developing countries like those of CARICOM are the most vulnerable to food insecurity as a result of these increasing prices. This study focuses on the food security issues of the CARICOM member states and the changes that have occurred in agricultural production, export and import between 1995 and 2009. The results indicate that CARICOM countries have had declining agricultural production, declining export volume, reduced numbers of active farmers and farm holdings, increasing import dependency and an increasing food import bill. A reduction in production and exports ceteris paribus, means a reduction in farm revenue while increasing world food prices and import dependency reduces the purchasing power of disposable income and the entitlement endowment of net buying consumers. Although the level food supply available per person per capita is deemed acceptable as per FAO recommendations, a lack of consumption and household income data precludes the establishment of the food security status of CARICOM. This study also estimates a food import demand equation by applying a GLS method of regression to panel data covering 13 CARICOM countries between 2001 and 2009 and found that both price and income elasticity of food import demand are inelastic. Policy recommendations such as safety nets and long term policy at the macro level, encouraging rural development, poverty and hunger reduction, increased productivity of farms and development of the agricultural industry are made in an effort to ensure food security in the region.

References


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