Small and Closed vs. Large and Open: Some Lessons from Comparing Cuban to Colombian Agricultural Development

Bernd Reiter, Brandon Scott Huson, Maria Auxiliadora Gonzalez



Comparing the experiences of selected Latin America and the Caribbean countries and their trajectories over the past 15 years offers rich insights into the dynamics and causes for not meeting the 2015 MDGs. They also offer clues for post-MDG strategies. Central to achieving sustainable growth are government policies able to support small and medium-sized farms and peasants, as they are crucial for the achievement of several goals, centrally: to achieve food security; to provide a sound and stable rural environment able to resist external (financial) shocks; to secure healthy food; to secure local food; and to protect vibrant and culturally rich local communities. This paper analyses and compares the most successful government policies to the least successful policies carried out over the last 15 years in selected Latin American and Caribbean countries and based on this analysis, offers strategies for more promising post-MDG politics, able to reduce poverty, reduce inequality, fight back informality, and achieve more decent work in poor countries.

Keywords: development, agriculture, food sovereignty, agroecology

Data of the article 

First received:  16 September 2014 | Last revision received: 10 January 2015 Accepted: 02 January 2015 | Published online: 12 March 2015


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