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Sustainability 2011, 3(3), 541-561; doi:10.3390/su3030541
Article

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

1,* , 2
 and
2
Received: 2 September 2010 / Revised: 13 February 2011 / Accepted: 18 March 2011 / Published: 23 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Security and Environmental Sustainability)
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Abstract

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.
Keywords: yams; yam sticks; sustainability; small-scale farmers; food security yams; yam sticks; sustainability; small-scale farmers; food security
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Beckford, C.; Campbell, D.; Barker, D. Sustainable Food Production Systems and Food Security: Economic and Environmental Imperatives in Yam Cultivation in Trelawny, Jamaica. Sustainability 2011, 3, 541-561.

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