Analysis: First Commitments of $6.5 Million From Jacobs Foundation and What Does Sustainable Agriculture Look Like in Trinidad and Tobago?
By Amber Charles,
I fondly recall my father’s stories about Trinidad and Tobago’s thriving production and export of sugarcane and cocoa in the 1970s. In particular, we produced high quality cocoa that was praised and sought after in Europe and the United Kingdom.
However, during my childhood in the 1990s, there were few sugarcane farms and cocoa estates left to fawn over, and the economy’s focus on oil and gas, as well as imports, left a dwindling agricultural sector.
In 1972 agriculture contributed to over 7% of the twin islands’ GDP, but in 2019 this figure stood at a meager 1% (1).
Plus, the country’s profitable oil and gas economy has left a large carbon footprint, resulting in its less-than-ideal rankings on Yale’s Environmental Performance Index (EPI) for climate change (2, 3).
Photo courtesy of USAID/ Naomi Logan.