Caribbean Project: The Collapse of Caribbean Agriculture


In spite of all that has been written here about the Golden Circle, the sugar plantation in the Caribbean has gone the way of the cotton plantation in the Deep South. Agriculture in general has also ceased to be of much importance:

“The most spectacular decline was in the case of sugar. Its share at first held up well and even recovered to nearly 40 percent in the mid-1970s when world sugar prices were at their peak. There then followed a collapse that has no precedent in Caribbean economic history. Sugar’s contribution would fall below 10 percent by 1991 and below 1 percent by 2003. The one product that had done more than any other to define the Caribbean had ceased to be of any major significance for the region as a whole – and there was no likelihood of its returning to importance.

Other agricultural exports fared little better, their share declining from 12 percent at the beginning of the period to 0.5 percent at the end. All the main products suffered a drop in their share of merchandise exports. Tobacco leaf went from nearly 4 percent in 1960 to 0.01 percent fifty years later. Molasses, coffee, cacao, citrus and rice suffered a similar fate. Bananas went from 2.6 percent to 0.3 percent, and thus sugar and bananas combined – about which so much has been said and written in recent years – accounted together for no more than 1 percent of merchandise exports by the end of the period. …

The demise of the sugar industry came as something of a shock to the Caribbean – and yet it was also a liberation. The misery of short-term employment and the long dead season would finally come to an end. Land previously monopolized by sugar was now available for other uses. The plantations had finally lost their grip, and the owners could not influence economic policy in their own interests.” (Victor Bulmer-Thomas, The Economic History of the Caribbean Since the Napoleonic Wars, pp.357-360)

About Hunter Wallace 12380 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. This is what I said in some of my comments on the other threads. Reliance on any kind of farming, especially ‘dirt’ farming by manual labour, is ‘failure’ in itself. The middle and lower caste masses will eat GMO grown by robots.

  2. ‘The misery of short-term employment and the long dead season would finally come to an end. Land previously monopolized by sugar was now available for other uses’

    Some of us actually LIKE the ‘seasonal’ work of farming, but we wouldn’t enjoy it nearly so much under compulsion as slaves, or as our serf ancestors who were downtrodden by the Normans and the P—-y. It is sacrilege when our land that we ‘monopolise’ for feeding ourselves is taken for other uses, such as townhouses and warehouses, highways, schools and other government facilities, etc. — just as our ancestors’ common land was taken by the ‘church’ and nobility, and then by the capitalists.

  3. McDonald’s pink slime (look it up on YouTube) is a good metaphor for Modernity. It is food for a deracinated world where fields are destroyed to make way for more condos, shopping malls and parking lots. Let the world eat pink slime and get its fill.

Comments are closed.