Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper - ESA Working Paper
Title Food prices and food security in Trinidad and Tobago
Issue 07-27
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
URL http://ejournal.narotama.ac.id/files/Food Prices and Food Security in Trinidad and Tobago.pdf
The economy of Trinidad and Tobago is booming, in particular as a consequence of increased energy
production and the historical high oil prices. Whilst general inflation has remained relatively low for
much of the present economic boom, substantial increases in retail food prices have been observed,
in particular since 2005. This paper looks at the development of retail food prices, its causes, the
potential impact thereof in terms of food security and possible policy options for addressing this. It
concludes that whilst households with low income are the groups most affected by the food price
increases and will continue to be so in the wake of increasing international prices, it is unlikely that the
price increases in isolation will throw off Trinidad and Tobago’s path towards meeting the MDG 1
hunger target and bringing the share of undernourished people down to 6.5% by 2015. However, food
security problems will remain, in particular related to overweight and obesity caused by unbalanced
diets. Analysing the food marketing systems according to domestic production system (export versus
domestic consumption), product type (fresh versus frozen and processed) and origins (imported
versus domestic), the paper identifies potential causes of price increases. These include increases in
price margins, international price changes and market conditions that vary greatly for different
commodities, ranging from competitive to oligopolistic. Finally, the paper identifies areas of potential
interventions related to direct price interventions, social protection, agricultural investment and trade

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