Food Security – Bread Basket 101

Go Lean Commentary

We gotta eat!

In fact, we probably ate 3 times yesterday; we will need to eat today; and our bellies will grumble if we do not eat tomorrow. Every culture around the world have to plan and deliver some solution for food. The art and science of this delivery is called:

Food Security
[This] is defined as the availability of food and one’s access to it. A household is considered food secure when its occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation. Stages of food insecurity range from food secure situations to full-scale famine. The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. – Source:

This is Christmas-time 2019; this season is known for its feasting, especially here in the Caribbean where all 30 member-states – that constitute the political Caribbean – boasts a Judeo-Christian heritage.

What did you have on your dinner table for Christmas?
Turkey, Ham, Roast Pork, Goat, Fish, Chicken, etc.?

I hope you enjoyed your festivities. Nevertheless, truth be told, we have some serious issues in the regional eco-system for our food supply. In summary:

We do NOT have Food Security.

In fact, for most of the 30 Caribbean member-states, that Christmas dinner you enjoyed was mostly imported food. So if the transportation networks are ever interrupted, the flow of the needed food stuff would be impeded.

If … ever?

We have the constant threat of hurricanes and earthquakes in our region, so yes, this worrisome threat is not just theoretical; it has happened is happening in our homeland. (i.e. the NGO World Central Kitchen is feeding Hurricane Dorian survivors in the Northern Bahamas even now, 4 months after the devastation).

But wait?! We’ve got water: oceans and seas. Surely those resources will preserve our ability to provide a Food Supply to our people; surely we can feed ourselves from our fisheries? Sorry, No! Again in summary:

Our fish-stocks are in crisis. We are now importing more of our seafood, rather than locally sourcing for ourselves and others (minimal exports).

This is the subject of December 2019 teaching series for the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean. (Every month we present a series). This commentary is 1 of 5 in a series considering Food Security for the Caribbean; the goal here is not to inventory the problems, but rather to define, discover, design and develop better Food Supply solutions for our region. The full series is as follows:

  1. Food Security – Bread Baskets on Land and Sea
  2. Food SecurityTemperate Foods in the Tropics
  3. Food SecurityOpportunity: 1 County in Iowa raises all the Beef for a Cruise Line
  4. Food SecurityFTAA: A Lesson in History
  5. Food SecurityBig Chicken

The 2013 Go Lean book presents a roadmap to introduce and implement a regional solution to ensure Food Security. It is a wise yet simple plan, to leverage the 42 million people in the 30 member-states to optimize the delivery systems for the region’s basic needs: food, clothing shelter and energy. The strategy of regional leverage is to confederate the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This would be a supra-national government entity to optimize the sourcing and provisioning of much of the agriculture and fishery needs for the people. The book posits that the challenge is too big for any one member-state alone to tackle and succeed. Therefore, there is the urgent need to formulate a Single Market to integrate all of these countries and territories in the geographical region, including the 1,063,000 square miles of the Caribbean Sea in an Exclusive Economic Zone. Imagine …

  • Food Cooperatives
  • Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO)
  • Refrigerated Warehouse Condominiums

These are just glimpses of the regional vision to grow the economy for all member-states. This was the urging of professional Economists when ask the question: “How do we, as the Caribbean, grow our economy? The answer: Feed Ourselves. See this excerpt from the Go Lean book (Page 153):

The industries of agri-business allow structured commercial systems to grow, harvest and trade in food supplies. Many of the Caribbean member states (Lesser Antilles) acquire all their food in trade, the agricultural footprint is very small, though some countries (Greater Antilles, Belize, Guyana & Suriname) have a low opportunity cost for producing food. But with the Trade Federation in force, intra-region trade will be the first priority. When the demand is qualified, quantified and assured, the supply and quality there in, will catch up.

As related here, “the industries of agri-business …” is where our focus need to be. As prescribed as good economic policy, we need our own bread basket so as to Feed Ourselves.

Bread basket = a part of a region that produces cereals for the rest of it.

Recent examples of Breadbasket Economic discussions:

See a sample bread basket reference (Nigeria) in this VIDEO here:

VIDEO – Benue State – Nigeria’s Food Basket –

Published Feb 1, 2017 – Enjoy an overview of this wonderful middle belt state in Nigeria. It was created in 1976.

According to a previous Go Lean commentary:

Who or where is the bread basket of the Caribbean?

Do we have an answer? Do we have a bread basket? Do we even have an organized region so as to collaborate on the responsibility of feeding our people?

No, No, and No!

This commentary is important for the Caribbean to contemplate. Every human in every land must arrange for the delivery of basic needs – “we gotta eat” and so food supply is paramount. Scientific developments have always been a major consideration for food supply, ever since the days of hunting-and gathering. Modern society is built on the premise that we would employ scientific best practices to harvest our food, or trade with people who employ these best practices.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean declares “enough already” with the trade; it is time to produce our own.

Truth be told, the limestone islands of the Caribbean – think: Bahamas, Cayman, Turks & Caicos Islands, etc. – cannot be used to implement sustainable agricultural system. We need to deputize the larger landmasses – Belize, Cuba, Guyana, Suriname, etc. – to serve the bread basket role for the rest of the region.

This is the plan … deploy the agricultural installations and developments to make all the appropriate member-states our bread basket.

This plan is presented throughout the 370 pages of the Go Lean book, provided as turn-by-turn directions on how to reform and transform the economic, security and governing engines for the Caribbean region and their member-states. This roadmap includes the new community ethos (attitudes and values) that must be adopted; plus the executions of new strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to deliver on the basic responsibility of Feeding Ourselves. In fact, this is the actual title of one advocacy in the Go Lean book. Consider the specific plans, excerpts and headlines here from Page 162, entitled:

10 Ways to Better Manage Food Consumption

1 Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market Confederation Treaty The CU will allow for the unification of the region into one market, thereby creating a single economy of 30 member-states, 42 million people and a GDP of over $800 Billion – the CU will take the lead in facilitating the food supply and distribution systems to ensure the region can feed itself, more from local production and less from trade. Though the cost savings of imports should never be ignored, some CU countries (Greater Antilles, Belize, Guyana & Suriname) have a low opportunity cost for increasing food production for the regional market. Thus a mission of the CU is to streamline the systems, processes, logistics, funding, training, and market promotions so that the Caribbean can fulfill this basic need.
2 Public Health Dynamics – Produce Deserts & Farmers Market
3 “Nouvelle” Caribbean Cuisine
4 Agri-Business

Many of the member-states get 90% (or more) of their food supplies from imports; even fish is imported from Alaska, despite the 1,063,000 square miles of harvestable waters of the Caribbean Sea. The CU will implement agri-business (and aqua-culture) investments to generate more regional options for food production: cooperatives (co-ops), farm credit, common grazing lands, fisheries oversight, canaries, aqua-culture endeavors, etc.

5 Logistics for the Food Supply

[Quick Service Restaurants or] QSRs are so popular and growing in demand because they have mastered the “art and science” of logistics, to get their food to the consumer; and thus the low cost. When speed is not the goal, preservative strategies must be implemented. The technology of canning, “200 year old science”, will be advocated more for native products. (Most canned coconut water comes from Thailand). The CU will sponsor co-ops to manage canneries for different foods.

6 Fresh Frozen

Delivery of food products must be carefully managed. Meats and produce are perishable and have a limited time to get to their final markets. An additional logistical strategy is “flash freezing”. This 100-year old technology holds a lot of promise for the region. The CU will sponsor cooperatives and condominium associations to construct and maintain refrigerated warehouses, with power alternatives, to facilitate the logistics of frozen products – for trading partners.

7 Food Labeling
8 Export – Help Regional Businesses Find Foreign Markets
9 Media Industrial Complex
10 Food Tourism

This advocacy projects that there is hope that we can reform and transform our agricultural deliveries. That’s the land, what about the seas?

In a previous blog-commentaryLessons in Economic History: Commerce of the Seas – Book Review: ‘Sea Power’ – we learned how the oceans/seas can give a competitive advantage that can be exploited:

Around the world, countries that had access to the “Sea” have a distinct advantage economically versus countries that were land-locked; i.e. England versus Austria.

To help us Feed Ourselves, the Go Lean roadmap also advocates that we exploit the valuable resources of the seas, by reforming and transforming the fishery eco-system. In fact, this is the actual title of one advocacy in the Go Lean book. Consider the specific plans, excerpts and headlines here from Page 210, entitled:

10 Ways to Improve Fisheries

1 Lean-in for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU).

The CU will allow for the unification of the region into one market, thereby creating a single economy of 30 member-states, 42 million people and a GDP of over $800 Billion (2010). One mission of the CU is to facilitate the food supply so that the region can feed itself, more from local production and less from trade; this includes yields from fisheries. The Caribbean Sea generates a large fishing industry for the surrounding countries, accounting for half a million metric tons (1.1 billion pounds) of fish per year. And yet, the region still imports fish from Alaska. (Alaska imports none from the Caribbean).

2 UN Petition – Effort initiated by the ACS [(Association of Caribbean States)]
3 Common Pool Resources (Lobster, Conch, Grouper, Flying Fish)

Though the waters between the islands may be uninhabited, their resources can still be depleted. The CU will govern the common pool resources to promote the sustainability of fish stock. Fishing for lobster, conch, grouper, “flying fish” and other species. [These] must be controlled, with limited harvesting seasons, otherwise there will be none for future generations.

4 Cooperatives

Fishery cooperatives allow fishermen and industry players to pool their resources in certain (non-competitive) areas of activity. This strategy is vital for sharing the cost and expense of installing piers/docks, locating systems (Loran-C & GPS), canaries, refrigerated warehouses and transportation solutions.

5 Aqua-culture and Mari-culture

The CU will foster the industry (and cooperatives) for aqua-culture, the controlled harvesting of fish, crustaceans,

mollusks and aquatic plants using farm-like conditions and practices. While commercial fishing can be likened to hunting-and-gathering, aquaculture is more akin to agriculture. Mari-culture, on the other hand, refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments and underwater habitats. The CU will plant aquatic plants as needed to protect fish beds and reefs.

6 Fishing Tourism and Yachting Enthusiasts
7 Marine Financing
8 Coast Guard hand-off to CU Naval Authority
9 ICE Cooperation
10 Maritime Emergency Management

This Caribbean roadmap to improve our Surf & Turf  Food Supply should be welcomed and greatly appreciated. The end result will be less imports – this means we get to Feed Ourselves with lower costs and greater variety in our Food Supply.

The issues in reforming and transforming our agriculture and fishery eco-systems have been a frequent subject for previous blog-commentaries; consider this list of sample entries: Using Common Pool Resources to Better Source Our Food Industrial Reboot – Fisheries 101 Industrial Reboot – Frozen Foods 101 Science of Sustenance – Temperate Foods Better Fisheries Management for Queen Conch Climate Change May Affect Food Supply Within a Decade

All Caribbean member-states are urged to “eat, drink and be merry”, but let’s do it with local food that we source ourselves – harvested from our own bread basket. This was an original intent of the Go Lean book; see this except from the opening Page 3:

The CU should better provide for the region’s basic needs (food, clothing, energy and shelter), and then be in position to help supply the rest of the world. Previous Caribbean societies lived off the land and the sea; but today, the region depends extensively on imports, even acquiring large quantities of seafood, despite the 1,063,000 square miles of the Caribbean Sea.

“Living off the land; living off the Seas” – considering our historicity, it would be stupid for us to NOT try this effort. This is why this roadmap is conceivable, believable and achievable. We urge all Caribbean stakeholders to lean-in to this roadmap to empower our regional Food Supply – we must feed ourselves … and make the Caribbean homeland and home-seas better places to live, work and play. 🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 14):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

xxx.  Whereas the effects of globalization can be felt in every aspect of Caribbean life, from the acquisition of food and clothing, to the ubiquity of ICT, the region cannot only consume, it is imperative that our lands also produce and add to the international community, even if doing so requires some sacrifice and subsidy.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.

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