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Abstract

The aim of this study is to determine the competitiveness of the major producers of carrots in the region and whether production should be expanded to displace the current extra-regional imports. Problem: Trinidad, traditionally imported carrots from the USA; however, since 2005 this trade has been diverted to Costa Rica primarily through the signing of the bilateral arrangement with Costa Rica. In this case, the 40% CET has been waived, thus making it more attractive to import from Costa Rica. At the same time, CARICOM producers are seeking markets for their produce and any opportunities that lie therein. This study examined the market opportunities for carrots in the Caribbean Region and any opportunity that exist for the major carrot producer(s) in CARICOM. The study was done in an attempt to locate opportunities for small carrot producers who characterize the Region and to highlight the challenges they would face, both within their country and also those challenges which would arise through globalization. Jamaica was found to be the major CARICOM producer, and Trinidad and Tobago the major importer of carrots; however, no trade took place between these CARICOM partners. The study found that Jamaica was not price competitive against the two major suppliers to the Trinidad and Tobago market: Costa Rica and the USA. The results also show that a greater sum of domestic resources will be used to produce a unit of carrot compared to the foreign exchange earned against low market prices in Trinidad and Tobago. Thus Jamaica will not have a comparative advantage as it relates to the use of foreign exchange. In times when prices are high in the Trinidad and Tobago market, Jamaica will have a comparative advantage as it relates to the use of foreign exchange. There are, however, opportunities for Jamaica in this market if they can supply at more competitive prices as they were found to be uncompetitive when the competitor prices are low but marginally competitive when the competitors' prices increase on the market. Jamaica's high costs are associated with inefficiencies in the production process. Thus, should Jamaican carrot producers improve their agronomic practices, they would be able to effectively compete in this regional carrot market.

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