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Abstract

For many years the performance of the agricultural sector in the Caribbean has been disappointing. In the past decade, this poor performance has been exacerbated by new global trading rules, which have accelerated the long decline in the production of the traditional crops, which once dominated the economic and social life in the Caribbean. In the wake of this poor performance has been the lack of rural development; whereas many urban dwellers have seen modern developments taking place, most rural areas show symptoms of neglect with the basic human amenities for modern living not provided. This situation will probably continue until agricultural industries can make a more meaningful contribution to the national economies. Agricultural research in the Caribbean is fragmented. Funding of this research has dropped sharply as international aid has become harder to access and government spending has been tightened. CARDI has suffered from these trends, but now realises that the way forward is to collaborate with national, other regional and extra regional agencies. Some examples of CARDI's collaborations are given and CARDI's vision to further develop collaborative efforts is briefly outlined. There are still examples of difficulties in trying to collaborate within the region; indeed there are pressures to compete with each other instead of working together. These pressures need to be overcome if agriculture is to survive and if rural areas are to gain prosperity.

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