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Full Text
., ISSN 00086495

Caribbean Quarterly
Volume 26 No. 3
September, 1980




Copyright reserved and reproduction without permission strictly forbidden.

1 Urbanization and Planning in the West Indies
Brian J. Hudson

18 Economic Crisis and Progress in Spatial
Terry L. McIntosh
24 A Geographical Perspective on Scale of
Anthony D. Griffith

Integration: The Case of

Farming in a Developing

36 The External Trade of the Commonwealth Caribbeans MDCs in the
Post-Independence Period (1962-1975)
Ralph Paragg

50 The Eye of the Storm
Howard A. Fergus

52 Faculty of Arts
Bridget Jones

and Switched to record in the Music Room

53 The Ecology of Development Administration in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago,
and Barbados by Jean-Claude Garcia-Zamor
reviewed by W. Errol Bowen
57 Notes on Contributors
58 Books Received
59 Publications of the Department

63 Information for Contributors

VOL. 26 No. 3



Editorial Committee
Hon. R.M. Nettleford, O.M., Professor of Extra-Mural Studies (Editor)
Lloyd Brathwaite, Pro Vice-Chancellor, St. Augustine, Trinidad
Sir Sidney Martin, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Cave Hill, Barbados
Roy Augier, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Mona, Jamaica
G.A.O. Alleyne, Professor, Department of Medicine, Mona
Lloyd Coke, Department of Botany, Mona
Neville McMorris, Department of Physics, Mona
Janet Liu Terry, Associate Editor

All correspondence and contributions should be addressed to:

The Editor,
Caribbean Quarterly,
Department of Extra-Mural Studies,
University of the West Indies,
Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica.

We invite readers to submit manuscripts or recommend subjects which they
would like to see discussed in Caribbean Quarterly. Articles of Caribbean relevancy
will be gratefully received. Authors should refer to the section on Information for
Contributors for guidelines.

Subscriptions (Annual)

Jamaica J$24.00
Eastern Caribbean J$28.00
United Kingdom UK9.00
U.S.A., Canada and other countries US$22.00

Exchanges are conducted by the Gifts and Exchanges Section, Library, University
of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica.

Information for back volumes supplied on request. Volumes 1-18 of Caribbean
Quarterly are available in microfilm from Xerox University Microfilms and in book
form from Kraus-Thomson Reprint Ltd.

Subscription orders may be forwarded to the Editor or the Resident Tutor at the
University Centre in any West Indian Territory served by this University.


Developmental imperatives are naturally central to public policy concerns in the
Caribbean Basin at this time and this issue of Caribbean Quarterly seeks to focus
attention on particular economic aspects of those concerns. Yet the attempt concentrates
in large measure on the centrality of the human factor in these concerns.

Brian Hudson's essay on Urbanization and Planning in the West Indies addresses the
problem of human settlement in countries as different as Trinidad, Jamaica and Cuba
and concludes that "urban structure and urban form" still carry the "imprint of
centuries of colonial rule and continuing imperialism." A new West Indian society
will therefore herald the "creation of a new pattern of urbanization" he asserts with
some hope.

That all this is the responsibility of the people living within developing countries
themselves is brought out in Terry L. McIntosh's close examination of Guatemala's
"development and rational utilization of domestic resources in order to raise the levels of
national self-sufficiency" in his article Economic Crisis and Progress in Spatial Integration:
The Case of Guatemala. The shift in development priorities based on the greater atten-
tion given to the maximization of land use and the mobilization of human resources
(especially the peasants) has, according to Professor McIntosh, brought to Guatemala
spatially significant results. For new importance has been given to "portions of the
country which have previously received minimal public or private investment." It is a
solution worthy of close examination by all the territories of the Caribbean.

Closely associated with this is the approach to development problems from the
perspective of the intrinsic integrity of the ecosystem. In the article A Geographical
Perspective on Scale of Farming in a Developing Country, Anthony D. Griffith looks at
"the functional relationships between the different aspects of social behaviour and the
environment, and regards the people rather than the profits as the determining factor in
development." He is led to the conclusion that "development and progress in agriculture
in developing countries... seem to be more a matter of improving the quality of inputs
and maintaining efficiency than in applying new 'alien' systems or technologies solely on
the basis that these have succeeded elsewhere." Again the lessons for the small territories
of the Caribbean are clear.

All the above articles imply methods of liberation from underdevelopment within
our still developing region. Ralph Paragg looks at external trade of Barbados, Guyana,
Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago between 1962 and 1975, "not only to identify the
changes which have taken place but also to ascertain the extent to which the pattern of

trade confirms with or deviates from the dependency model of trade and concurrently to
determine whether trade dependence has been increasing or diminishing." He finds that
the dependency factor did govern trade patterns in the period under review and concludes
that any attempt to decrease that trade dependence must come through policy-action in
"four areas namely food production, consumer imports, rationalisation of industry and
food imports." This depends in turn on political will and a capacity to transform the
liabilities of world inflation and increasing energy (oil) problems into an asset i.e. into a
stimulus for the Commonwealth Caribbean countries themselves to "undertake the kind
of actions which make for the transformation of their economies and a more dynamic
pattern of trade."

W. Errol Bowen's review of Jean-Claude Garcia-Zamor's book entitled "The Ecology
of Development Administration in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados"
completes a collection of essays into areas of serious concern to the people of the
Caribbean Basin in the new development decade-the eighties.



Urban civilization in the Caribbean region has a history of well over a thousand years.
The Yucatan Peninsula is dotted with the ruins of Mayan cities, among them Tikal
which is believed to have had a population of some 45,000 in the sixth century A,D.1
Some of these ancient sites are actually on the Caribbean coast, little more than 200
kilometres from Cuba, the nearest and largest of the Greater Antilles, but the establish-
ment of urban settlements on the West Indian islands awaited the arrival of the Europeans
less than five hundred years ago.
The earliest Spanish colonial settlements were unplanned. Towns founded by the
Spaniards in the early sixteenth century are characterized by irregular streets which are
quite similar in layout and appearance to those of most towns in Spain herself. The later
colonial towns, however, were usually laid out on a regular grid plan, with a spacious
central plaza, in accordance with the regulations contained in the Laws of the Indies,
first written in 1523. Other European colonizers, notably the British and French, who
followed in the wake of the Spaniards, also laid out many of their colonial settlements
on a regular grid plan with a central square, a pattern commonly adopted by colonizers
at least as far back as the times of the Greek and Roman Empires.
The foundation of towns was an essential element in Spain's colonial policy, and this
gave rise to a more even distribution of urban centres than usually occurred in the West
Indian territories of the other European powers.2 The British actually tried to discourage
urban growth which was seen as a threat to sugar production and to the industry and
trade of the home country.3 In the British colonies as elsewhere, however, towns grew in
response to the needs of trade, commerce and administration. Some rose only to decline
later with shifting patterns of trade and changing modes and lines of transport and com-
Over the years the general trend was towards the emergence of one dominant centre of
population and economic activity in each colonial territory. This town normally
combined the functions of chief port and administrative capital. The growth of industry,
particularly in the twentieth century, only served to reinforce this dominance as factories
tended to be located near the main port. Here raw materials and parts for assembly were
imported and through it goods might be exported overseas. Moreover, the large popula-
tion provided a ready source of labour and a convenient and relatively rich market. With
the exception of Jamaica, even the tourist industry, which expanded rapidly after the
Second World War, tended to concentrate largely on the primate capital cities where the
infrastructure for development already existed.

Urbanization and urban primacy
Of the six most populous West Indian countries, those with over a million inhabitants,
only Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago have less than twenty percent of their populations

living in the capital cities. In the case of Trinidad and Tobago, however, the relatively
small population figure for the capital city is very misleading, for the highly urbanized
Port of Spain metropolitan region contains over 40 percent of the country's people.

The metropolitan regions of San Juan and Kingston contain some 30 percent of
the population of their respective country, and in Cuba, as well as in most of the
smaller territories, the capitals account for over 20 percent. Some, including Barbados
and St. Lucia, have over 40 percent of their population concentrated in and around the
capital, Curacao, with nearly 70 percent of its population in Willemstad being the most
extreme case. (See Fig. 1).

With such large proportions of the population living in the capitals alone, it is clear
that the level of urbanization among the Caribbean islands is generally high. Problems of
defining urban places make comparisons difficult, but according to official statistics, by
1970 in Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Cuba over 40, 50 and 60 percent respectively of the
population was classified as urban. In 1940 only 30 percent of Puerto Rico's population
had been classed as urban, and Jamaica's proportion of urban dwellers was little more
than that (32%) as recently as 1960.

Haiti, with over 80 percent of its population living in rural areas is the great exception.
The low level of urbanization here is partly due to the particularly limited development
of commerce, industry and other activities which promote town growth, but the strong
attachment of the Haitian habitant to the land may also be an important factor. Port
au Prince, the capital, contains 60 per cent of the people who live in Haiti's settlements
with more than 2,500 inhabitants, and is sixteen times larger than Cap Haitien, the next
largest town. The overwhelming domination of the primate city is characteristic of all
countries of the Caribbean islands. Predominantly rural, Haiti is an extreme case of
hypercephalism, but in Jamaica, where about half the population lives in urban areas,
Kingston is twleve times larger than Montego Bay, the island's second largest town.
Where the Spanish colonial heritage is strongest, there is a more evenly graded hierarchy
of urban settlements, but in every West Indian territory the metropolitan area of the
major urban centre has a population greater than the combined populations of the next
three largest towns.

The rapid growth of towns in the Caribbean, particularly the primate cities, is largely
due to migration from rural areas which increased enormously after World War II. Some
of the reasons for this migration from country to town are those which apply to most of
the Third World. These include increasing pressure of population on limited agricultural
land resources, a problem greatly exacerbated by inequality of land ownership, and the
attractions of the towns where better services, higher wages and a wider choice of em-
ployment and other opportunities are available, or are perceived to exist.
In reality the creation of urban job opportunities lags far behind the rising demand,
and in most territories industrialization is proceeding slowly. It appears that it is the
"push" from the rural areas rather than the "pull" of the towns which most accounts
for the migration from country to town. In the West Indies, with its historical back-
ground of plantation slavery, this is probably emphasized by the low esteem in which
agricultural work is widely held.4

The trend to urban living is expected to continue, although in some countries, notably
Cuba, attempts are being made to divert the population increases to settlements other

than the primate city. In Trinidad about 65 percent of the population will be living in
urban settlements by the year 2000, m contrast to 50 percent today, and this means that
between 85 and 90 percent of that country's additional population will be town
dwellers.5 Similarly in Jamaica it is expected that the anticipated population increase of
about 770,000 people between 1970 and 1990 "will be virtually all in urban areas."6

The concentration of population growth in towns, particularly in the metropolitan
areas of the primate cities, is creating a number of disproportionately large urban agglo-
merations in several of the island territories. If present trends continue, a conurbation
including Kingston, urban St. Andrew, Spanish Town and Portmore, will contain nearly
half of Jamaica's population by 1990,7 while in Trinidad the 30 kilometre urbanized belt
from west of Port of Spain to Arima in the east, can be expected to contain over half the
country's population before the end of the century.8 The towns of Puerto Rico's
northern coastal plain, including San Juan and Arecibo may soon merge to form a
megalopolis 160 kilometres long.

Problems of Urbanization
The migration of population from the rural areas and the increasing concentration of
people in the large cities has created or exacerbated a number of social, economic and
environmental problems. The departure of many of the young and ambitious people
from the country to the towns has deprived rural areas of much of their labour force and
enterprising spirit. In the cities unemployment and poor living conditions have contribu-
ted to frustration and social unrest, particularly among the young, many of whom turn to

Most of the migrants are in the reproductive age group, and women are usually in the
majority. Thus the young migrants and their children put heavy strain on the already
inadequate urban services, and rapidly swell the ranks of the badly housed, the inade-
quately schooled and the unemployed.

In the older parts of town the single family houses originally occupied by the middle
class have largely been subdivided and converted into multi-family apartments, charac-
terized by overcrowding, inadequate facilities and structural decay. Other slum areas take
the form of densely built wooden zinc-roofed shacks, often single-roomed dwellings each
accommodating an entire family. In Kingston and elsewhere these are commonly built by
the occupants themselves on sites which they rent from the landowners. Water supply
and sanitary facilities in these rent yards are normally very inadequate and living
standards are generally low.

In the West Indies squatting has not reached the scale which is common in many
Latin American countries, but it is on the increase as pressure on urban land rises. Any
area outside the urban land market may be captured and converted into the nucleus of a
squatter settlement overnight. Swamps, gully banks, steep hillsides and undeveloped
subdivision lots are commonly used for this purpose.

The rapid expansion of the larger Caribbean towns and cities with their outmoded and
outworn infrastructure inherited from a colonial past has created many of the problems
which are widely experienced throughout the urbanizing world. These problems are
particularly intractable in Third World countries, such as those of the Caribbean, where

there is a shortage of capital and skills, and organizational structures are often deficient.
Water shortages, power failures, erratic telephone service, inadequate public transport,
traffic congestion, and sewerage and garbage disposal problems afflict most of the larger
Caribbean towns and cities in varying degrees.

These problems have been aggravated by speculation in land and housing by local and
foreign companies.9 The resultant uncoordinated sprawl and scattered development
make the provision of services less efficient and more costly than they would have been in
better planned and more compact settlements.

A particularly harmful aspect of land speculation in some areas has been premature
land subdivision whereby thousands of building lots have been created far in advance of
real need. 10 In addition to inflating land prices and impeding orderly urban expansion,
premature subdivision is detrimental to national economic development for several
reasons. Clearly it is a waste of money, materials and labour to build roads and install
watermains, electricity cables and other infrastructural services which serve few or no
buildings. It is also very uneconomic to maintain them for the sake of a mere sprinkling
of developed lots. Moreover, the huge sums tied up in unproductive land could have been
more usefully invested in agriculture, industry and other areas which would benefit the
community. The situation is even worse where good agricultural land has been taken out
of production.

Speculative schemes and other unplanned developments have also had a very
deleterious effect on the environment, especially on the coast where tourism is often a
contributory factor. Indeed, environmental degradation, including pollution, is causing
serious concern in many of the islands despite the relatively low level of industrialization.
Kingston Harbour and San Juan's Condado Lagoon are so contaminated with sewage from
the surrounding urban development that they are no longer safe for swimming, and
fishing has suffered. Moreover, air pollution from some industrial plants and from
vehicles on congested roads is increasingly apparent.

Responses to problems: public housing and urban renewal
Many of the problems associated with urbanization are complex and interrelated.
Some, such as unemployment and bad housing, are not confined to urban areas alone.
Their solution requires a comprehensive approach at local, regional and national levels.
For example, unemployment, rural-urban migration and the urban housing problem are
closely interrelated and one approach to this has been for governments to encourage
industrial development away from the largest towns. In most West Indian countries,
however, most of the efforts to grapple with problems of urbanization have concentrated
in and around the towns themselves, particularly in the areas of public housing and urban

The problem of urban housing is mainly that of the poor majority who are least able
to afford adequate accommodation. In the Caribbean government attempts to improve
the situation range from the construction of high-rise apartment blocks to sites and
services schemes in which the occupants themselves are expected to complete the fully
serviced core units provided. The latter approach is being adopted because many Third
World countries are recognizing their inability to provide adequate low cost housing on
sufficient scale to alleviate the problems significantly.


In the Caribbean, as elsewhere in the Third World, self-help or autoconstruction is
receiving attention as a possible solution to the problem of those people who are outside
the commercial housing market. Many scholars and planners, including some workers in
the Caribbean, hold the view that squatter shanty towns should not be regarded as slums
to be cleared, but rather as an appropriate and hopeful response to the housing problem
which deserves encouragement and help.11 Indeed, international aid organizations have
begun to express interest in this approach. Recently, however, there has been criticism
of those who advocate self-help housing as the answer, and the motives of "the various
agencies of imperialism which are so interested in it" have been called into question. 12

The Cuban response to its enormous housing problem inherited from the pre-
revolutionary era has been to remove private initiative from the house construction indus-
try altogether. In the first decade of the revolution the government raised the average
annual output of new dwellings from 10,200 units between 1945 and 1958 to 30,000.
Since 1971 work teams known ds microbrigades have played a significant role in Cuba's
housing construction programme.13

Even the most sympathetic students of Cuba's recent developments have commented
on the shabbiness and decay of parts of central Havana, but they have been quick to
point out that this condition is in consequence of a deliberate national policy aimed at
limiting investment in the capital in order to promote development away from the city.
Elsewhere in the Caribbean investment continues to concentrate mainly in the largest
cities where substantial urban renewal as well as expansion reflects this trend.

In common with cities all over the world, those of the Caribbean, especially the larger
ones, have experienced an expansion of commercial and other non-residential uses, and
with growing pressures on available land there has been an increasing trend towards the
construction of high rise buildings. In many "uptown" locations as well as "downtown",
commercial and other types of development have invaded former residential areas.

At the same time large parts of the old central districts are suffering from obsoles-
cence, congestion and decay. Indeed, the development of uptown shopping and office
areas is largely in response to the growing blight and inaccessibility which have afflicted
the old central business districts. This in turn has tended to accelerate the decline of
some downtown areas. The largely developed New Kingston area and the recently
begun Nuevo Centro in San Juan represent concerted attempts by businessmen to create
a more centrally located and more efficient alternative to the historic urban core near the

The Kingston Waterfront Redevelopment Scheme, on the other hand, is a deliberate
attempt by the Jamaican government to arrest the decline of the old city centre and
revitalize the downtown area. So far, however, this redeveloped area remains an island of
new buildings in an area characterized mainly by continuing decay and blight. In addition
to the office, shopping and hotel accommodation provided by the Kingston Waterfront
Scheme, some apartments have been built in an effort to attract back to the downtown
area some of the middle-class residents who have been fleeing to the suburbs. This is a
rare instance of new residential development in an area which has long been dominated
by commercial uses. Beyond the old commercial core urban renewal projects have up-
graded some areas of substandard buildings and streets and replaced some of the slum

housing with modern low income dwellings. Still further out of the centre rising land
values have encouraged the redevelopment of well-maintained, low density, middle-class
residential areas where large detached houses in spacious grounds have been replaced by
much denser town house and apartment schemes.

Architectural conservation
Inevitably, urban renewal raises the problem of architectural conservation, and many
West Indian buildings of architectural merit or historic interest have been destroyed by
redevelopment. Many others have fallen victim of neglect and decay, notably in the
former Jamaican capital of Spanish Town which, nevertheless, still retains a wealth of
fine colonial architecture worthy of perservation. Several official and private organiza-
tions in the region are working for the conservation of the West Indian architectural
heritage with limited success. The restored part of old San Juan and the colonial town of
Trinidad, now declared a National Monument by the Cuban government, show what can
be achieved under two totally different Caribbean political systems. A recent encourag-
ing development is the active interest which the People's Revolutionary Government of
Grenada has shown in architectural conservation as an important aspect of tourism

Urbanization and planning policies
An examination of the official planning and urbanization policies of some of the
countries in the region will reveal similarities and differences in approach between
territories which vary considerably in physical, cultural and political character.

Puerto Rico's national planning programme which began in the 1940s was regarded by
many as a model for development in the Caribbean. The "inducement approach" of
Operation Bootstrap, as opposed to state control, was adopted by other countries in the
region. The main thrust of this policy was to promote economic growth by rapid indus-
trialization. This was to be achieved by the encouragement of foreign, mainly United
States, investment in the island through the offer of tax holidays and other incentives.
Long-range physical planning was to be integrated with economic and social planning
under a single central authority, the Puerto Rico Planning Board.14

Most of the factories established under this programme were built in San Juan and its
immediate environs. This, of course, greatly accelerated the migration of population
from the rural areas to the capital city and adjacent municipios. The problem of unequal
regional development was recognized, however, and in 1953 a positive industrial location
policy was established. This was based on a master plan aimed at "the orderly regional
development of the island" and which laid principal emphasis on establishing factories in
the smaller and remote towns whose inhabitants had "not been getting a proportionate
share of the new industrial jobs."15 The Industrial Decentralization Programme included
highway construction and other infrastructural improvements away from the capital as
well as regionally weighted financial inducements. Particular effort was made to develop
the main regional centres, notably the ports of Arecibo, Mayaguez and Ponce, which were
already well-established small cities, capable of expansion at relatively low cost.16

Despite this attempt at a more balanced regional development of Puerto Rico, between
1950 and 1960, while the population of San Juan, including Rio Pedras, together with
the five immediately adjoining municipios, increased by 27.4 percent, the populations at

most of the other municipios of the island declined. Even the municipios in which
Arecibo and Mayaguez are situated lost population.17

The Puerto Rico Planning Board, itself, admitted that "The urban expansion and the
development of an economic structure based on manufacturing rather than agriculture
were not well coordinated in Puerto Rico. In the 1950-1960 decade, agricultural act-
ivity in the Island decreased significantly, encouraging thousands of people to leave the
Island or rush to the main cities seeking new employment opportunities that were not
often available."18
In Puerto Rico, with its dense population and high rate of natural increase, decline in
agriculture, particularly sugar cultivation, and the lack of alternative employment in the
rural areas, provide the "push" which sends migrants looking for jobs in the large urban
areas. The attraction of big city life are not regarded as important "pull" factors in
Puerto Rico. In this small island, with its good communications, the big city is easily
accessible from any part of the country and holds no special attraction apart from
It became obvious that Puerto Rico's much publicized regional and urban planning
machinery had been very largely ineffective. Problems of regional imbalance, and ex-
cessive urban growth in the metropolitan area had not been brought under control, and
in the 1960s there was a reappraisal of the planning system. Among the six national
goals announced by Governor Luis Munoz in 1964 was the achievement of a rural-urban
balance along with orderly development of both town and country.20

In 1967 the Puerto Rican Planning Board contracted with the American Society of
Planning Officials to prepare a report which would define the role of planning in the
future of Puerto Rico. Among the guiding principles proposed by ASPO was that, "In
allocating resources, Commonwealth government must broaden its traditional concern
for spending money for different purposes through the budget process, by giving
greater attention to other scarce resources land and manpower."21 ASPO recommen-
ded that the scope of the four year development plan then in preparation should be
broadened to include: "(1) an explicit statement of urbanization policy showing where
future areas of development should be located around the island; (2) a list of priority
zones for imminent development; and (3) a four-year estimate of land and man-power
resources needed to achieve the targets established in the four-year development plan,
as well as money resources which are now presently considered." 22
Clearly a much greater emphasis on the spatial and resource aspects of planning was
being proposed. Subsequent discussion of land use policies confirmed this trend in think-
ing and revealed growing concern with environment quality. The economic and environ-
mental problems associated with the misuse of land, particularly urban sprawl, began to
receive greater attention,23 and in 1975 new legislation for land use control was enacted.
As a first step in the preparation of the Land Use Plan for Puerto Rico under the new
law a statement of objectives and public policy was published in 1977. 24 One of the
stated objectives is to develop high density, compact and attractive villages, towns and
cities which will permit the intensive use of land, minimise detrimental effects on areas
beyond the urban perimeters, achieve greater efficiency in the installation and operation
of public services and facilities, facilitate the provision of a viable mass and private trans-
portation system for the rapid and safe movement of people, and make possible a better
quality of urban life.25

Emphasis is now being put on the intensive use of land and improved design in towns
and cities, and the location of industry in carefully selected areas. Clearly with mounting
pressure of population on a very limited land area, Puerto Rico's planners are now much
more conscious of the spatial and locational aspect of planning, including the need for a
comprehensive set of policies on urbanization. A similar growing awareness of the need
for comprehensive physical planning in coordination with economic and social planning
can be recognized in the post-war development of Jamaica.
The post-war period in Jamaica has seen several national development plans, beginning
with the Ten Year Plan for Development, 1947. The 1951 revised version of this plan,
with its emphasis on industrialization, was largely modelled on Puerto Rico's Operation
Bootstrap.26 Physical planning emerged separately, mainly in response to the problems
arising from uncontrolled urban development in the Kingston region and on parts of the
coast. The Town and Country Planning Law of 1957 was modelled on the English Act
of 1947.27

Jamaica's Town and Country Planning Department has produced more than twenty
Development Orders since it was established under the 1957 law, but these are essentially
a means of applying development control regulations to specific areas of the island rather
than comprehensive plans. In 1965, three years after the island gained its independence,
however, the Jamaican government obtained United Nations assistance in laying the
foundations of a regional planning project in the context of a National Development
A pilot regional plan was produced for the parish of Clarendon in 1966, and five years
later A National Physical Plan for Jamaica was published with the assistance of a United
Nations team. This document clearly recognizes that the urban hierarchy should be
treated as a system, and used as a tool for correcting some of the disparities between
Kingston and the rest of the country. 29 The plan made the following proposals on urban
structure and policy:
"1. Provision for the comprehensive development of cities and towns throughout the
country in order to relieve population pressures in Kingston, offer a greater choice
of urban living environments throughout the country, provide a higher level of
services to rural areas, and promote integrated regional development.

2. Designation of an urban structure comprised of Kingston, five regional centres, 19
sub-regional centres and 87 district towns as the primary foci of urban develop-

3. Adoption of a national urban policy, based primarily on the urban structure, to
(a) development and distribution of new sources of employment;
(b) balanced development of public infrastructure according to established
(c) development of integrated town centres with public and commercial activity
areas; and
(d) encouragement and incentives given to private enterprise to follow national
urban policy."30

Within this general framework more detailed urban and regional plans are being pro-
duced beginning with the Kingston Regional Plan published in 1973. The PNP govern-
ment which came to power in 1972 never officially adopted the National Physical Plan
prepared under the previous JLP administration. However, the authors of the revised
version of 1978 tried to adopt as much of the original as possible. "Because of the scien-
tific way in which the original proposal was developed and also because it is well known in
planning sections of various government agencies and underlies many of their plans." 31

Jamaica's National Physical Plan 1978-1998 was prepared by the Town and Country
Planning Department, but national economic planning is the responsibility of a separate
government body, the National Planning Agency. Some of the work of the NPA is at
the regional scale and thus overlaps with regional planning undertaken by the Town and
Country Planning Department notably in the Kingston Metropolitan Region for which
both organizations have prepared planning studies.

Yet another important physical planning agency in Jamaica is the Urban Development
Corporation which was established by the JLP government in 1968. The UDC was
created as an implementation agency to act as a developer in the public interest. Its main
juncuon is the planning and promotion of urban development in areas designated in
accordance with the overall policy for the island.32 The corporation is engaged in major
development schemes at Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Oracabessa, Negril, Kingston and the
nearby Hellshire Hills 'twin city' project.

As in Jamaica, post-war national development planning in Trinidad and Tobago has
been very largely synonymous with economic planning, at least until quite recently.
The three Five Year Development Plans prepared for the period 1958-1974 tended to
emphasise strategies for econormc growth, little attention being given to the problems
of human settlements.33

In Trinidad and Tobago, too, physical planning emerged quite separately, and indeed,
here it was introduced long before the advent of National Development Planning in 1956.
Trinidad's Town and Regional Planning Ordinance modelled on England's Town and
Country Planning Law of 1932, was enacted in 1939. Legislation to combat slums and
tackle the housing problem was also introduced, and in 1942 came the Restriction of
Ribbon Development Act. But even in Trinidad which, before the second World War was
the only British West Indian colony with planning and housing laws and a central
authority, the planning laws remained unused, and the Housing and Planning Commis-
sion's work was confined mainly to housing.4 All of these laws were replaced by the
comprehensive Town and Country Planning Ordinance passed in 1960, two years before
independence, and proclaimed in 1969.

This law reflected the growing awareness of the problems of regional imbalance and
over-concentration of population and development in the Capital Region. It was realized
that the national planning process should have "included environmental or spatially-
focussed factors, especially in relation to different settlements and population groupings
as well as the conventional economic aspects."35 The Third Five Year Development Plan
expressed a clear commitment to the integration of economic planning with physical
planning, and "although no recent statement has been made on the approach to be taken
in achieving more comprehensiveness in development planning, the initiative is being
followed up by the planners involved in different facets of the process."36

Trinidad's Town and Country Planning Division has produced a National Framework
as a basis for the preparation of regional, sub-regional and local area plans. In this docu-
ment four alternative strategies are discussed: (1) concentration of development in the
Capital Region, (2) dispersal of growth among smaller centres while restraining the
primate region; (3) growth pole development, concentrating growth mainly in a few
selected centres, and (4) laissez faire. 37 Detailed regional studies have indicated that the
growth pole strategy is "the one most likely to achieve desirable human settlement
objectives." 38

Planners, recognizing the opportunities offered by Trinidad's oil wealth have proposed
three "petro-poles" where urban development based on petroleum and other energy
based industries would be promoted. The recently announced industrial development
scheme at Point Lisas is in keeping with this strategy.

The regional development plans drafted for the three "petro-pole" regions pay parti-
cular attention to "the design and establishment of an optimal hierarchical pattern of
settlements which will provide the people of each region a satisfactory living environment
and access to a complete range of services." 39

Trinidadian planners are aware that to achieve these and other national goals, there is
need to integrate the different levels of planning, national regional and local; but they
admit that, to date, "Trinidad and Tobago does not have many examples of local area
planning carried on within this kind of comprehensive and totally integrated frame-
work." 40

In marked contrast to Trinidad and the other dominantly capitalist countries of the
Caribbean, Cuba alone among the West Indian islands is tackling her planning problems
within a communist system. "In January, 1959, when the Revolution assumed control
of the Cuban government and administration, its leaders were forced to confront the
uncoordinated action of public and private organizations and traditional bureaucratic
inefficiency and impose systematic and coordinated programmes upon agencies and
businesses accustomed to resolving problems on a day-to-day basis. The process that the
revolutionary leaders had to begin was that of changing the mentality and organization
of multiple institutions, imposing a planned system, and encouraging the population to
define and accept new values." 41

The human settlement problems experienced in all countries in the region were present
in Cuba to a marked degree. Since colonial times Cuba has been one of the most urban-
ized countries in Latin America, and a highly megacephalic urban structure had deve-
loped. In 1953 only two cities apart from Havana had populations of over 100,000.
These were Santiago (163,000) and Camaguey (110,000). The capital then had over
1,200,000 inhabitants, rising to about 1.75 million by 1970. Before 1959 nearly three
quarters of the population lived in sub-standard dwellings and there were appalling slums.
The solution of these problems was impeded by speculation in and continuous fragmenta-
tion of urban and suburban land as well as by the inadequacy of the construction

As soon as the Revolutionary government assumed power, it introduced legislation to
tackle the complex problem it had inherited. Among the laws which were passed in the
first year were two designed to limit the activity of land speculators, provide a basis for

orderly urban growth, and facilitate zoning to obtain the best social use of land.43 In the
following year, 1960, the Urban Reform Law was passed, launching a three-stage pro-
gramme aimed at eradicating the housing deficit and improving general living standards in
the cities. 44

A Department of Physical Planning was established within the Ministry of Construc-
tion to develop industrial projects in cities such as Cienfuegos and Nuevitas where the
government had decided to encourage growth and economic diversification. A Central
Planning Board (JUCEPLAN), created to undertake economic planning and research, also
gave attention to urban and regional problems.45

In 1964 the Department of Physical Planning was transformed into the more powerful
National Institute of Physical Planning (IPF) which translates into land use or spatial
terms the directives and sectoral plans produced by JUCEPLAN. On the recommend-
ation of the IPF a regional system was created to decentralize administration and achieve
greater participation in the development process.46

In broad terms, the spatial planning policy of the Cuban government is to achieve a
more balanced regional development and curb the excessive concentration of activities
and population in the Havana region. To this end a series of plans and projects have been
undertaken to develop the regions, exploiting their natural resources and locational ad-
vantages to the full. The traditionally agricultural Oriente Province, for example, has
been selected for integrated rural-urban development involving industrialization, port and
highway construction, fishing, and agricultural expansion and diversification, as well as
the improvement of living conditions in rural areas.47

While development of the smaller cities and towns, including the "batayes" which grew
up near the sugar factories, is receiving active encouragement from the government,
further growth of Havana is being discouraged. An agricultural cordon has been partially
developed around the capital, involving the relocation of displaced rural population in
new settlements. One of the aims of this plan is to supply the metropolitan area with
provisions more efficiently and reduce transportation costs.

Cuba is unique among the West Indian islands where normally development, though
often the subject of planning studies and legislation, is generally subordinated to market
forces, competition, and speculation. In Cuba these factors have been removed from the
system. Consequently patterns of development here began to exhibit differences as soon
as the measures of the Revolutionary government began to take effect.

Acosta and Hardoy observed, "This policy of decentralization of productive urban in-
vestment and human resources in relation to natural resources, supported by decentral-
ization of teaching and health centers, and new systems of roads and highways, has had
the desired repercussions. The growth of Havana, after experiencing sharp advance in
the years immediately surrounding the Revolution, is practically halted. Its percentage
relation to total population of the island, and especially to the other twelve most popu-
lated centres, is in frank decline."48

Although migration from Cuba after 1959 did affect Havana especially, the effective-
ness of Cuba's spatial planning can be gauged from the fact that all other cities with
20,000 or more inhabitants have been growing at a faster rate than has the national
capital. 49

Problems of implementation
The various problems of urbanization are receiving serious attention from planners
throughout the region, in the smaller territories as well as the large. Most of the West
Indian territories have policies and plans to combat urbanization problems. Among
those which have recently produced national physical plans are the small islands of
Grenada, St. Lucia and Montserrat where the work was done with UNDP assistance.

Perhaps the most backward in this, as in other respects, is Haiti whose Economic and
Social Action Plan for 1968-69 contained no general recommendations for the elabo-
ration of a national policy on urbanization. Indeed, the objectives of this plan and the
schemes which it proposed implicitly favour the growth of Port au Prince as compared
with the other urban centres of Haiti.50 Haiti does have a Town Planning Department,
but this organization is generally regarded as inactive, and the national government has
shown no real interest in finding a solution to the country's urban problems. 51

In the neighboring Dominican Republic, too, physical planning is at a very prelimin-
ary stage, and "Major policy decisions are taken without adequate participation by the
national and urban planning agencies." 52 Attempts to introduce zoning and subdivision
control here have been largely thwarted by strong political opposition. 53

Political and commercial opposition to the planned use of land and orderly urban
development in the public interest has frustrated plans to solve problems of urbanization
throughout the region. Commonly the official planning bodies lack real power, and exist
largely to serve the private developer,54 or, at most, to avoid the worst consequences of
totally uncontrolled development.

This was clearly the main argument for Jamaica's Town and Country Planning Law,
and Norman Manley, when introducing it in 1957, observed that "the enlightened land-
owners themselves are the first to see the necessity of the law." 55 The Jamaican leader
went on to refer to planning in Puerto Rico where, he said, "I find that it is the owners of
the land who find the law to their benefit, and will find property-value enhanced by an
orderly instead of haphazard manner of development." 56

Even where planning legislation and policies exist the laws and plans may be ignored
by powerful developers or incompetent or corrupt officials. Indeed, even national and
local government officers of the highest integrity sometimes do not fully appreciate the
need for planning control, and are often reluctant to impose restrictions on any develop-
ment which may see as providing much-needed employment, however temporary and

The problem is further aggravated by the shortage of trained technical staff in the
region and by the multiplicity of national and local government bodies and other organi-
zations involved in the planning process.57 In Jamaica, for example, several government
ministries and departments are involved in physical planning work while the responsibility
for public housing alone is shared between the Ministry of Housing, which operates a
number of different programmes, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Local
Government, the Sugar Industry, the Urban Development Corporation, and the National
Housing Corporation. The government agencies, themselves, often proceed with schemes
which are in conflict with plans prepared by the official planning bodies. Proper co-

Fig. 1



CUBA 9,500,000 Havana 1,900,000 20
(Havana (2,335,400 25

ISLANDS 11,400 Georgetown 4,000 36

JAMAICA 2,109,400 Kingston 635,100 30

HAITI 5,400,000 Port au 500,000 9

REPUBLIC 4,012,000 Santo 822,900 24

PUERTO 3,112,500 San Juan 851,300 27
RICO (Conurbation) (1,000,000+) 32

U.S. VIRGIN 90,000 Charlotte 12,400 14

BRITISH 10,800 Road Town 3,500 32















St. John's


(Point a Pitre:







DOMINICA 75,000 Roseau 12,000 16

MARTINIQUE 342,700 Fort de 100,000 29

ST. LUCIA 114,000 Castries 47,000 41

ST. VINCENT 100,000 Kingstown 30,000 30

BARBADOS 256,400 Bridgetown 18,800 7
suburbs) 100,000 39

GRENADA 110,000 St. George's 10,000 9

TRINIDAD & 1,061,900 Port of 157,000 14
(Capital 443,100 42

LANDS 234,400 Willemstad 154,000 66

* Various Sources. Figures refer to various years 1970-76.

ordination is difficult to achieve in a situation such as this, and
effort and conflicting projects are inevitable.

wasteful duplication of

The trends in urbanization throughout the Caribbean are clear and widely recognized.
With few exceptions national governments have established policies and machinery to
deal with the problems which threaten urban chaos and rural stagnation. Most countries
have failed to achieve more than a few modest successes however. Only in Cuba have
national urbanization policies had profoundly significant effect. Elsewhere, in societies
still geared to the market economy and motivated by profits, the implementation of
policies aimed at changing the patterns of urbanization for the benefit of the majority has
so far proved impossible.

Urban structure and urban form have always reflected the societies which created
them, and the Caribbean still bears the imprint of centuries of colonial rule and
continuing imperialism. The creation of a new pattern of urbanization in the region
awaits the emergence of a new West Indian society.



1. Weaver, Muriel Porter, The Aztecs, Maya and Their Predecessors. Archaeology of Mesoamerica
(New York: Seminar Press) 1972, p. 155

2. Davis, Kingsley, 'Colonial Expansion and Urban Diffusion in the Americas', in The City in the
Third World, ed. D.J. Dwyer (London: Macmillan) 1974 pp. 34-48.

3. Pitman, Frank W., The Development of the British West Indies, 1700-63 (New Haven: Yale
University Press) 1917 (London: Frank Cass& Co. Ltd.) 1967 p. 201

4. Clarke, C.G. 'Urbanization in the Caribbean', Geography, 59, July, 1974 pp. 225-6 West, Robert
C. and John P. Augelli, Middle America Its Lands and Peoples 2nd edition, (Englewood Cliffs,
New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.) 1976, pp. 116-7.

5. Government of Trinidad & Tobago, National Report for HABITAT: United Nations Conference
on Human Settlements, Vancouver, Canada (Port of Spain) 1976 p. 18

6. Town Planning Department, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Jamaica, A National Physical Plan
for Jamaica 1970-1990 (Kingston) 1971, p. 55

7. ibid. p. 54

8. Trinidad Town and Country Planning Division, Planning for Development: The National Frame-
work, second publication (Port-of-Spain) 1975 pp. 32-3.

9. Acosta, Maruja, and Hardoy, Jorge E., Urban Reform in Revolutionary Cuba, Antilles Research
Programme Occasional Papers 1 (New Haven: Yale University Press) 1973, pp. 61-2, 68.

Lewis, Gordon K., Puerto Rico: Freedom and Power in the Caribbean (New York: M.R. Press)
1963 pp. 201-4.

National Physical Plan for Jamaica 1971 pp. 65-6.

10. Acosta and Hardoy op. cit. p. 68

Rawson, Mary, Premature Subdivision (Kingston:Town Planning Department) 1971.

11. See, for example, Eyre, L.A., 'The Shanty-towns of Montego Bay, Jamaica', Geographical Re-
view, 62, July 1972 pp. 394-413, and Mangin, W. 'Latin American squatter settlements; a
problem and a solution; Latin American Research Review, 2, 1967, pp. 65-98.

12. Burgess, Rod, 'Self-help Housing:A New Imperialist Strategy? A Critique of the Turner School',
Antipode, 9, September 1977 pp. 50-9.

13. Acosta, Maruja and Hardoy, Jorge E., 'Urbanization Policy and Land Reform. Urbanization
Policies in Revolutionary Cuba in Latin American Urban Research VoL 2 Regional and Urban De-
velopment Policies: A Latin American Perspective (Beverly Hills/London:SAGE Publications)
1972 p. 173.

Comite Cubano de Asentamientos Humanos, Los Asentamientos Humanos en Cuba (La Habana:
Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, Instituto Cubano del Libro) 1976 pp. 64-8.

Mesa-Lago, Carmelo, Cuba in the 1970s. Pragmatism and Institutionalization, (Albuquerque:
University of New Mexico Press) 1974, p. 46.

14. Howell, Brandon, 'The Planning System of Puerto Rico', Town Planning Review 13, October
1952 pp. 211-222.

15. Odell, P.R., 'Problems of Regional Economic Planning in Developing Countries with Special Re-
ference to Venezuela and Puerto Rico', Report of Proceedings, Town and Country Planning
Summer School, 6-16 September, 1967, Queens University Belfast (London:Town Planning
Institute) 1968 p. 147.

16. ibid. p. 150

17. ibid. pp. 153-5

18. Puerto Rico, Planning Board, Bureau of Social Planning, Puertorican Migrants A Socio-Economic
Study, 1972, Part III p. 54.

19. ibid. p. 55

20. Wells, Henry, The Modernization of Puerto Rico A Political Study of Changing Values and In-
stitutions (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press) 1969, p. 171.

21. ASPO, Planning for Puerto Rico (Chicago:American Society of Planning Officials) 1968, p. 7.

22. ibid.

23. Puerto Rico Planning Board, Land Use Policies (Santurce, P.R.) 1970.

24. Junta de Planificacion, Objectivos y Politicas del Plan de Usos de Terrenos (Santurce, P.R.) 1977.

25. ibid. p. 3.

26. Jefferson, Owen, The Post-War Economic Development of Jamaica (Kingston:Institute of Social
and Economic Research) 1972, pp. 10-11.

27. Nettleford, Rex, ed., Norman Washington Manley and the New Jamaica (Port of Spain and
Kingston: Longman Caribbean) 1971, pp. 231-4.

28. Manickam, T J., Carendon Regional Plan (Kingston: Town Planning Department) 1966, pp. 1-2.

29. National Physical Plan for Jamaica 1971 pp. xi, 55-8.

30. ibid. p. xi.

31. Johnson, Fay, Urban Development Corporation, "Updating the Settlement Policy Section of
the National Physical Plan'. Part of a Presentation to the Advisory Planning Committee, 16th
September, 1977, at the Town Planning Division, Kingston.

32. Knight, Gloria, 'The Jamaican Urban Development Corporation' Report of Proceedings, Town
and Country Planning Summer School 5-16 September, 1975, University College of Wales
Aberystwith (London: Royal Town Planning Institute), 1976, p. 71.

33. Trinidad and Tobago, HABITAT Report 1976 op. cit. p. 12.

34. Stevens, Peter H. M., 'Planning in the West Indies', Town and Country Planning, 25 December,
1957, pp. 504-5.

35. Trinidad and Tobago, HABITAT Report 1976 op. cit. p. 14.

36. ibid. pp. 15-16.

37. Trinidad and Tobago, National Framework 1975 op. cit. pp. 43-50.

38. Trinidad and Tobago, HABITAT Report 1976, op. cit. p. 20.

39. ibid. p. 23.

40. ibid. p. 26.

41. Acosta and Hardoy, 'Urbanization Policies in Revolutionary Cuba', 1972, op. cit. p. 167.

42. ibid. p. 170.

43. ibid. pp. 175-6.

44. ibid. p. 173.

45. ibid. p. 170.

46. ibid. pp. 170-1.

47. ibid. pp. 171-2. See also Acosta and Hardoy, Urban Reform in Revolutionary Cuba, 1973, op.

48. Acosta and Hardoy, 'Urbanization Policies in Revolutionary Cuba' 1972, op. cit.

49. ibid.

50. Hardoy, Jorge E., 'Politas de Urbanization y Politas de la Tierra Urbana: La Situation en Cuba,
Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico y la Republica Dominicana in Public Policy and Urbanization in the
Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Latin American Con-
ference, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville & Honosassa, Fla.,
1972 ed. Gustavo A. Antonini, p. 164.

51. ibid. p. 166.

52. Haza, Luis Orlando, 'Urban Growth in the Dominican Republic: A Descriptive Overview', in
Public Policy and Urbanization ed. Antonini, op. cit., p. 53.

53. ibid. p. 52.

54. Lewis, G. K. 1963 op. cit. pp. 201-4.

55. Nettleford, R. 1971 op. cit. pp. 233-5.

56. ibid. p. 236.

57. Trowbridge, James W., Urbanization in Jamaica, International Urbanization Survey, (New York:
Ford Foundation) 1970-72, pp. 17, 20-1.


Increases in international grain and petroleum prices have been widely referred to as
disasters for non-oil-exporting countries. Certainly the effect of them has been wide-
spread and largely negative to this point. However, two benefits are now evolving which
may negate the short term negative effects experienced thus far.
First, after the disappointments of the First Development Decade and consequent
decline in the share of first-world wealth earmarked for development assistance, a
renewed interest in efforts to narrow the international wealth gap has emerged. The
international community now appears poised for a determined attack on the most abject
poverty of the world. Second, the governments of many countries have been motivated to
give greater priority to the development and rational utilization of domestic resources in
order to raise levels of national self-sufficiency. Such is the situation in Guatemala and
this is proving to have considerable spatial implications.

The Setting
While seemingly limitless volumes of material are now available pertaining to
Guatemala's socio-economic dualisml and political violence2, little consideration has
been given to analyzing the geographical factors relative to these characteristics of the
country. Yet these problems are directly related to imbalances in regional development
and, therefore, are highly geographical in nature. It now appears that the worldwide
economic crisis of 1973-74 will have a substantial impact on Guatemala in terms of
reducing these regional imbalances.
Guatemala is a land of stark contrasts. The rural-urban dichotomy in living standards,
for example, has been instrumental in stimulating a wave of urbanization, particularly
with regard to the flow of peasants from the densely populated highlands to Guatemala
City.3 Within the rural sector, the large, export-oriented latifundio of the Pacific Coastal
Plain contrasts sharply with the small, domestically oriented minifundio of the highlands.
Both of these regions offer abrupt comparisons with the heavily forested, isolated, and
largely unpopulated northern half of the country (Fig. 1). This northern frontier of
Guatemala consists of the department (province) of Peten and the so-called northern
transversal, sparsely populated and under-utilized portions of the departments of Izabal,
Alta Verapaz, Quiche, and Huehuetenango (Fig. 2) It is with the northern transversal, the
immediate frontier, that we are most concerned.
Unused Wealth
The northern transversal consists of more than 914,000 hectares of densely forested
lowlands. The terrain is predominantly flat to rolling with intermittent hills, none of
which exceed 1,500 metres in elevation. Thirty percent of the area has a slope of less
than 150; an additional 18 percent contains slopes of 150 to 30". Soils are generally

clayey with extensive deposits of alluvium bordering the many rivers and streams. The
annual temperature range is 28 to 32C, and precipitation usually exceeds 250 cm
despite the fact that most of the area has a dry season of 4 to 6 months. With a popula-
tion density of only 2 per sq klm, and traversed by only one all-weather road, the
northern transversal has remained largely isolated from the national core and its few
scattered settlements have been substantially dependent on horse trails and rivers for
transportation and communication. At present, 70% of the territory is owned by the
national government with an additional 5% under municipal control.4
The development of Guatemala's northern transversal could have five clear advantages
with regard to the overall development of the country:
1. relieve population pressure in the highlands by providing peasants with
new agricultural opportunities;
2. increase the productivity of the agricultural sector and expand the degree
to which it is commercialized;
3. act as an alternative target for rural migrants currently flowing to urban
centers, particularly the capital;
4. offer an alternative to a land reform programme involving the dismember-
ment of the country's large agricultural estates which now provide a
majority of national exports;
5. lead to a greater spatial integration of the national territory and reduce
existing imbalances in levels of regional development.
Regardless of these potential gains, government investment in the development of the
transversal has remained minimal. Several factors explain this inaction. First, conserva-
tive political elements who have controlled government policy since the mid-1950s have
seldom given peasant needs, such as that for more land, much attention; the tendency has
been to placate peasants, most of whom are Indians, rather than to strive to alter their
condition and integrate them into the society. Thus, the increasingly intense pressure of
a rapidly expanding population on the already ravaged environment of the highlands has
gained little more than occasional official reference to the fact that something ought to
be done.5 Second, the failure of the highland region to supply an adequate base for its
population has created a substantial pool of seasonal migrants available for harvesting
activities on the latifundio of the Pacific Coastal Plain. Such cheap labour has become an
essential factor in the successful operation of the sugar and cotton estates of that region.
Any reduction in the availability of this labour could have profound effects on these
foreign exchange earning endeavours. Finally, with only limited funds available for
capital investment, and in view of the high costs of frontier development, past develop-
ment programmes have given priority to industrial development and the extension of
basic services (schools, water, health facilities, etc) to already populated portions of the
country. Peasant agriculture has traditionally been given low priority in the development
schemes of the country; frontier development has been given no priority.

Signs of Change
The demise of cheap grain and petroleum imports in 1973-74 greatly altered this
situation. As the costs of imported grains skyrocketed (Table 1), so too did government
concern for expanding domestic production. Likewise, as the costs of petroleum imports
multiplied (Table 2), so too did interest in seeking domestic petroleum supplies and con-

cern for developing alternative sources of energy. These circumstances have motivated
action toward the development of the northern transversal by means of both public and
private investment.
As the oil wealth of southeast Mexico became apparent in the early 1970s, interest in
the search for "black gold" in northern Guatemala intensified. Thus, in 1973, the
Shenandoah Oil Company commenced to explore its concession adjacent to the Mexican
border. Spurred on by the quadrupling of oil prices, the company intensified its efforts
at Rubelsanto in 1974 and oil was discovered in four of the first five wells drilled. By late
1976, tested daily production capacity was 30,000 barrels, significant in view of the fact
that Guatemala's average daily consumption was 22,000 barrels of petroleum and
petroleum products in 1975.6 Plans are now in progress for the construction of a pipe-
line from Rubelsanto to Livingston, on the Caribbean Coast, from which oil will
commence to be marketed by 1979.
This development, combined with escalating grain import costs, has given new impetus
to opening the transversal for agricultural colonization. In 1975, the Institute Nacional
de Transformacion Agraria (INTA) joined in partnership with the Shenandoah Oil
Company to construct an all-weather road from C6ban to Rubelsanto, one of the pur-
poses being to stimulate the settlement of heretofore vacant lands. This was followed in
1976 by the signing of a financial agreement between INTA and the Agency for Inter-
national Development involving an initial loan of $13 million for the improvement of the
road network within the transversal and the formulation of agricultural colonization plans
for the area.7 Further evidence of greater government attention to peasant needs is
mirrored in the quickened pace with which land titles are being distributed. In 1976,
INTA granted more such titles in the municipality of Sayaxche Peten alone than had
been granted throughout the entire country in 1973.8



Item Year Tons Cost Cost/
(CIF, $) Ton

1971 70,698 5,477,424 77.48
1972 72,755 5,514,904 75.80
1973 63,611 7,411,862 116.52
1974 64,074 12,788,856 199.60
1975 80,639 15,722,244 194.97

1971 16,678 1,102,714 66.12
1.972 12,789 655,779 51.28
o 1973 35,854 3,838,834 107.07
1974 72,054 9,897,294 137.31
1975 53,892 9,313,742 172.82

Source: Direccion General de Estadisticas, Importaciones: Partida-Pais,
1971 through 1975.



Reconstituted Crude Lubricants

Year Barrels Cost Barrel Barrels Cost Barrels
(CIF, $) Cost (CIF, $) Cost

1971 2,842 8,424,608 2.96 62,971 2,174,867 34.54
1972 12,855 39,277,642 3.06 74,590 2,550,592 34.19
1973 7,022 27,188,493 3.87 80,457 2,993,310 37.20
1974 6,742 79,619,030 11.81 83,815 4,323,823 51.59
1975 5,605 79,314,804 14.15 86,752 5,747,073 66.25

Source: Direcci6n General de Estadisticas, Importaciones: Partida-Pais,
1971 through 1975.

The search for domestic oil and the desirability of opening new agricultural lands in an
effort to reduce the need for oil and grain imports have been instrumental in focusing
attention on the development of northern Guatemala, particularly the northern transver-
sal. But these have not been the only projects giving the country's north new significance
and raising hopes that its development will move forward in such a manner as to reduce
the regional imbalances in levels of development currently evident. Two additional pro-
jects in comparatively isolated portions of the country north of the core area are especial-
ly noteworthy. Near the western shore of Lake Izabal the privately financed exploitation
of nickel deposits has been initiated. With a capital investment of more than $220
million and a new town of 700, the operations of Exportaciones Minerales de Izabal will
not only gain an estimated $60 million annually in foreign exchange for Guatemala by
1980, but also stimulate new interest in a greater integration of this previously ignored
portion of the country into the national fabric.
Further inland government investments of $200 million in the Chixoy Hydroelectric
Project will provide opportunities for the development of a recreation industry in the
immediate vicinity of the lake resulting from the project. It will also aid in controlling
the water flow of the Chixoy River which crosses the transversal. These benefits are in
additional to the primary objective of the project the production of 300 MW of
electricity to reduce Guatemala's dependence on petroleum for such energy production.
Diesel and Bunker "C" fuels produced two-thirds of the country's electricity in 1974.9

International price increases for grains and petroleum have made Guatemala's depen-
dence on the importation of these products less acceptable than had been the case
previously. A consequence of this has been a re-analysis of development priorities and
government recognition of the fact that domestic resources, both natural (e.g. land and
rivers) and human (e.g. peasants), must be more extensively developed and utilized if
higher levels of national self sufficiency are to be achieved. The results have been signifi-
cant spatially in that the drive for greater self-sufficiency has given new importance to
portions of the country which have previously received minimal public or private invest-
ment. This is particularly true with regard to the development of the northern transver-
Thirty years ago Edward Higbee observed that Guatemala's Pacific Coastal Plain was
"...still relatively undeveloped, but large areas of good soils lie beneath its forests."10
Since then the forests he spoke of have given way to modern agribusinesses producing
cotton, sugar, and beef for the world market. The rapid rise in international grain and
petroleum prices and consequent drive for greater self-sufficiency with regard to these
products may do for Guatemala's north what the past 30 years and rising world prices
have done for the country's Pacific coastal plain. Among the results of such an outcome
would be not only a more efficient utilization of domestic resources and higher degree of
self-sufficiency, but also a reduction in the imbalances present in current levels of regional
development and a more spatially integrated territory.


*This paper is a result of field research sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
The author is solely responsible for its content

1. See, for example, Richard N. Adams, Crucifixion by Power (Austin: University of Texas Press,
1970); and K.H. Silvert, Expectant Peoples: Nationalism and Development (New York:
Random House, 1963).

2. For example, Thomas and Marjorie Melville, Guatemala: The Politics of Land Ownership (New
York: The Free Press, 1971); and Kenneth F. Johnson, "On the Guatemalan Political
Violence," Politics and Society, 4 (1973)), pp. 55-82.

3. Robert N. Thomas, Estudio de la Migracidn Interna Hacia la Ciudad de Guatemala (Guatemala:
Seccion de Estudios Geograficos, Direccion General de Obras Publicas, 1969).

4. Institute Nacional de Transformacion Agraria, Estadisticas Agrarias, 1971 (Guatemala, 1973),
pp. 30-37.

5. Thomas T. Veblin, "The Urgent Need for Forest Conservation in Highland Guatemala,"
Biological Conservation, 9 (1976), pp. 141-154.

6. Direccion General de Mineria e Hidrocarburos (unpublished data).

7. "Emision de bonos: tres decretos," El Imparcial, 9 de abril de 1976.


8. "44,292 hectares de tierra fueron entegradas a cooperatives del Peten," Prensa Libre, abril 21,
1976; and Instituto Nacional de Transformacion Agraria, Estadisticas Agrarias, 1973
(Guatemala, 1975), p. 13.

9. Consejo National de Planificacion Economica, Plan de Desarrollo, 1975/79; Sector Energia
(Guatemala, 1975).

10. E.C. Higbee, "The Agricultural Regions of Guatemala," Geographical Review, 37 (1947),
p. 200.


One of the current major concerns of Geography as a social science is, like other social
sciences, that of development. While the several disciplines approach the problem from
their respective points of view, the geographer tries to view it as involving the totality of a
people's existence. The geographer's approach, in other words, tends to be more eclectic.
This is particularly true of the cultural geographer, who supports the fundamental value
of the ecosystem and favours the ecological approach to the problem, looks more at the
functional relationships between the different aspects of social behaviour and the environ-
ment, and regards the people rather than profits as the determining factor in develop-
In this paper, an attempt is made to examine and evaluate two approaches to the
problem of development. The agricultural sector of the economy will be used as the
general background against which the assessment is made; but, since agriculture itself
comprises so many component parts, all of which it would be impossible to cover here,
particular attention will be focused on the aspect of farm size, and its relevance to
agricultural development. Immediately, the question arises as to a quantifiable definition
of farm size. What value can be used to delimit a small or large farm? The fact is that no
precise values can be given. But a formula can be proposed in which the value of a large or
small farm is a function partly of the size of the country and partly of the size of the
dominant unit of production. Thus a small farm in Brazil is about 160 acres as compared
to one of 10 acres or less in Barbados. At the same time, contrasting sizes of 260 acres in
Venezuela and 17 acres in Guyana can be explained in terms of the differences in size
of the dominant operating units. For the purpose of this paper, small farms refer to those
whose areal extent and economic viability make it difficult to employ tractors and other
machinery on a large scale. Conversely, large farms are those which permit the use of
heavy machinery.
The causes of, and problems involved in, the size of a farm unit will be examined from
both points of view. The concept of efficiency will also be examined; and examples of the
size-efficiency relationship will be drawn from various geographical areas, particularly
Japan, India, Puerto Rico and Barbados.

Approaches to the Problem of Underdevelopment
The geographer, as social scientist, is deeply concerned about the reasons for the
existence of the gap between the rich and the poor nations, and tries not only to explain
it, but to offer solutions to the problem. The approach to the problem of development
and poverty has been changed and modified to a considerable degree over time. Time was

when the poor were considered to be an integral and necessary part of society, and of the
world scene. The Puritan ethic accepted poverty as the inevitable reward of the lazy and
indolent, and this attitude is still prevalent in some quarters. In "colonial" times, it was
thought by some that harsh methods had to be employed as the only means of increasing
the size and productivity of the labour force, and consequently the wealth and welfare of
the community. The radical change has taken place between the first two propositions
and the last: from an acceptance of the inevitability of poverty to the belief that poverty
can and should be eradicated. The current differences of opinion evolve around the means
to be employed.
There are, at present, two different approaches to the problem. The "economic"
approach is based on the assumption that "underdevelopedness" is caused by low produc-
tivity per capital. This is explained in terms of a thin spread of population resources
(underemployment and disguised unemployment), which is caused by a lack of capital
accumulation and investment. Inherent in this is the old idea that indigenous people are
lazy, prefer a leisurely life and are incapable of building up savings on their own initiative.
The implied remedy, therefore, is a heavy volume of foreign capital, (Gill, 10; Lewis, 17).
The adequacy of this approach has been examined and questioned, (Myrdal, 20); and
Helleiner, (12:28), in fact, notes that the concept of "disguised unemployment" is no
longer employed in the context of the African small farmer. Myrdal contends that this
approach considers labour productivity to be readily "elastic" and unemployment to be
"involuntary". It views an essentially "non-western" problem within a "western" frame-
work, and places "western" measurements on values that cannot easily be measured.
Thus, it states that if, according to western standards, a given task employing fifteen
people can be done by ten, the five extra have a marginal productivity of zero, and should
be taken off the job. This assumes that the ten remaining will work at maximum
efficiency, again according to western standards, to take up the slack, and that the labour
requirements for the task are static. These assumptions, he concludes, are not well
founded for they either ignore conditions of health, nutrition, institutional customs and
attitudes, and labour mobility, or portray these as being inimical to economic growth.
Thus, the opinion is often voiced that the institutions must be changed before any
development can take place, (Lewis, 17). Again this attitude reflects an imposition of
western values, in that if "capitalist" institutions and habits do not exist, then develop-
ment cannot take place. Implied is the idea that an underdeveloped country cannot
generate its own development process, and that any changes must be externally derived in
the form of foreign capital and/or institutional changes.
The geographer as cultural ecologist regards the existing economic situation as a
system in itself. He posits that the system has developed through experience in response
to environmental conditions and has been shaped by cultural attributes, the most signifi-
cant being the level of technology and skills. Underdevelopment is, therefore, due to a
state of technological deficiency at which the population has achieved economic equili-
brium, (Schultz, 22) this being the stage at which a people with a given level of
technology is using it at maximum efficiency. This represents a static situation and is
unlike a society with changing technology which is in "dis-equilibrium" and more pro-
gressive. This view rejects the idea of lazy, indolent natives incapable of, or unwilling to
accumulate capital savings. It regards the population as being in a state of dynamic change
both in numbers and in ideas, and their economic institutions to have developed in
response to the changing needs and conditions of the population. The change from
forest-fallow through bush and short-fallow to annual and multicropping, for example,

was occasioned by changing population numbers and needs. The increased labour and
technical inputs required for the more intensive and frequent cropping were only avail-
able, and required, as population increased, and were only provided when the returns
justified them, (Boserup, 2). Underdevelopment, therefore, exists where changes and pro-
gress in techniques have ceased to occur; and any effective improvements in the system
should be carried out within the framework of the existing institutions, and in response
to effective environmental conditions. The major concern should, therefore, be to
improve the existing system and institutions rather then to change them. While
acknowledging the need for investment, this approach places emphasis on the kind and
quality of it rather than the quantity. The technological aspect, here meaning the skills,
knowledge and capabilities of the people, thus becomes the critical factor.

The Farm Size
One of the factors involved in agricultural development is that of the size of the
individual farm unit. Opinions differ radically on this question and the main line of argu-
ment follows the two approaches to development outlined above.
The economic theory of agricultural growth is based on the assumption that the
indigenous patterns of agriculture are inefficient and wasteful (Myrdal, 20). In order to
effect any meaningful development, the existing patterns of economic activity must thus
be changed. The success of the large-scale farming of wheat, maize and other crops in
western countries, is taken as a precedent for confirming large-scale farming as the most
efficient, most economically productive method of farming. A policy of land reform is
therefore suggested, which invariably advocates the re-allocation and redistribution of
existing farm land into large units. Large holdings are considered to be more economically
viable and more productive than small holdings. It is argued that large-scale farming
assures optimum use of machinery-a feat more difficult to achieve on a small unit.
Optimum use of machinery makes for greater productivity per unit of input, and reduces
the incidence of human labour. Since a high percentage of the labour force in agriculture
is taken as indicative of underdevelopment, the objective seems to be to reduce this
percentage in order to attain a measure of "developedness".
The cultural ecological viewpoint regards existing farming as a system per se. More
thought is given to the human factor as the centre of the system. What the farmer
perceives in the environment, how he interprets this and what he regards as the ultimate
reality, (Clarkson, 4) are the significant factors. The existing system is not a fact of
nature, but reflects the interests and preferences of the landowners and cultivators, and
is as much a cultural trait as an economic activity. Small, indigenous farmers, therefore,
are as determined to obtain maximum returns on their inputs as are the large farmers, and
Reynolds (21:5) subscribes to the concept of the "optimizing peasant" as a shrewd
businessman who has learned through experience to efficiently allocate his resources and
... "who is responsive to economic incentives within his perceived opportunity set."
Studies by Berry1 in Colombia and by Kanel2 in India strongly support the view of
Igbozurike (15) that crop yields and productivity per unit of land on small farms is as
great as, and sometimes greater than on large farms.
The basic difference between these two points of view lies partly in the causes of the
size of the farm unit and partly in the efficiency with which the holdings can be operated.
The process of fragmentation due to inheritance laws is the oft-quoted cause of small, un-
economical holdings; and land reform programmes to consolidate these small, scattered

holdings into large operational units are, therefore, proposed as the best means of curing
the malady of underdevelopment. There are, however, other relevant factors which affect
the size of holdings, and other values by which efficiency can be measured.

Factors Affecting Size of Farm Unit
The crops or crop-association cultivated on a farm will affect the size of the unit of
production. Certain crops can best be cultivated on small holdings, while others require
a large acreage. It has been observed that the oil palms of Nigeria give higher yields per
unit area on small farms than they would on plantations. Coconut production is also a
small-holder activity. Tea, on the other hand, is almost exclusively a plantation activity.
On large estates where they can be grown in pure stands, rubber trees are more produc-
tive than on small holdings. However, small farms can be successful rubber producers.
The Burmese peasant maximizes on his production by planting few trees far apart. In
this way, by imitating nature, the individual tree yields much more sap than it would on
a plantation. The extra time and energy required to visit all his trees are compensated for
by the extra yields per unit area planted, (Myrdal, 20).
The nature of the occupied terrain will also affect the prevailing size of the farm unit.
On generally flat or gently sloping land, a large farm capable of employing heavy
machinery on a large scale is feasible; more so than in a hilly or rugged area. While the
latter holds good in virtually all cases, the applicability of the former will depend to some
extent on the type of crop grown as explained above.
But perhaps the most debated causal factor in farm size is the density of the farming
population. Where there is a large, relatively dense farming populace, there is a tendency
for the farming units to be small. This observation holds good except where state farms
and co-operatives exist. It is equally valid to generalize that where populations are sparse,
the individual holding may be large. This last statement, however, will be qualified by
both the crop patterns and the nature of the terrain. In developing countries the former
situation of dense population usually obtains and is considered to be a contributory
factor to underdevelopment, (Mountjoy, 19). The alternatives in the debate hinge on
whether the size of the farm has degenerated under population pressure or whether the
changing size reflects the workings of an adaptive mechanism, between the population
and the environment.
Clayton (5) and Gill (10) advocate the principle that where resources are of uneven
distribution, maximum returns can only be obtained by an economical use of the scarce
resource and liberal use of the plentiful resource. In terms of agriculture, this signifies an
economical use of land with a liberal use of labour where dense populations exist. This
can be expressed as an adaptive alteration in agricultural practices as a result of popula-
tion. An increasing populace and rising food demands necessitates increasingly intensive
use of the land. Smaller individual holdings may predominate under these conditions,
and initially output per man will decline. This decline, however, is only temporary and
will be rectified as adaptation and improvements in techniques catch up. Thus any pro-
longed state of decline is attributable to a static level of technological achievement.
The size of the production unit, therefore, is not a necessary or essential source of
economic growth. This proposition contrasts sharply with the view that rapid population
growth is inimical to economic development, since population pressure on the land
creates fragmentation, which in itself is detrimental to economic development. In order
to achieve what Rostow calls "take-off," the agricultural labour force must be stabilized

or even reduced (Hoselitz, 13), for only under these conditions can technology be im-
proved. Since opportunities for migration are much less now than during the Industrial
Revolution, and since there are few virgin areas left to be opened up, birth control seems
to be the most effective means of arresting the growing population pressure. Hence the
prevailing pre-occupation with this subject.
Clayton (5:65) gives two examples from East Africa (Kenya) which demonstrate the
inter-relationship between crops, terrain, population density and efficient farming. The
Wakara tribe on Ukara Island in Lake Victoria have developed, on their own initiative and
in response to environmental conditions, a system of agriculture which it is "difficult to
improve on technically." The island of 29 square miles is occupied by 16,500 people.
But only 13% square miles are cultivable. On average holdings of 0.93 acres per adult, the
population is adequately supported on a diet of millets, sorghum, groundnuts and animal
products. The Wachagga have established a densely settled community on the southern
and eastern slopes of Kilimanjaro, and on this sloping, uneven terrain, they produce
higher yields of coffee than the more favourably situated plantations. The key to success
in both cases lies in the techniques employed by these small farmers. The Wakara have
developed a system based on the heavy use of animal fertilizer, the planting of
leguminous crops and a pattern of crop rotation, with usual tropical interplanting. The
Wachagga have combined successful coffee production with adequate prevention of soil
erosion. Again the techniques employed have been the critical factor. Coffee as a cash
crop is interplanted with bananas, the main food. The roots of the banana are highly
effective in binding soil particles and thus arresting erosion. At the same time, they
provide necessary shade for the growing coffee plant. Maize and millet are also inter-
planted to provide a varied diet for both man and animal. The animals, stall fed to
prevent grazing and the threat of erosion, also contribute to the dietary intake of the
population, while providing supplies of fertilizer. These examples demonstrate that the
critical factor in agricultural development is more a matter of the techniques employed
than the size of the farming unit. And it is the level of this technology that determines
the efficiency of the operation.

Generally, economists accept the theory that mechanical power is more efficient and
productive than human labour, and consider intensive farming based on heavy labour
inputs to be inefficient. They also apply the law of diminishing returns and argue that in
many underdeveloped areas a substantial segment of the agricultural labour force has a
marginal productivity of zero and are, therefore, redundant-or disguisedly unemployed.
This, they conclude, is an inefficient use of resources. A first step on the road to develop-
ment, therefore, is to remove the surplus labourers into other productive activities, to
mechanize the farm operation in order to improve productivity and progressively decrease
the percentage of the labour force in agriculture. This proposal implies larger than
existing holdings and overlooks the scarcity of alternative forms of employment, and
existing conditions of unemployment. This suggestion carries arbitrary values of what the
economist thinks should be produced and how many man-hours are required to do it, and
are in no way supported by available empirical evidence; rather, as Christensen (3:44)

the evidence that we have been able to bring together shows quite conclusive-
ly that reorganization of farming into large-scale units will not necessarily in-
crease production per unit of cultivated area.

Applying the theory of economic equilibrium, Schultz (22) considers backwardness or
stagnation to be the stage at which the farmers have utilized to the full, the state of
knowledge at their disposal in order to obtain maximum productivity. There is, there-
fore, no such thing as "disguised unemployment" and no worker with a marginal produc-
tivity of zero, (Myrdal, 20). Any additional man-hours, above what are "normally" re-
quired, are designed to make up for the deficiency in technique; and if any workers are
withdrawn, productivity will remain static while total production will fall off. The
solution, therefore, lies not in increasing the size of the farm unit, but in breaking into
the established equilibrium.
Efficiency, however, is not synonymous with productivity. Efficiency is measured by
the use made of available knowledge and skills, while productivity is measured as the rate
of returns on given inputs. It is logical, therefore, to have an efficient system with lower
productivity than an inefficient system. The Indian and Japanese farmers provide a good
example of this. Schultz (22) maintains that the Indian farmers make very efficient use
of their existing technology and resources-and more so than the Japanese farmer. This
is not to imply that the Japanese are in any way inefficient. But they do have a higher
level of technology and more resources, so that even if the Indians were operating at
maximum efficiency they cannot achieve a level of productivity equal to that of the
Japanese; and this in view of the fact that Indian farms are, on the average, twice as large
as Japanese farms, as shown by the figures in Table 1. (Schultz, 23:12)

Average size Production Per capital
of farm per acre production

Thailand 9.5 $ 42 $ 45
Philippines 8.8 74 72
India 5.4 33 39
Indonesia 3.3 60 38
Taiwan 3.1 229 114
Japan 2.1 274 102

The "underdevelopedness" of Indian agriculture is thus more a question of deficient
technology than inefficiency or the size of farming operations.

The Critical Factor
The critical factor in agricultural development, therefore, seems to be the level of the
available technology. Boserup, (2) assumes that not all the demands of changing
technology occasioned by a population in flux will be met internally. Innovations are
thus a necessary component of the development process. But the rate of acceptance of
these will depend, among other things, on their cultural acceptability. Clayton (5) and
Myrdal (20) also agree that any innovations introduced into the system will be accepted
only if they reduce the labour inputs and/or increase productivity. "Innovation," "tech-
nology" and "techniques" are generally taken to connote new farm implements and
mechanization, but this is not necessarily true. Brookfield3 regards the inLroduction of
coffee into a New Guinea village as an innovation. Mixed farming in a predominantly
monocultural system is also an innovation. The most significant ingredients of agricul-
tural techniques which can also feature as "innovations," are irrigation, fertilizers, im-
proved seeds and livestock, insecticides, and particularly the skills in utilizing these. The

success of the Japanese farmer vis-a-vis his Indian counterpart is attributable to these
factors, (Kelly & Williamson, 16) and it is an improvement in the quality of these inputs
which permits a break in the established pattern of economic equilibrium. These tech-
niques, more than anything else, aided by capital formation and the capabilities and
schooling of the farmers, account for the fact that Japan, Denmark and Holland, relative-
ly small countries, have made such rapid strides in agricultural output. And not only
are these countries able to support dense populations, but the latter two are major
exporters of agricultural produce, and the former is also becoming so. Similarly, invest-
ment in irrigation facilities and the agricultural sciences has generated a growth rate of
seven percent in Mexican agriculture, while absentee ownership and lack of economic
incentives have kept the growth rate to less than two percent on the much better en-
dowed farmlands of Chile (Schultz).
These techniques, basic to sound farm management, are improved in two stages: (1)
scientific research seeks to improve upon existing knowledge and makes it available to all
farmers; and, (2) education and training enable the farmer to utilize this new knowledge
efficiently. The success of these stages will depend upon the cultural orientation of the
community and the value system which they observe. Some communities will accept
changes more readily than others. Others approach economic development in an indirect
way. Thus the Moslem believes that economic advancement comes through improving
one's social relationships and not directly through technology. The acceptance of these
techniques, however, is more predictable than for an imposed, totally foreign technology.
The latter will generate some degree of cultural shock and "social disruption;" while
the former can easily be incorporated into the existing social structure with little modifi-
cation and a minimum of social upheaval. And the "economic history of Japan demon-
strates the compatibility of rapid economic change and growth with the preservation of
traditional attitudes and social relationships, recast or re-emphasized as these may be to
suit the needs of the new economic order." (Bauer and Yamey, 1:68)

Some Examples
The case histories of Japan and Puerto Rico offer an interesting example of the
relevance of large-scale agriculture to a developing economy. In the second half of the
nineteenth century, reforms in Japanese agriculture were designed to limit the powers of
the landlords and to give the farmers a degree of security. These reforms were intensified
by the Allied occupationary forces. All lands owned by absentee landlords and all land in
excess of one hectare (2.5 acres) were bought up by the government and transferred to
small cultivators; and the postwar shortage of cash and restrictive laws on the acquisition
of land tended to ensure a predominance of small holdings.
In developing their agriculture, the Japanese farmers studied the techniques employed
by farmers in Europe and North America. They rejected the large-scale operations and
adopted the knowledge and techniques developed in Germany. They concentrated on
improving seeds and livestock, establishing research stations and promoting agricultural
education. Rather than importing a technology which would demand radical changes in
the existing system, their research and education was geared towards improving the effi-
ciency and productivity of the existing system. The tremendous success of the Japanese
farmer lies not in the size of the farm or indeed in mechanization, as much, but rather in
the better and efficient use of existing resources of land, labour and knowledge. A high
literacy rate and disciplined, energetic labour force developed under the Meiji dynasty
were also contributory factors. (Kelly & Williamson, 16).

Success was achieved by bypassing the theoretical road to revolutionary advance in
farm production, which requires a sharp reduction in the rural population, and the
promotion of large, mechanized farms.
In Puerto Rico, the great demand for sugar, first in Spain and later in the United
States, encouraged the spread of large-scale farming. Those who invested in mills and
machinery needed to be assured of steady, profitable operations, and consequently
bought up the land around the mill. These large-scale operations existed under Spanish
rule and were intensified under U.S. control. In 1900, the Foraker Act, pushed by the
farm lobby in the U.S. fearing a threat to their beet sugar, was passed to limit the size of
holdings in Puerto Rico to 500 acres; but few provisions were made for its enforcement.
A crisis of extremely low farm wages and quota restrictions on sugar exports to the U.S.
forced the government to act. In 1934, it enforced the Foraker Act reducing excessively
large plantations, but to a size on which large scale operations were still feasible.
Currently, Puerto Rico is facing a crisis in her agricultural output. A large volume of
foodstuffs is imported from the United States for which high U.S. prices are paid. This
problem is, undoubtedly, related to the neglect of agricultural techniques and research.
The prevailing economic theory that industry should be developed to absorb surplus farm
population has been adopted, and special attention has been paid to industry, with little
investment in agriculture. The large scale operations are thus unable to provide enough
work for the rural population or enough food for the urbanized proletariat. Nor has
industry been able to absorb the "rural emigrants" rapidly enough. Thus although some
40,000 Puerto Ricans migrate yearly to the United States, the unemployment rate is still
high, (Demas, 6).
The peasant-plantation dualism in Barbados offers another aspect of the farm-size
discussion. There are over 27,000 small farms in Barbados, which account for 98% of the
island's total number of farms. Of these over 23,000 comprise less than one acre and in
all account for a mere 15% of total farm acreage, (Griffith, 9). On both the large planta-
tions and the small holdings (less than 10 acres) sugar cane is the dominant crop. The
average yield per acre on plantations is about 31.6 tons, whereas, on small holdings the
average is about 18.5 tons per acre, (Handler, 11). These figures seem to refute the
argument put forward so far, and to prove that large-scale farming is more efficient and
more productive. However, an examination of the factors contributing to these
differences in productivity suggests that this is not necessarily the case. Higher plantation
yields are attributed to superior lands, mechanized plowing, better cane varieties, the use
of chemical weed-killers and more efficient hoeing, (Griffith, 9:26). Thus three of the
components listed are among the "techniques" considered above to be of major signifi-
cance in farming. It is, therefore, conceivable that with better cane varieties, the use of
chemical sprays and more efficient weeding, the yields on small holdings can improve
It is accepted that sugar cane is more amenable to large-scale operations and that
yields on large mechanized units will always tend to be higher yields on small units. This
seems to be an acceptable conclusion based on available data which shows yields in
Australia and South Africa to be consistently higher than in India, the major world pro-
ducer, or the West Indies. Nevertheless, with efficient use of basic agricultural techniques,
small operators can approach the yields obtained on large holdings.
In terms of food crops, however, a very different picture emerges, indicating that pro-
ductivity on the small farms in Barbados is substantially higher than that on the planta-

tions. This is reflected in the gross margin of income per unit area, as shown in Table 2.

Table 2

Gross Margin of Income (S per acre) for Selected Crops4

Crops Estates Smallholdings

Sugar 215.10 100.15
Tomatoes 927.30 2387.69
Carrots 863.45 1885.40
Cabbage 1111.10 2379.10
Beans 756.60 1109.00
Of more significant import, however, is the data presented in Table 3. These figures in-
dicate, on the one hand, that the large estates are much more efficiently operated than
the small farms insofar as they are utilizing all available technology almost to the fullest.
Thus even under the proposed improved reorganization only a maximum increase of fif-
teen percent in gross income is anticipated. The proposed reorganization for the small
farms, however, envisages increases in income of up to 172%. This does not, by any
means, indicate an inefficient peasantry, (Griffith, 9:210), for, as noted above, the large

Table 3

Expected Increase in Income
For Reorganized Farming Operations5

Present Expected
Farm Size (ac.) Income ($) Income ($) % Increase

0.188 447 991 122
0.75 709 1 930 172
1.50 1 964 3 856 96
225.00 45222 52000 15
225.00 51 943 57446 11

estates enjoy special advantages, and grow mainly sugar-cane in the cultivation of which
they are specially favoured.

On the other hand, the figures do indicate the tremendous potential of the small
farms, a potential which Ingersent and others (15) suggest can be realized through
adequate marketing facilities, adequate supplies of capital, and improved extension
services as well as other improved agricultural techniques. At the same time, competition
for labour with industry and tourism, which can both afford to offer higher wages, has
driven up labour costs and rendered many plantation operations uneconomical. The still
largely underutilized potential of the small farms thus assumes major significance in terms
of both agricultural and economic development on the island.

Summary and Conclusions
Farmers in all communities are as economically motivated in their cultural framework,
as are Western farmers in theirs. It is a misconception to classify them all as being lazy,
indolent and indulgent in wasteful expenditures. To do this is to judge their behaviour by
Western standards and to impose on them Western values. They are keenly interested in
obtaining maximum returns on their efforts; and if they "appear" lazy or unwilling to
invest, it is because they are aware that, under the existing state of knowledge and tech-
nology, additional investments are not worthwhile. That the Kenyan and New Guinea
(Chimbu) farmers easily accepted improvements in their farming, and were anxious, once
introduced, to get involved in a money economy, is evidence of their economic mentality
as "optimizing peasants." Development and progress in agriculture in developing coun-
tries thus seem to be more a matter of improving the quality of inputs and maintaining
efficiency than in applying new "alien" systems or technologies solely on the basis that
these have succeeded elsewhere.
It therefore seems logical to reject the idea that large-scale farming is necessarily the
most efficient, most productive and most economical method of farming. Acceptance of
this would condemn more than three quarters of the world's farming as being wasteful,
inefficient and destructive. The validity of this claim depends on variables which are
functionally associated over very limited geographical areas. Types of crops, the nature
of the terrain and population densities vary widely even over small areas. And these in
varying combinations affect the feasibility of large-scale farming operations. On the
other hand, the agricultural techniques enumerated are basic universals, and can be
operational in any agricultural community. It is the strategy of improving the existing
agricultural inputs, of upgrading their quality, which determines the efficiency and
productivity of an agricultural system, whatever the size of the operation.
In Barbados, as in other developing areas of Latin America, Africa and Asia, the
development of existing small-farm operations carry very significant implications for local
and world food production, for local employment, rural development, and thus for the
quality of national life.



1. Berry, R. A., "Special Problems of Policy making in a Technologically Heterogeneous Agricul-
ture," in Reynolds (21).

2. Kanel, D., "Size of Farms and Economic Development," in Indian Journal of Agricultural
Economics, Vol. 22, No. 2, 1967.

3. Brookfield, H. C., "The Money That Grows on Trees," in Australian Geographical Studies, Vol.
6, 1968.

4. Compiled from Ingersent, et al (15), p. 43-46; 103-105; 108-111.

5. Compiled from Ingersent, et al. (15), Appendix 1.


1. Bauer, P.T. and Yamey, B.S., The Economics of Under-developed Countries. University of
Chicago Press, 1966.

2. Boserup, E., The Conditions of Agricultural Growth, London, 1965.

3. Christensen, R.P., "Agricultural Progress in Less Developed Countries," in Economic Develop-
ment of Agriculture, Center for Agricultural and Economic Development, Iowa State
University Press, 1965.

4. Clarkson, J.D., "Ecologic and Spatial Analysis," in Social Science Research Institute, Working
Paper No. 7, University of Hawaii, 1968.

5. Clayton, E.K., Agrarian Development in Peasant Economies, London, 1964.

6. Demas, W.C., The Economics of Development in Small Countries, Keith Callard Lectures,
McGill University Press, 1965.

7. Enochian, R.V., "Prospects for Agriculture in the Caribbean," Foreign Agricultural Economic
Report, No. 58, U.S.D.A., Economic Research Service, Washington, 1970.

8. Geertz, C., Agricultural Involution, University of California Press, 1963.

9. Griffith, A.D., The Diversification of Peasant Agriculture in Barbados, unpublished M.A.
Thesis, McGill University, Montreal, 1973.

10. Gill, R., Economic Development: Past and Present, Princeton, 1964.

11. Handler, J.S., "Small-scale sugar-cane farming in Barbados," Ethnology, VoL 5, 1966.

12. Helleiner, G.K., "Small-holder Decision-making: Tropical African Evidence," in Reynolds, L.G.
(ed.), Agriculture in Development Theory, Economic Growth Center, Yale University,

13. Hoselitz, B.F. (ed.), The Progress of Under-developed Areas, University of Chicago Press, 1963.

14. Igbozurike, M.U., "Fragmentation in Tropical Agriculture: An Overrated Problem," Profes-
sional Geographer, Vol. XXII, No. 6, 1970.

15. Ingersent, K.A., et al., "Vegetable Production in Barbados," Bulletin No. 3, Ministry of
Agriculture, Science & Technology, Bridgetown, 1969.

16. Kelley, A., and Williamson, J., Lessons from Japanese Development, University of Chicago
Press, 1974.

17. Lewis, W.A., The Theory of Economic Growth, London, 1960.

18. Martin, L.E., "Basic Considerations in Transforming Traditional Agriculture," in Economic
Development of Agriculture, Center for Agricultural and Economic Development,
Iowa State University Press, 1965.

19. Mountjoy, A.B., Industrialization and Under-developed Countries, London, 1963.

20. Myrdal, G., Asian Drama, Vols. 1 and 2, New York, 1968.


21. Reynolds, L.G. (ed.), Agriculture in Development Theory, Economic Growth Center, Yale
University, 1975.

22. Schultz, T.W., Transforming Traditional Agriculture, Chicago, 1964.

23. ------- Economic Crises in World Agriculture, Chicago, 1965.

24. Stevens, R.D., "Three Rural Development Models for Small-farm Agricultural Areas in Low
Income Nations," Journal of Developing Areas, Vol. 8, No. 3, 1974.


This article examines the external trade of the More Developed Countries (MDCs) of
the Commonwealth Caribbean, namely, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad-from
1962 to 1975, years which more or less correspond to the post-independence period.1
The aim of the article is not only to identify the changes which have taken place but also
to ascertain the extent to which the pattern of trade confirms with or deviates from the
dependency model of trade and concurrently to determine whether trade dependence has
been increasing or diminishing. Consequently, the analysis employs criteria derived from
dependency theory.
What is referred to as the "dependency model of trade" forms part of a more general
theory of dependent underdevelopment which arose as a critique of the liberal theories of
development emanating from American and to a lesser extent British and European
universities. These theories are generally ahistorical and tend to perceive the lack of
development in the Third World as purely internal to the countries themselves. The
dependency theory of underdevelopment has been associated most with the Latin
American dependistas of whom the best known is, perhaps, Gunder Frank.2 Prominent
non-Latin Americans include Amin, Bodenheimer and Galtung.3 Though the dependen-
tist writers differ on the question of the strategy for the liberation from underdevelop-
ment (partly because of their differing estimations of class forces in their particular
country or countries), they all share an underlying perspective. They hold that the under-
development of Third World countries (the Periphery) is the result of their historically
controlled or conditioned growth by the Metropolitan (Centre) countries in the latter's
economic interest. Consequently, the Periphery was pushed into patterns of monocul-
ture and the development of domestic agriculture and industry with the higher stages of
manufacturing and value-added were blocked. The Periphery's narrow specialization and
distorted growth, which found intellectual justification in the theory of comparative
advantage, was reinforced politically by the creation or support of pliant elites and
insured economically by the transfer abroad of their economic surplus. As in the past,
underdevelopment (with its associated characteristics of monoculture, low levels of
processing and transfer of value-added abroad, low per capital incomes, higher unemploy-
ment and underemployment, hypertrophy of the tertiary sector and income drain)
persists in the post-independence era because of neo-colonial ties of an economic,
political, cultural and technological nature. For Frank, Amin and other radical dependen-
tists, the economic liberation of the Periphery requires the severance of present ties with
the Centre through socialist revolution.4 Others like Galtung see socialist revolution as
one possibility among several including a more strident economic nationalism and the
exercise of cartel power through producer's associations.
Underdevelopment is reflected in a pattern of trade that is marked by peculiar distor-
tions. Firstly, there is a high degree of trade extraversion, or export-bias because produc-

tion is geared primarily to the needs of the metropole rather than to autocentric growth.
Our test of extraversion is the ratio of exports to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at factor
cost. Export-bias is also complemented by a high level of import dependence since the
export sector monopolizes investment resources. Our criterion of import dependence is
the ratio of imports to GDP at factor cost.

Secondly, there is the condition of partner concentration in trade, a highly asymmetri-
cal relationship in which the subordinate economy is excessively dependent on the Centre
as a market for its exports and a source of its imports. In contrast, the Centre country
is not similarly restricted because its trade ties are multidimensional and relatively frag-
mented among many partners. Our main indicator of partner concentration is the
percentage of total exports which is taken by a country's most important customer.
Thirdly, there is the malaise of commodity concentration. Unlike the exports of the
developed countries which are highly diversified in terms of product lines, those of the
dependent economy are narrowly circumscribed and are dominated by a few commodi-
ties. Thus the latter remain vulnerable to fluctuations in world demand for its limited
range of products compared to the greater immunity of Centre countries which are better
able to contend with the similar disruptions in trade. Our indicator of commodity
concentration is the percentage share of total exports comprised by a country's three
leading exports.

Fourthly, there is the nature of the composition of trade between dependent and
dominant partners. Typically, the exchange consists of the export of raw materials and
low-level processed goods by the one for manufacturers from the other. The composition
of trade is approximated by the trade composition index based on the formula
(a + d) (b + c)
(a + d) + (c + c)
a is the value of primary goods imported
b is the value of primary goods exported
c is the value of manufactured goods imported
d is the value of manufactured goods exported.5
Countries high on this index tend to import raw materials and export processed goods
while those rank low tend to export raw materials and import manufactured goods.
In toto, the higher the values of the first three variables and the lower the value of the
fourth variable over time, the greater is the growth of trade dependence. Conversely, the
lower the values of the former variables and the higher the value of the latter index with
passage of time, the less is the degree of trade dependence.
Commonwealth Caribbean MDCs trade is examined below in terms of these specific
variables of the dependency model of trade.

Trade Extraversion
Table 1 shows the respective ratios of exports (and imports) to GDP (at factor cost)
of the MDCs for selected years beginning 1962. In both Barbados and Jamaica the
ratio of exports declined between 1962 and 1971. Guyana's experience went to the
other extreme. Its export-GDP ratio increased. Trinidad's performance in 1971 was only
marginally different from that of 1962. In contrast the figures for the seventies reveal
the intensification of export bias particularly in Guyana and Trinidad and to a lesser

extent in Barbados. Despite its more favourable export-GDP ratios in 1975, the
performance of Jamaica is more apparent than real for this variable. The figure for the

Table 1

Commonwealth Caribbean Foreign Trade: Ratios of Exports and Imports to G.D.P.
(at Factor Cost), Selected Years.

1962 1965 1968 1971 1974 1975

A. Ratio of Exports

Barbados 37.2 40.1 39.2 31.1 30.3 33.2
Guyana 53.4 50.8 53.3 59.9 71.1 77.3
Jamaica 36.3 35.3 27.4 27.4 24.9 29.1
Trinidad 58.9 58.2 42.4 (27.2)a 57.9 (26.4) 109.9 (51.8) 86.6 (52.9)

B. Ratio of Imports
Barbados 65.9 72.5 75.1 84.1 72.5 66.6
Guyana 41.1 54.5 54.1 53.7 66.9 73.8
Jamaica 46.4 48.7 48.8 40.1 41.6 41.7
Trinidad 60.4 68.8 56.3 (26.2)b 73.9 (39.8) 99.4 (28.7) 65.4 (32.6)

percent of exports to GDP excluding exports u.p.a.
percent of imports to GDP excluding imports u.p.a.

Sources: United Nations, Yearbook of International Trade Statistics (Annual)
IBRD, World Tables, 1976.

latter year does not reflect a qualitative decrease in the degree of export-bias but rather
the fortuitous downtown in bauxite and alumina exports (of 31 percent and 15 percent
respectively) occasioned in part by the cut-backs in the production of aluminum by
American, European, and Japanese processors because of accumulating inventories as
well as by prolonged strikes and "go-slows" within Jamaica as new wage contracts were
being negotiated by the unions.6 However, the short-falls in mineral exports by Jamaica
were compensated for by proportionately higher prices. Guyana. too, benefitted from
higher prices. And Trinidad, since 1973, has been riding on the crest of an oil boom as a
consequence of OPEC actions and its increased oil production from new off-shore wells.
Table 1 also shows that import dependence has remained quite high in the post-
independence period. With the exception of Jamaica, import dependence at the end of
1975 was higher in the MDCs than in 1962. Even when the value of oil imports under
processing agreement (the products of which are exported) are excluded in the case of
Trinidad, its ratio of imports in the mid-seventies are higher than in the sixties.

The persistence of the high level of import dependence in the MDCs is attributable to
factors that are both external to, and internal to, the countries. World inflation in general
and higher oil prices in particular have seriously increased the import bills of the MDCs in
the seventies. The value of food imports alone more than doubled from US$197 million
in 1971 to US$458 million and that of Jamaica surged from US$53 million to US$215
million for the identical years. In relative terms the fuel bill increased from seven percent
of imports in 1971 to 16 percent in 1975 for Barbados, nine percent to 177percent in
Guyana and 10 percent to 19 percent in Jamaica in the corresponding years.
The continuous high level of import dependence in the MDCs also reflects the short-
comings of domestic policy in increasing self-reliance in local food production, in curbing
the penchant for "high consumption" imports and the limited success with import-sub-
stitution. Despite the strategy of industrialization by invitation, the share of manufac-
tured goods relative to total imports changed marginally in the period. For example, the
share manufactures (SITC 5-8) for 1965 comprised 53 percent, 70 percent, 66 percent
and 38 percent of total imports of Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad respectively.
The corresponding share of manufactures in imports in 1975 were 52 percent, 69 percent,
58 percent and 38 percent.8
Thus, it is evident that extraversion not only remained a characteristic feature of
Commonwealth Caribbean MDC trade but also increased in the mineral-exporting
countries in the period. This phenomenon was complemented by the persistence of a
high degree of import dependence which declined only marginally in the post-indepen-
dence years under review.
Partner Concentration
In Table 2 is shown partner concentration for exports and imports defined as the
percentage of exports accounted for by the leading purchaser country and the percentage
Table 2
A. Partner Concentration: Percentage of Exports to Main Purchaser

1962 1965 1968 1971 1974 1975
Barbados 50.6 (UK) 42.2 (UK) 44.9 (UK) 33.5 (UK) 27.1 (US) 30.2 (US)
Guyana 33.7 (Can.) 24.7 (UK) 25.9 (US) 26.2 (US) 25.8 (UK) 29.0 (US)
Jamaica 38.1 (US) 28.0 (US) 39.1 (US) 44.4 (US) 41.3 (US) 46.7 (US)
Trinidad 25.2 (US) 33.7 (US) 45.1 (US) 42.2 (US) 44.5 (US) 54.9 (US)

B. Partner Concentration: Percentage of Imports from Main Supplier
Barbados 33.2 (UK) 29.6 (UK) 27.3 (UK) 30.0 (UK) 20.5 (US) 21.7 (UK)
Guyana 35.3 (UK) 31.0 (UK) 29.4 (UK) 30.9 (UK) 25.8 (US) 29.6 (US)
Jamaica 29.5 (UK) 31.3 (US) 38.7 (US) 39.6 (US) 35.6 (US) 37.6 (US)
Trinidad 23.1 (SA) 25.5 (RV) 15.1 (US) 17.7 (US) 35.5 (SA) 26.4 (SA)

SA means Saudi Arabia; RV means Republic of Venezuela.

Source: United Nations, Yearbook of International Trade Statistics

of imports bought from the leading supplier. The country of destination of export and
origin of imports are also indicated in the table. Of the four Caribbean MDCs, the degree
of partner concentration (export) declined the most consistently in Barbados. The data
indicate that its export partner-concentration declined in kind as well as degree. Up to
1971 the UK was its main market despite the latter's decreasing share of exports
purchased from Barbados. But by 1974, the US had superseded the UK as the leading
export market. Guyana, too, also experienced a relative decline in its export partner-
concentration as well as changes in the prominence of its export market. Canada, which
accounted for one-third of Guyana's total exports in 1962 was superseded by the UK in
the mid-sixties which in turn was displaced by the US in the late sixties. In contrast
to Barbados and Guyana, export partner-concentration increased in Jamaica and
In general the table reveals the US as the dominant export-trade partner for the MDCs.
This status, however, is relatively new. In 1958, for example, when the now defunct West
Indies Federation came into being, the UK accounted for one-third of the aggregate
exports of the MDCs compared to one-fifth for the US and one-eighth for Canada.9 By
1968 the US had supplanted the UK (which it was on the verge of displacing in 1963 when
the UK's share of total MDC exports stood at 26.2 percent as against 25.9 percent for the
US) as the region's leading export market. At the end of 1975, the US took 55 percent
of the aggregate MDC's exports.10
Despite the pre-eminence of the US as an export customer, a number of qualitative
developments in the direction of MDCs export trade are apparent. Firstly, MDC exports
to the developing countries have been progressively increasing. At the end of 1963, for
example, the developing countries as a whole accounted for barely nine percent of the
aggregate exports of the four MDCs. But by the end of 1975, their export share was fully
18 percent. On a country basis the developing areas purchased in 1975 some 21 percent
of Barbados sales abroad, an identical percentage of Guyana's exports, 14 percent of
Jamaica's overseas sales (despite the downturn in its mineral exports) and 18 percent of
Trinidad's exports. The corresponding shares of exports to the developing areas in 1963,
for example, were 15 percent (Barbados), 13 percent (Guyana), three percent (Jamaica)
and 10 percent (Trinidad).
Secondly is the emergence of intra-Commonwealth Caribbean trade, that is exports
within CARICOM, formerly CARIFTA. In 1968, the year of the establishment of
CARIFTA, MDC exports to regional members amounted to US$43 million and approxi-
mately five percent of the aggregate exports. Notwithstanding import-control measures
in Guyana and Jamaica to protect their reserves, MDC exports to CARICOM rose to
US$267 million and slightly over nine percent of aggregate exports in 1975. For the
MDCs as a whole, CARICOM has become the third most important export-market after
the US and the UK.

The third auspicious development is the growing export trade with the Soviet areas,
that is, the COMECON countries, Cuba and China (but excluding Romania and
Yugoslavia).11 With the exception of spot sales of US$4.4 million by Guyana in 1963,
export trade with the Soviet areas prior to the early 1970s was virtually non-existent.
But by 1973, aggregate sales, mainly by Jamaica and Guyana to the Soviet areas was
almost US$19 million. In the subsequent two years there was a rapid increase so that the
end of 1975 Soviet purchases reached nearly US$71 million. Indeed, in that year, the
Soviet-bloc (principally China) accounted for 10 percent of Guyana's exports and some

four percent of Jamaica's exports (mainly to Eastern Europe). The exports of Barbados
and Trinidad to Soviet countries are well below one percent of their total exports. How-
ever, this market is likely to become increasingly significant as these MDCs seek to
diversify their trade ties in order to reduce export dependence on their traditional
As in their export trade, partner concentration is also evident in the import trade of
the Commonwealth Caribbean MDCs from Table 2. Throughout the post-independence
period, the UK maintained its dominant position as a supplier in Barbados. It was also
the leading source of imports for Guyana throughout the sixties but has been displaced
by the US in the mid-seventies. US dominance is particularly marked in Jamaica, a
phenomenon which is attributable to the penetration of US investment particularly in the
post-independence era and its present dominant position in the island. Only Trinidad
deviates from the pattern of metropolitan domination in import trade. This idiosyncracy
is a result of its heavy oil-imports, mainly for processing and re-export from the "develop-
ing countries." Of course, it is virtually dependent, like the other MDCs, for its non-fuel
imports from the metropolitan countries, particularly the US.
Despite the rising oil-imports in the Commonwealth Caribbean since 1973, the US
remains the dominant supplier accounting for over 28 percent of the aggregate imports of
the MDCs in 1975. The US dominance in import trade is also a post-independence
phenomenon. As recent as 1958, the UK dominated the import trade of the MDCs
supplying 37 percent of their aggregate imports compared to 16 percent for the US in
the same year. But by the end of 1975 the former was supplying barely 12 percent
of the MDCs aggregate imports. The other important suppliers of the MDCs in the same
year were: the Middle East (15 percent), Asia other than Japan (9 percent), Latin
America (9 percent), CARICOM (8 percent), the Common Market excluding the UK (7
percent) and Japan (4 percent).12 This configuration reflects a considerable diversifica-
tion in import trade compared with the more concentrated pattern of sourcing in the
years immediately preceding independence.

Commodity Concentration
Commodity concentration, defined as the percentage of exports comprised of the
three most important products by value, is depicted in Table 3.13 Among the four MDCs
the decline in commodity concentration was the most favourable in Barbados and least
so in Guyana since in none of the years shown was a decline evident unlike Jamaica and
Trinidad where the degree of commodity concentration fell between 1962 and 1971,
though by the mid-seventies, the levels of commodity concentration of the early sixties
were resumed. The intensification of commodity concentration especially since the turn
of the decade has been most conspicious in the mineral-export economies. This develop-
ment is wholly attributable to the record high prices for petroleum and petroleum pro-
ducts (of which Trinidad is the main beneficiary), bauxite-alumina (of which Jamaica and
Guyana are the major producers) and has been abetted by favourable prices on the world
market for the area's other main export, sugar. 14 The increase in the prices of the non-
agricultural primary products resulted from concerted political action by the producers
association such as OPEC (to which Trinidad does not belong but regards as the price-
leader) and the International Bauxite Association (IBA). In contrast, the increase in
sugar prices was precipitated by acute shortages due to adverse weather conditions in the
major producing countries rather than through the deliberate exercise of cartel power.

Table 3

Commodity Concentrationa (Percent)

1962 1965 1968 1971 1974 1975

Barbados 91.0 84.5 70.5 53.8 61.3 69.2
Guyana 82.9 84.8 86.4 86.4 90.9 92.1
Jamaica 80.6 78.1 76.2 80.6 85.1 84.8
Trinidad 92.8 89.1 90.8 76.5 94.2 92.4

a means the percent of exports comprised by the three leading commodities.

Source: Appendix 1, 2.

Although commodity concentration persisted and even intensified in the post-
independence period particularly in the three biggest MDCs, there was some degree of
diversification of product lines in exports particularly in Barbados and to a lesser extent
in Trinidad and Jamaica. Whilst sugar, rum and molasses constituted the three most
important exports of Barbados in 1962, by 1975 the latter two commodities were dis-
placed by petroleum products and clothing as the second and third ranking exports after
sugar. Similarly in Trinidad, where petroleum products, sugar and cocoa comprised the
three leading export items in 1962, chemicals were the third leading export item in 1975
and growing at a faster rate than sugar. Bauxite-alumina sugar and bananas in 1975 as in
1962 constituted Jamaica's leading exports though the export of petroleum products
was beginning to rival bananas for the position of third export. In Guyana, sugar, bauxite
and rice, as in the pre-independence years remain unchallenged as the major exports in
the mid-seventies.
On the whole, primary goods comprised the bulk of Caribbean MDC exports in the
post-independence period. The proportion of manufactured goods (see Appendix 1) in
exports has remained low except in Barbados where it contributes nearly 30 percent of
the total value of exports. In the other MDCs such as Guyana and Jamaica, the propor-
tion. of manufactures in exports actually fell below the 1962 levels in 1975. Trinidad's
position was somewhat more favourable. However, the trend of manufactured goods
relative to exports was generally on the rise in the decade 1962-71 in all four MDCs. The
decline which set in thereafter was due not to the lack of growth of the sector but rather
to the quantum shifts in the prices of the mineral exports and sugar in the mid-seventies.

Trade Composition
Dependency theory holds that in trade relations between Centre and Periphery, the
latter is pushed into a pattern of monoculture with export production typified by low
levels of processing and into import dependence for manufactured goods from the Centre.
This is because the Centre reserves for itself the higher levels of processing with its higher
value-added and technological "spin-offs" through its monopoly power as evidenced in
discriminatory tariffs which are low or non-existent on raw materials and semi-processed

goods but increase exponentially with the degree of processing, or where these are
nominal by a host of non-tariff barriers. Consequently, the Periphery tends to export raw
materials and import manufactures while the Centre imports raw materials and exports
manufactured goods. These patterns are reflected respectively in the lower and higher
values in the trade composition index. On this index the highest possible score attainable
as +1 where a country's exports of raw materials and imports of processed goods equal
zero. A country like Japan, for example, with imports consisting almost entirely of raw
materials and exports consisting almost entirely of processed goods ranks high on the
index. 15
As the computations in Table 4 reveal, the Commonwealth Caribbean MDCs rank low
on the trade composition index in conformity with patterns of trade typified by exports
of primary goods with low levels of processing and imports of processed goods. This
pattern of trade changed the least in Guyana and indeed, even deteriorated in the post-
independence period. On the other hand, this pattern of exchange deteriorated the least
in Barbados and even improved over the period. The trends for Trinidad and Jamaica,
despite fluctuations, suggest improvement in their patterns of exchange. However, in all
four countries the qualitative change in their trade transactions has yet to be made.
Although it may be argued that the extant pattern of exchange of primary exports for
manufactured imports is indicative of the persistence of economic dependence, it can also
be argued that such a pattern of exchange is virtually unavoidable in the short run for
these MDCs if they are to break out of monoculture production and achieve structural
economic change in the long run. It seems eminently reasonable that countries which are
well-endowed with primary resources and which wish to industrialize and diversify their
economies should continue to exhibit an export bias for the immediate future with a view
to obtaining the foreign exchange necessary for the purchase of plant and equipment
to develop the basis of the new economy. The position of contemporary Cuba is sugges-
tive. Sugar, nickel and tobacco accounts for 85 percent, 10 percent and three percent
respectively of that country's exports. Not only is there commodity-export concentra-
tion but also a high degree of partner concentration with the Soviet Union which
purchases the bulk of Cuba's exports and provides approximately 60 percent of the
latter's imports. Yet few deny that the Cuban economy is in the process of structural

Table 4
Trade Composition Index

1962 1965 1968 1971 1974 1975

Barbados -0.319 -0.346 -0.359 -0.324 -0.164 -0.199
Guyana -0.656 -0.644 -0.718 -0.703 -0.627 -0.669
Jamaica -0.533 -0.543 -0.549 -0.531 -0.424 -0.461
Trinidad -0.330 -0.254 -0.233 -0.204 -0.181 -0.366

Source: See Appendix 1,2.

Thus it seems that what is crucial is not so much the export bias per se (though the
problems and constraints in primary export-concentration have to be recognized), but
rather what is done with the foreign-exchange earnings derived from exports whether
they are dissipated in consumption imports, transferred abroad or utilized to develop
production. In the case of the Commonwealth Caribbean MDCs, their import perform-
ance is somewhat encouraging for economic change. As Table 5 indicates, the capital
goods component of total imports remained at a respectable level throughout the period
and especially so in Trinidad (if imports of oil u.p.a. are excluded) and in Jamaica. In
contrast the proportion of capital goods in imports in Barbados and Guyana in the mid-
seventies were lower than in the early seventies. In the latter's case, this downturn seems
to have been a result not only of the erosion occasioned by the escalating oil-import bill
but also of the postponement of expansion plans by the private sector in a year which
witnessed the nationalization of the- Reynold's Bauxite Company and other assets of
foreign companies (mainly Booker's) in keeping with the government's pledge to acquire
control over the commanding heights of the economy.16

Table 5 also shows that the Commonwealth Caribbean MDCs have had some success
in moderating the level of consumer imports in the period. Guyana and Jamaica have

Table 5
Distribution of Imports by Economic Function

1962 1965 1968 1971 1974 1975
Capital Goods (Percentages)


18.0 (32.7)

19.5 (35.9)

Consumer Goods (Percentages)
Barbados 40.9 40.4



27.9 (53.9)

15.9 (33.54)

17.6 (37.2)

20.1 (40.1)

16.9 (33.3)

Intermediate Goods, Raw Materials and Fuels (Percentages)
Barbados 41.6 30.9 30.2 31.8
Guyana 13.4 36.3 31.1 31.8
Jamaica 34.8 36.0 27.8 35.8
Trinidad 60.7(28.7) 52.6(10.2) 66.5(29.3) 63.0 (26.6)

21.3 22.2
29.1 22.1
26.9 30.8
9.6 (33.4) 22.0 (44.1)

33.1 36.6
20.7 17.8
21.4 20.8
10.1(35.2) 14.7 (29.4)

45.6 41.2
50.2 60.1
51.6 48.4
80.3 (31.5) 63.3 (26.5)

( ) percent excluding oil imports u.p.a.

Source: As in Table 2.

been especially successful in the mid-seventies because of their austerity measures to
counter their deteriorating trade position occasioned in part by OPEC actions. Their
experience suggests that similar stringent measures may be required in Barbados and
Trinidad to depress further their levels of consumer imports. The data, too, reveal
that intermediate goods, raw materials and fuels have risen sharply in the seventies.
This turn of events could prove dysfunctional for industrialization in the energy de-
ficient MDCs if the fuel component continues to rise and cheaper substitutes are not

In general the findings indicate that the pattern of trade of the Commonwealth Carib-
bean MDCs in the post-independence period to the end of 1975 conforms with the
dependency model of trade. Extraversion persists especially in the mineral exporting
countries but has moderated somewhat for Barbados. Import dependence in the seventies
has increased in varying degrees for all countries except Jamaica where there has been a
significant decline. Partner concentration is still much in vogue though it has decreased
considerably in Barbados, marginally in Guyana but has increased in Trinidad and
Jamaica. The United States has emerged as the MDCs most important export-market and
supplier in the post-independence era, a position which was formerly Britian's in the
colonial period. Commodity concentration (exports) has either increased or remains
stable in the mineral-export economies. Only in Barbados has it moderated significantly.
As on the eve of political independence, the pattern of exchange remains one of the
export of primary materials and the import of processed goods.
Despite the continuities in the pattern of trade from the pre-independence period,
changes are also evident which have potential for the future development of Common-
wealth Caribbean trade. Trade ties are being diversified outside of the traditional North-
Atlantic Triangle countries (that is, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom)
particularly with the Third World and the Soviet areas. Though the basket of exports is
still heavily weighted in favour of primary products, it is changing, albeit slowly, as
secondary manufactures displace the lesser primary products of the pre-independence
era. True, the pattern of exchange is still basically one of the export of primary goods
and import of processed goods, but the ratio between capital goods and consumer goods
in total imports is perceptibly improving.
What, then, it may be asked, are the prospects for the reduction of trade dependence
in the Commonwealth Caribbean MDCs? The view taken here is that a deterioration in
trade dependence is not at all inevitable and that a reversal of the traditional pattern is
not foreclosed. Short of the option espoused by the more radical dependentists like
Frank and Amin and like-minded thinkers in the Caribbean, movement away from the
situation of trade dependence, given the present political context of the MDCs, depends
on action in four areas, namely, food production, consumer imports, rationalization of
industry and fuel imports.
First, food production. The consensus of opinion among West Indian economists is
that the area is capable of greater self-reliance in food production but domestic agricul-
tire has been generally neglected both in the colonial and post-independence periods.
However, this attitude has been changing with the growing realization by governments in
the region that the importation of food means the importation of inflation as well as the
exportation of jobs in the world of the seventies. The Guyanese action in prohibiting the
importation of a wide range of food products (mainly of temperate origin) and the

Jamaican government's launching of Operation Project Land Lease (PLL) attest to this
awakening of interest. Similarly, the formation of the CARICOM Corn and Soyabean
Company and the Trinidad and Barbados joint-venture Shrimp Fishing Company evince
their concern with the development of local and regional food production.17

Secondly, there is the need to reduce further the level of consumer imports, that is,
non-food imports. This end may be achieved via direct controls such as outright prohibi-
tions of non-essential durables and non-durables and other import controls and indirect
controls such as the regulation of consumer credit through Central Bank policies. The
combination of both forms of control have been responsible for Jamaica's and Guyana's
success in reducing the proportion of consumer imports relative to total imports in the
mid-seventies (see Table 5). Barbados and Trinidad appear poised for similar action as
they have brought non-bank consumer-loan companies under the aegis of Central Bank
control and government regulation.
The third requirement is the rationalization of industrial development especially in the
area of import-substitution. The region continues to suffer from the malaise of too many
small firms, producing too many products for too fragmented a market. The automobile
"industry" is a case in point. In Trinidad, the region's chief assembler of automobiles,
the largest "manufacturer", Neal and Massy Ltd., has an output of some 33-35 units per
day comprised of Datsun, Mazda and Holden cars.18 There is also a smaller Toyota
assembly operation. Antigua assembles the mini-jeep, the Arawak Hustler. Barbados and
Guyana are either also assembling motor vehicles or are on the verge of doing so. The
vehicles, given the limited economies of scale and the high levels of protection, not sur-
prisingly are very expensive. Thus the case can be argued for a division of labour among
the territories to avoid duplication of efforts and to maximize economies of scale by
settling on a single car, single jeep, single light-truck, etc. for single CARICOM market.
The particular vehicle decided upon could be assembled until the metal industries are
sufficiently developed to enable the countries to move up to the stage of actual pro-
duction under licence or better yet, production of a Caribbean-designed vehicle. Ration-
alization along similar lines are in order for the apparel and other light industries. It goes
without saying that the rationalization of the bauxite industry by combining Trinidad's
energy with Jamaica's and Guyana's ore with a view to achieving the higher levels of pro-
cessing through to the ingot stage is inescapable if the region is to break out of the
traditional pattern of trade.
The fourth area which requires further action is the reduction in the level of fuel
imports. With the exception of Trinidad which is CARICOM's main oil-producer, the
OPEC price-hikes have impose severe burdens on the MDCs. Short of immediate
commercial oil discoveries on their land or sea territories, stringent conservation of oil
use can help to alleviate the oil burden only temporarily. And barring future discoveries,
these countries will have to look in the direction of alternate energy sources, for example,
hydro-power in Guyana and nuclear power in Jamaica. The present drawbreak to the
establishment of hydro-power in Guyana and a nuclear-energy industry in Jamaica is in
their financing. But it is not altogether far-fetched to suggest that a consortia-type of
arrangement with Trinidad a key partner, could overcome this obstacle. And Trinidad's
motive need not be naively altruistic. Apart from the political credit which will accrue
to it, there are the inevitable economic gains. Like poor families on the block who make
poor customers for the local store, poor or impoverished neighbours are not likely to
make good customers of a prosperous Trinidad.

The four areas of action identified above are fraught with political difficulties and the
more so in the case of the last two. Political will in the post-independence period has
often been weak. But if one takes the view that political leaders do not lead until they are
pushed, then there is ground for optimism. It may yet turn out that the growing world
inflation and a more aggressive OPEC will prove to be the forces which steel the govern-
ments of the Commonwealth Caribbean MDCs to undertake the kind of actions which
make for the transformation of their economies and a more dynamic pattern of trade.

Appendix 1
Composition of Commonwealth Caribbean MDCs Exports: Selected Years

1962 1965 1968 1971 1974 1975

Primary Goods
(SITC 0-4) a

T rinidad

(SITC 5-8) b

($million U.S.)




















a Includes food, beverages and tobacco, crude materials (inedible except fuels),
mineral fuels, lubricants and related products, animal, vegetable oil and fats.
b Includes chemicals, manufactured goods classified chiefly by materials, machinery
and transport equipment and miscellaneous manufactures.
Source: U.N., Yearbook of International Trade Statistics (Annual).

Appendix 2
Composition of Commonwealth Caribbean MDCs Imports: Selected Years

1962 1965 1968 1971 1974 1975

Primary Goods
(SITC 0-4) a


(SITC 5-8) b


($million U.S.)




















a. See Appendix 1.
b. See Appendix 1.

Source: Same as Appendix 1.


1. Jamaica and Trinidad achieved independence in 1962. Barbados and Guyana became indepen-
dentin 1966.

2. A convenient survey of dependency theory and an excellent bibliography on the subject may be
found in Latin American Perspectives, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1974.

3. Samir Amin, Accumulation on a World Scale, 2 Vols. (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1974)
See also his more recent Unequal Development: An Essay on the Social Formation of Peripher-
al Capitalism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1976); Susan Bodenheimer, "Dependency and
Imperialism: The Roots of Latin American Underdevelopment" in K. T. Fann and D. C.
Hodges, eds., Readings in U.S. Imperialism (Boston: Horizons Books, 1971) pp. 155-182;
Johan Galtung, "The Structure of Imperialism", Journal of Peace Research, XIII (1971), pp.

4. Andre G. Frank, Lumpenbourgeoisie and Lumpendevelopment (New York: Monthly Review
Press, 1972); Amin, op. cit

5. Adopted from Galtung, op. cit, p. 102. As the author concedes, the index is a crude measure
because the dichotomy is based on the division made in the UN trade statistics and therefore
neglects the degree of processing within the categories, that is SITC 0-4 (primary goods) and
SITC 5-8 (manufactures). Nonetheless, the index does serve to sort nations apart. For
example, a country like Japan with an import consisting almost entirely of raw materials and an
export consisting almost entirely of processed goods ranks high on the index.

6. Government of Jamaica, Economic and Social Survey Jamaica 1975 (Kingston: Government
Printer, 1975), pp. 127-32.

7. The figures have been computed from data presented in the UN, Yearbook of International
Trade Statistics (Annual).

8. Ibid.

9. These figures on the flows of trade have been derived from the IMF, Direction of Trade

10. Of the aggregate MDC exports, Trinidad accounted for fully one-half up to 1973, two-thirds in
1974 and three-fifths in 1975. The corresponding shares for Jamaica are 31 percent, 23 percent
and 27 percent, for Guyana 10 percent, eight percent and 12 percent and in the case of
Barbados, four percent, three percent and four percent.

11. This definition of "Soviet areas" follows the IMF convention in op. cit

12. Ibid.

13. The definition follows that of E. Hagen and O. Hawlyryshyn, "Analysis of World Income and
Growth 1955-1965", Economic Development and Cultural Change, Vol. 18, No. 1, Part 2
(October 1969).

14. The world price of crude oil rose from US$3.30 per barrel in 1973 to US$11.65 per barrel in
1974 and US$11.25 in 1975. The price of sugar increased from 9.4 cents per lb in 1973 to
29.74. There was a slight decline in 1975 to 25.49 cents per lb. See IBRD, Commodity Trade
and Price Trends 1975, pp. 62, 84.

15. Galtung, op. cit, pp. 102, 116.

16. At the end of 1975 between 75 and 80 percent of the Guyanese economy in terms of produc-
tive capacity was under national, that is, mainly government control. Government of Guyana,
Guynews (Ottawa), No. 4, 1976, pp. 1-2.

17. The Corn and Soyabean Company is a joint venture of the governments of St. Kitts-Nevis,
Trinidad and Guyana. CSS will engage in the cultivation of food crops such as corn, soyabeans,
peas, etc. Its head office is located in Georgetown, Guyana. The company will be carrying out
its main activities in the Eberabo Region of the Intermediate Savannahs where 50,000 acres are
scheduled for cultivation. Trinidad and Tobago News, August 1976, p. 12. Barbados and
Trinidad each hold 50 percent equity in this operation. (Ibid.,p. 9).
18. Caribbean Business News, March 1979, p. 15.



My poem comes from the eye
of an intemperate storm
blowing giant winds
in Brixton Alabama
shaking the calm
of the Queen.

A cold national front
moving in from the Thames
collides with a tropical wave
black clouds
of depression
on the brows
of her majesty's
loving subjects
the jetsam of the empire.

I see red tears
in the eye of the storm
a raging flood
mounting the altar
at St. Paul's
the dark waters of Zimbabwe
the muddy tides
of Mississippi
spitting death
in the English Channel.

Set watches
on your tower London
batten the doors
of your streets
insure your sugar fortresses
and lawful children
to meet the fury of the night.

I see a new King
marching in the teeth of the storm
to the tempo of drums
preaching equality
to the winds
with bible and gun
they are firing at your vision
Martin but they cannot kill your gun.



Sunday the place belongs to boys and mauger dogs
nosing into bins or stoning fruit
lifting a leg against the dented chairs marked EDUCATION

Fat girl reciting GNP and LDC
Did you leave behind a greasy box of Truth?


Four writers (m)
A public mostly (f)
Letting the quartet tinkle on a theme
Careful not to cough or clap before
Each thought had drifted
to the floor
The poses chinked like Spode
A Master briefly bowed -

No-one said

Tonight the Muse was fingered (ringlets only please)
There being still no news of rape
Politely folding paper birds
We went.



The Ecology of Development Administration in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and
Barbados by Jean-Claude Garcia-Zamor. Organization of American States, 1977, pp 122

This is in some ways a puzzling and contradictory book. It sets out to be a work on
national development in developing countries in general, which relates the develop-
mental process with the environment, while focussing specifically on the Caribbean. He
defines Development Administration as "the bureaucratic process that facilitates or
stimulates the achievement of socioeconomic progress by making use of the talents and
expertise of the bureaucrats. It involves mobilizing bureaucratic skills to speed up the
development process. It should be assumed that, in developing countries, the primary
task of the bureaucrat is to work toward developmental goals." (p. 20) But he tells us
that in most of the countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean, there is not yet too
much preoccupation with such a process. "They are in a phase of 'nation-building' in
which greater attention is given to the possibility of regional economic integration."

It is of course an accident of the production process that his book should be published
in a period when the strains within the regional economic integration grouping,
CARICOM, are more self-evident than ever, for it forces readers to the conclusion that if
the Caribbean countries are not yet into "development administration" as the author
avers, they are alas, not apparently making too much progress along the path of
"regional economic integration" either.

The disjunction between the current Caribbean reality as reflected in today's news-
paper headlines, and the Caribbean "reality" to be found in this book seems mainly due
to the fact that the book appears to have been written in 1973 or at the latest, early
1974. And if, as Harold Wilson has said, "a week in politics is a long time", then three
or more years is a world apart.

This is the third book by Jean-Claude Garcia-Zamor, a US-trained Haitian scholar who
presently lectures at Howard University and is the president of International Development
Group, Inc., a Washington-based consulting firm. From 1971 to 1975 Dr Garcia-Zamor
was a Senior Specialist in Public Administration with the Organisation of American
States, and this book has been written as a continuation of the effort to establish closer
ties between the OAS and its Commonwealth Caribbean members begun by that body's
Regional Seminar in Public Administration. However the author's views do not necessarily
reflect the policy of the OAS.

While focussing on the English-speaking Caribbean, the book also interjects compari-
sons and observations about Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and other
underdeveloped countries.

With an Introduction, six chapters, conclusions and appendix, the book really can
be divided into two sections: chapters one to three being historical and theoretical, and
and the remaining three being descriptive and analytical.

In his theoretical chapters the author introduces the concept of "microbureaucracies"
and formulates a typology of Caribbean "creole bureaucracies" derived, he says, from
the works of Aristotle and Robert Dahl.

"Most non-Western bureaucracies,', the author says, "are composites of a series of
informal 'microbureaucracies' structured along political interests or approaches to
modernization." These microbureaucracies are small informal organizations of bureau-
crats and they may be subdivided into two categories. Those that are political are
"interested in provoking a political change in the central government" and the techniques
of these bureaucrats "will often be secretive, especially under a repressive government. Its
techniques of operation will be similar to those of conspirators." He calls the members of
such a politically motivated microbureaucracy "policrats."

As against the policrats he postulates a second type of microbureaucracy whose
members are "nonpolitical or administrative." Says he, the aims of such "administrative
microbureaucracies are more open. They also want change, but only those that will
strengthen the larger bureaucracy or increase its efficeincy." These he calls "technocrats."

He goes on to assume "that the bureaucracy of the developing nation is a political
battlefield and that the triumph of one group of bureaucrats or the other will determine
whether the government is to be run by a policracy or a technocracy."

The author never attempts to apply this theoretical construct to any Caribbean
bureaucracy, though he asserts that "in the Caribbean, with few exceptions, the govern-
ment's right and ability to survive to the end of its terms in office is in constant
question", (p. 28) thereby implying that policrats who want to sabotage and bring down
the government are constantly at work.

Is such a generalization true of the civil services in Barbados, Trinidad-Tobago and
Jamaica? In other words, is the theory close to Caribbean reality? I cannot recall any
government in the post-colonial English speaking Caribbean that has failed to complete its
term of office as a result of the political activity of its bureaucracy. The challenges have
usually come from social movements or collective behaviour episodes such as those of
1968 Rodney Riots in Jamaica; or the 1970 "Black Power Revolution" in Trinidad, or
the "Reads" in Dominica.

But Garcia-Zamor hedges his bets by defining bureaucracies to include others beside
the personnel of the civil services, so that "in this work the concept 'bureaucracy' is
used to refer to 'power groups' either within or outside, but connected with, the formal
bureaucracy." (p. 27).

But if this is the case, if "the concept 'bureaucracy' is not used here in the strict
sense of public service or civil service", if "it refers to groups or individuals who exercise
real power in the political system through their control of the civil service", he can only

be referring to, in the case of the three states of his title, the governments in power,
in which case his use of the word bureaucracy becomes at the least ambiguous, if not

And it seems to me the same observation could be made of his typologyy of Creole
bureaucracies", for by extending the meaning of bureaucracy to include those who
exercise real power in the political system through their control of the civil service, he is
really talking about the political leadership of a country. So that when he then describes
these so-called bureaucracies as Paternalistic; Tyrannical; Elitist or Revolutionary;
Oligarchical; Idealistic or Chaotic; and Democratic or Colonial he is really not talking
about the bureaucracies at all but about the governments in question. And here again, the
meanings he gives to the words in his categories can only result in ambiguity or confusion.
Thus, an Elitist or Revolutionary bureaucracy (read government) is one in which "a few
people exercise real power within the bureaucracy, and they use it for the benefit of the
entire population." But a Democratic or colonial bureaucracy (again read government) is
one in which "many people rule, in the interest of a metropolis or for the expansion of an
ideology." Whereas I should have thought that an Elitist government was one that used
its power to benefit an elite, while a democratic government ruled in the interest of the
entire population, or at least in the interest of the majority, Dr Garcia-Zamor has reversed
the English meanings of the words and I don't see how that can possibly lead to clarity of

How does he apply his typology in practice? Well in the cases of Jamaica and Barba-
dos, they were colonial prior to independence, but now they are democratic, and if we use
the diagram that accompanies his explanation (p. 31) we see that in either case, the
bureaucracy rules in the interest of itself. And in the cases of Trinidad and Guyana, they
have changed from being colonial-the rule of many in favour of the bureaucracy-to
oligarchical, that is the rule of a few in favour of the bureaucracy. In other words, you
might say that since becoming independent they have moved in a direction away from the
rule of the many.

Haiti by contrast was, up to 1959 ruled by an oligarchical bureaucracy, that is the
rule of a few in the interest of themselves. But since then it has been under the control of
a paternalistic bureaucracy, that is "power within the bureaucracy is held by one
individual who uses it for the good of all citizens." In other words, the Haitians under
Duvalier pere et fils had governments that were interested in "all citizens" but the
four English-speaking Caribbean states are dominated by governments interested only, in
the case of Trinidad and Guyana, in themselves; or, in the case of Barbados and Jamaica,
only in ideology. It is obviously unnecessary to make any further observation on the
usefulness of such a typology, except to note that Garcia-Zamor says that: "Although
Duvalier's regime was a tyrannical dictatorship, its bureaucracy falls within the definition
of 'paternalistic' as used here."

Happily, the remaining chapters of the book eschew theorizing. They deal with
Development Administration and the Administrative Capability of the Caribbean
Countries, and take quick overviews of such areas as Trade Unions, Unemployment,

Social Security, Housing, Health, Population Control, and Education in Jamaica,
Trinidad-Tobago and Barbados.

He also has an interesting section on migration and the brain-drain in the Caribbean
and Jamaica. From the latter: "Between 1960 and 1970 about 186,000 persons, or
nearly one-fifth of the 1972 labor force left the country. About two-thirds were
professionals and skilled workers; doctors, nurses, and engineers were the largest groups.
This heavy emigration of skilled persons has reduced the Government's ability to execute
its plans and projects to find the higher-level personnel needed to put less-skilled persons
to work." And again: "It has been estimated that the Jamaican migration of university
graduates was greater than the annual output of graduates in 1967 and 1968. Thus, even
prior to 1972, when there was no hint of leftist pohcies from the Bustamante-Shearer
governments, the emigration of high-level manpower from the island constituted "a net
loss of the kind of manpower needed to meet the present and future goals of the develop-
ment effort."

There is also a useful account of the planning and budgeting process in the three
islands, (and it turns out that the planning exercises in none of them have been really
effective); and on Public Enterprises in the Caribbean. This section has been amplified by
a section on the "Environment of Public Enterprise in the Caribbean" based on the
results of a questionnaire distributed to a number of public servants and scholars from the
three countries. The questionnaire is set out in full in the appendix.

The results could be faulted on the grounds of the sample being too small, since only
32 persons were interviewed, 18 from Trinidad and Tobago, 10 from Jamaica and 4 from
Barbados. Nevertheless the responses do indicate the way some of the region's manage-
ment problems are perceived by leading career civil servants.

Garcia-Zamor ends by saying that West Indian Governments will have to determine
the goals of their development strategy themselves, and that the ends of development
should be seen in terms of the well-being of their populations and the maximum
utilization of their resources.

On the whole it must be said that while the latter half of this book is of some use as a
reference, it is not easy reading and has a number of minor but irritating inaccuracies
scattered throughout the text. Thus it gives the area of Barbados as 1.966 sq miles
instead of 144. It refers to the citizens of Guyana as Guyanans rather than Guyanese;
talks about a Luana type oil refinery for Yallahs in St. Thomas, and gives the site of the
now cancelled Luana refinery as being in the parish of "St. Elyzabeth." Also the authors
H. Hoetink and Harold Lutchman become Hoeting and Lutchan.

Still, for all its flaws, this book is a pioneering effort. But a readable and definitive
comparative study of the bureaucracies in the Commonwealth Caribbean still remains to
be written.



Brian J. Hudson

Ralph Paragg

Anthony D. Griffith

Terry L. McIntosh

Wenty Errol Bowen

Howard A. Fergus

Bridget Jones

lecturer in Geography in the Department of Geography at the
UWI (Mona), has special interest in land reclamation and

is an independent researcher in the Department of Political
Studies at Queens University, Kingston, Canada where he also
received his doctorate.

is a graduate student in the Department of Educational Planning
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto,

is a Faculty member at the University of Kentucky.

is Publications Officer at the Institute of Social and Economic
Research, UWI (Mona).

Resident Tutor of the Department of Extra-Mural Studies in
Montserrat is educator and historian, as well as poet.

lecturer in French at the University of the West Indies, her poetry
has been published in the Anthology, Jamaica Woman.


(This listing does not preclude a review of any of these books.)

The United States and Six Atlantic Outposts (The Military and Economic Considerations)
by Edward W. Chester, published by Kennikat Press, Port Washington, New York. pp.260.
Price: US$17.50.

The United States and the Caribbean 1900-1970 by Lester D. Langley, published by the
University of Georgia Press, Athens 30602. pp 324. Price: US$22.00.

Slavery The Afro-American Experience by Peter Hogg, published by the British Library,
Great Russell St., London WC1B 3DG, 1979. pp Price: UK1.95.

Race Relations in Colonial Trinidad 1870-1900 by Bridget Brereton, published by
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, 1980. pp 251. Price: UK15.00.

From Dessalines to Duvalier (Race, Colour and National Independence in Haiti) by David
Nicholls, Cambridge Latin American Studies, edited by Malcolm Deas, published by
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, 1980. pp 357. Price: UK17.50.

The Organized Labor Movement in Puerto Rico by Miles Galvin, published by the
Associated University Presses, Inc. Cranbury, New Jersey, 08512, 1980. pp 241.
Price: US$16.50.

Santiago Revista de la Universidad de Oriente edited by Griselda Simon and Enrique
Lopez, published by Departamento de Actividades Culturales, Universidad de Oriente,
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, December 1979. pp 222. No Price.

Struggle for the American Mediterranean by Lester D. Langley, published by the Univer-
sity of Georgia Press, Athens 30602, March 1976. pp 225. Price: US$12.00.

Slaves Who Abolished Slavery by Richard Hart, published by Institute of Social and
Economic Research, University of the West Indies (Mona), 1980. pp 248. Price: J$12.50.

Voodoo Heritage by Michel S. Laguerre, published by Sage Publications Inc., California,
February 1980. pp 231. Price: US$18.00.

The French Slave Trade in the Eighteenth Century and Old Regime Business by Robert
Louis Stein, published by the University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, 1979.
pp 250. No Price.

Language and Communication (Second Edition, enlarged) edited by Marlene Cuthbert
and Michael W. Pidgeon, published by Cedar Press, Barbados, 1979. pp 135. Price: J$9.80.

Too Deep for Tears by Cameron King, published by Vini Folk, St. Vincent, 1980. pp 34.
No Price.

Africa and the Caribbean: Legacies of a Link edited by Margaret E. Crahan and Franklin
W. Knight.


An Introduction to Industrial Relations and Labour Law in Jamaica by S.G. Kirkaldy,
pp. ix, 98. Price: J$8.00, Bds$12.00*, EC$15.25*, TT$14.00*, UK5.56*, US$11.85*
per copy. 20% discount on orders of six copies or more.
*postage and packaging included.

This book is the first of its kind in Jamaica to be published since 1966. Since then
new patterns have developed and industrial relations have become increasingly important
and sophisticated. Additionally, a number of new labour laws have appeared on the
statutes, and the concept of Worker Participation has been introduced which could have a
profound influence on the industrial relations climate.

An Introduction to Industrial Relations and Labour Law in Jamaica endeavours to
provide background information for the parties involved in industrial relationships
between employers and trade unions, as well as for the increasing number of students in
the field. The information provided is presented in as concise and easily understood
language as possible.

There are four parts to the book Part I gives a picture of the organizations of
employers and employees, and the negotiating machinery in the public and private
sectors; Part II touches on the contents of collective agreements including the grievance
procedure; Part III sets out the statutory requirements in the field of industrial relations
(in particular the provisions of the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, and the
regulations thereunder relating to the taking of a ballot to determine representational
issues) and the Labour Relations Code; Part IV deals with such miscellaneous matters of
interest as the International Labour Organizations (ILO), the Labour Advisory Council,
and includes a summary of the more topical labour legislation such as the Employment
(Termination and Redundancy Payments) Act. Also described are the Government's Wage
Guidelines for 1975, 1976 and 1978.

Department of Extra-Mural Studies,
University of the West Indies,
P.O. Box 42, Mona, Kingston 7,
Jamaica, W.I.

Please send me . . copy(ies) of An Introduction to Industrial Relations
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in association with UNICEF

Family Law in the Commonwealth Caribbean by Gloria Cumper and Stephanie Daly,
pp. xii, 256. Price: J$20.00, US$15.00, ECS35.00, UK8.00 postage and packaging
included. Discount of 20% for orders of six copies or more.

The book Family Law in the Commonwealth Caribbean by Gloria Cumper and
Stephanie Daly comprises seven parts covering the territories of Antigua, Barbados,
Dominica, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago with three appendices
which are the resolutions and recommendations on Social Legislation to the Family
and Child in the Caribbean of 1975 and 1976 arising out of Workshops on that topic
and the United Nations' "The Rights of the Child: A Classification Plan, A Guide to
the Compilation and Review of Laws Affecting the Rights of the Child in each Country
in observance of The International Year of the Child", by Morris L. Cohen, Luke T. Lee
and Jan Stepan.

The book was for the most part written by Gloria Cumper with only the last section
authored by Stephanie Daly.

In her introduction, Mrs Cumper writes:

This series of surveys of the family laws of the Commonwealth Caribbean territories
was undertaken as part of a project of the Regional Pre-School Child Development
Project sponsored jointly by UNICEF and the University of the West Indies.The aim
was to make available in understandable language information about the laws relating
to children and their families, so that the present state of the law could be more widely
known, and as a result, more informal efforts made to improve the protection offered
to them by the law and by the courts through which it is administered wherever this
was needed.

The surveys indicate that up to now the family laws of these territories have been
in the main copied from those formulated in societies which are in many ways
different from them. That this is likely to continue to be the case in some territories
can be deduced from the tendency noted in them to legislate by reference, for
example, to the law of England. But the surveys also show a growth of interest in the
field of family law and a good deal of new social legislation which will improve the
welfare facilities available to families.

Not all the territories have been covered in these surveys. Guyana, for example, remains
to be done, as does Belize. The Jamaica survey included here has been written from
the relevant sections of the Survey on Social Legislation in Jamaica, and the material

Because the surveys were intended for the information of the ordinary reader, a good
deal of simplification in the presentation of the law was necessary and there has been
no attempt to produce a comprehensive study of the law in this area. The manuscripts
were prepared at different dates, and any new legislation after the dates indicated
would not have been included.

Department of Extra-Mural Studies
P.O. Box 42, Mona, Kingston 7,
Jamaica, W.I.
Please send me ....... .copy(ies) of Family Law in the Commonwealth
Caribbean at $/ . . per copy. Total: $/.............
Name: ..... . . . . . . . Please make all cheques, etc., payable
Address: ........... . .... to Caribbean Quarterly.


VoL 20 No. 1
Grenada, an Island State, its History and its People
A Flag on the Island
More on Truth, Fact, and Tradition in Carriacou
Extracts from the Grenada Handbook:
(i) Fedon's Rebellion 1975-6
(ii) War Period 1914-1919
Bibliography on Grenada-Works of Sociological Interest

Vol. 20 No. 2
Science for the People-The Management of Science and
Technology in the West Indies
Science in the 70's-Observations on Science Education
in Jamaica
Human Population and Resources
Genetics in Developing Countries
The St. Kitts Vervet (Cercopithecus Aethiops)
The History

Vol. 20 Nos. 3 & 4
The Rise of the First Mass-based Multi-racial Party in Guyana
Haiti: Perspectives of Foreign Policy
The Colonial Land and Emigration Commission and
Immigration to Jamaica 1840-1860
Osmond Dyce-Labour Leader-A Life and its Times, 1918-1970
Review Article

Beverley A. Steele
Rolstan Adams
Donald R. Hill

L. Coke

A.D. Turner
John Grahame
Charles A. Panton

Patricia M. Ervin
Michael T. McGuire

Ralph R. Premdas
Patrick Bellegarde-Smith

George Brizan
George Eaton

The Dawn of a New Era in the Caribbean Industrial Relations Scene Chuks Okpaluba

Vol. 21 Nos. 1 & 2
Problems in the Creation of Culture in the Caribbean
Cuban Political Science in the Seventies: Some Observations
The Feasibility of Rapproachment between the Republic of
Cuba and the United States: The Case of Guantanomo
Naval Base
Document-Letter from Maceo to Machado
Towards a Theory of Literature in Revolutionary Cuba
Notes on a Historic Visit: Nicolas Guillen in Jamaica
Sunday Readings
In Praise of Carpentier
On His Seventieth Birthday
Alejo Carpentier answers Seven Questions

Vol. 21 No. 3
V.S. Naipaul and the Colonial Image
A Travelogue Begins
Commitment and Confinement-Two West Indian Visions
The Road
Satire and the Birth of Haitian Fiction (1901-1905)
Curricula Syllabuses and Examinations in English
Poem Review
Book Review

Jose Luis Mendes
Miles D. Wolpin

Walter J. Raymond

J.R. Pereira
J.A. George Irish
Nicolas Guillen
Augustin Pi

Roberto Farnandez

Michael V. Angrosino
Stanley Reid
Peter Dunwoodie
Christopher Laird
Yvette Gindine
C.R. Gray
Edward Baugh
Lebert Bethune

VoL 21 No. 4
The Spirit in the Bottle-A reading of Mittleholzer's A
Morning at the Office
Hamlet in Haiti: Style in Carpentier's The Kingdom of this
Alfonso Reyes: Critic and Artist
Poem-Title: Let me explain to the Reader Why I didn't
get around to finishing that poem on the Commune
An Infinite Canvas: Review of Wilson Harris' Companions
of the Day and Night

Vol. 22 No. 1
The Impact of the Indian Immigrants on Colonial Trinidad Society
Race and Ethnic Identity in Rural Jamaica: The East Indian Case
East Indian Indenture and the Work of the Presbyterian Church
Among the Indians in Grenada
The Hindu Sacraments (Rites de Passage) in Trinidad and
The Hindu Festival of Divali in the Caribbean
Extracts from the Far Journey
Euroscope and Monday

VoL 22 Nos. 2 & 3
Trans-Atlantic Slavery and the Internationalization
of Race
Maronage in Slave Plantation Societies: A Case Study
of Dominica, 1785-1815
The Development of Jamaican Maroon Ethnicity
The End of the Atlantic Slave Trade to Cuba
Summary, Overview and Questions: Excerpt from
Blacks in Colonial Cuba. 1774-1899
Anna Heegard-Enigma
Understanding Calypso Content: A Critique and an
Alternative Explanation
Black Carib Folk Music
Poems: I Came on a Slave Ship;
Sweat and the Lash

VoL 22 No. 4
The Problem of Imported Television Content in the
Commonwealth Caribbean
Legal Constraints of the Mass Media in a Caribbean
in Transition
The Mass Media of Communications and Socialist
Change in the Caribbean: A Case Study of Jamaica
Some Observations on the Role of the Mass Media in
the recent Socio-Political Development in Jamaica
Cuban Communicators
The Revolutionary Focus of Guillen's Journalism
Theme and Form in the Speeches of Norman Manley
and Eric Williams
The Oldest Existing Newspapers in the Commonwealth
Poem: Like Faces Caught (for Allyson)
Poem: News room Nightmare

Michael Gilkes

Alan Cheuse
Sheila Carter

Roberto Retamar

Michael Gilkes

Marianne Ramesar
Allen S. Ehrlich

Beverley Steele

J.C. Jha
J.C. Jha

Faustin Charles
Kendel Hippolyte

Locksley Edmondson

Bernard A. Marshall
Barbara Kopytoff
Robert Wm..Love, Jr.

Kenneth Kiple
N.A.T. Hall

Roy L. Austin
Richard Hadel, S.J.

Nicolas Guillen

Everold N. Hosein

Dorcas White

Aggrey Borwn

Marlene Cuthbert
James Carty, Jr.
George Irish

Marian McLeod

John A. Lent
Robert Lee
Jennifer Brown


We invite readers to submit manuscripts or recommend subjects which they would
like to see discussed in Caribbean Quarterly. Articles of Caribbean relevancy will be
gratefully received.

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As a general principle, articles should not exceed 7,500 words. Authors are advised to
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(except review articles) should not exceed 2,500 words.

Contributions to Caribbean Quarterly (or publications for review) should be
addressed to the Department of Extra Mural Studies, University of the West Indies,
P.O. Box 42, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica, W.I.

All material submitted for publication are read by our panel of editorial advisors
prior to selection and editorial approval


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available from Caribbean Quarterly.
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SLAVERY AND ABOLITION is the first journal devoted in its
entirety to a discussion of the demographic, socio-economic,
historic and psychologic aspects of human bondage from ancient
times down to our own era. Contributions are welcome from
scholars of established repute, as well as from younger academics of
promise. As a regular feature, SLAVERY AND ABOLITION will
include reviews and review articles, and an effort will be made to
keep readers abreast of important periodic literature. On occasion,
a whole issue of the journal will be devoted to topics of significant
Editors: Professor John Ralph Willis, Near Eastern Studies
Department, Princeton University
Professor C. Duncan Rice, Hamilton College, Clinton,
New York

Contents of the first issue include:
Genesis, Judaism and the 'Sons of Ham': Ephraim Isaac
Noah's Malediction: Edward Wilmot Blyden
Chattel Slavery in the Ottoman Empire: Alan Fisher
Captain Charles Stuart and the British and American Abolition
Movements, 1830-34: Anthony J. Barker
Slavery: A Supplementary Teaching Bibliography: Joseph C. Miller
and Daniel H. Borus

Please enter my subscription for 1981 Subscription Rates:
SLAVERY AND ABOLITION 30.00-Institutions
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dollars at the current exchange rate.)
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in Canada

a-^A ^

over and Illusrations by Ato Seltu
Guest Editor: Frederick Ivor Case
University of Toronto

per copy .40 u$, pos
pp. 60

Remit order with check to
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4 Perceptive Essays by JAMES J. MARTIN
1. Pearl Harbor, Antecedents, Background
and Consequences
2. The Framing of Tokyo Rose
3. Book Review of Years of Infamy: Weglyn
4. Where Was the General? Some New Views
and Contributions Relative to the On-
going Mystery of Pearl Harbor
publication date: December 7, 1980
postpaid $5.00 Order from
PoVare Prss
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JAMES J. MARTIN is a historian and editor practice, and public opinion. He studlec
specializing in American Intellectual History, the U. of Michigan (MA., PhD) and Is Pr
contemporary diplomatic thought and fessor of History and Chairman of the D
apartment, Rampart College since 1965.

Redress for Japanese Americans

special issue -What For?

R 72< v.6 no.2
cross cultural quarterly Fall 1979

partial contents: a Frank Chin: Redress for
Japanese Americans What For? N Minoru Masuda:
Japanese Americans: Injury and Redress a Michi Weglyn
& Betty Mitson: Herbert V Nicholson Fountain of Joy
l* r 1. an excellent collection of
Single Copies: $1.25 postpaid articles on the subject of Redress. Con-
subscription: $1.00 (4 issues) gratulations on an accomplishment
worthy of becoming a part of the
nd Ordens to: permanent history of Japanese America.
RIKKA, P.O. Box 6031/Station A Shosuke Sasaki
Toronto, Ontario Canada M5W 1P4 Seamtte Redress

Now in paperback

Africa and the Caribbean
The Legacies of a Link
edited by Margaret E. Crahan and Franklin W Knight
Africa and the Caribbean: The Legacies of a Link represents the
most recent shifts in the theory and methodology of Caribbean
studies. Included in this valuable reference are essays on "The
African Migration and the Origins of an Afro-American Society
and Culture," by Franklin W. Knight and Margaret E. Crahan;
"Myalism and the African Religious Tradition in Jamaica," by
Monica Schuler; "African and Creole Slave Family Patterns in
Trinidad," by B. W. Higman; "The African Impact on Language
and Literature in the English-Speaking Caribbean," by Maureen
Warner Lewis; and "Jamaican Jonkonnu and Related Caribbean
Festivals," by Judith Bettleheim.
$5.95 paperback, $15.00 hardcover

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