Freedom in the Making Food Sovereignty and Small Farmer Culture in Grenada from Slavery to Neoliberalism and Beyond

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Freedom in the Making Food Sovereignty and Small Farmer Culture in Grenada from Slavery to Neoliberalism and Beyond
Kopka, Matthew H
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[Gainesville, Fla.]
University of Florida
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Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
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University of Florida
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Interdisciplinary Ecology
Committee Chair:
Barnes, Grenville
Committee Members:
Flocks, Joan D
Harrison, Faye V
Babb, Florence E
Deere, Carmen D
Royce, Frederick S
Desmarais, Annette Aurelie
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Subjects / Keywords:
Agricultural land ( jstor )
Agriculture ( jstor )
Canes ( jstor )
Crops ( jstor )
Farming ( jstor )
Farms ( jstor )
Food ( jstor )
Peasant class ( jstor )
Plantations ( jstor )
Slavery ( jstor )
Interdisciplinary Ecology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
afrocaribbean -- agriculture -- caribbean -- food -- grenada -- peasant -- sovereignty
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
born-digital ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Interdisciplinary Ecology thesis, Ph.D.


The demand for food sovereignty—for the right of people to define and control production of their own food—has become the foundation for the world’s biggest social movement. La Vía Campesina (LVC), the organization that originated the idea, is food sovereignty’s global champion, with more than 200 million peasants, small farmers, and rural dwellers in its allied affiliates. This dissertation examines the FS issue in the Caribbean, where 100,000 LVC members live and work. Its focus is the island of Grenada, where a still-vibrant peasant farming tradition endures despite growing dependence on imported food. Grounded in fieldwork and historical investigation, the project examines Grenada’s small farming inheritance, the practices associated with it and their ongoing value. It also analyzes the constraints to the assertion of FS there, from the persistent hold of export-oriented plantation agriculture on the island’s economy to the pressures of neoliberal governance and international debt. The project’s centerpiece is a history of the Grenada Cane Farmers Association, an LVC organization. Beginning in the 1980s, its members refined the intercropping techniques and collective labor methods of their sugarcane farming forbears in a process of repeasantization of a kind that has become increasingly common across the world. The sophisticated farm system that GCFA members developed stimulated local food production in some of the poorest parts of the island and brought new pride and well-being to small farmers. The study details the setbacks the organization has suffered as prized cane lands were sold for tourist development, two hurricanes devastated the island, and recent governments pushed to commercialize small farm production, curtailing aid to small and subsistence farmers. Agriculture,the study concludes, remains the heart and soul of Grenadian culture. Commercialization of agriculture and the spread of consumerism threaten that culture, further entrenching poverty among the poor. As proponents of FS insist and this study illustrates, freedom for Grenadian communities in the twenty-first century—as for the newly-freed Afro-Caribbean peoples of the nineteenth—continues to reside in their right to access the world around them, to practice their material culture, and to feed themselves. ( en )
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2 2013 Matthew Kopka


3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Many people smoothed my path t hrough this dissertation and I extend grateful thanks to all of them My mother offered the plane ticket that made my first trip to Grenada possible. Ste ve Humphrey and the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) offered the Graduate Alumni Fellowship that enabled me to pursue th e project with a degree of independence in keeping with the timetable of a middle aged person with family responsibilities. Heidi and Jeff Hans Peterson offered friendship and cheap lodging in Gainesville helping me to save my fellowship earnings for travel. Grenville Barnes was an unstintingly cheerful encouraging and insightful dissertation director. Fred Royce provided inspiration and good counsel, including in several moments of doubt Carmen Diana Deere provided the first encouraging responses to any query I put to my commi ttee her reading and criticisms of the draft dissertation improved the final product greatly Joan Flocks, Faye Harrison, and Florence Babb also offered insightful readings and repeated helpful advice. Annette Desmarais generously agreed to join my committ ee after a brief meeting and offered some of the most searching and useful criticism I received, especially of the second draft of the manuscript I am also grateful f o r funding from the I nstitute of F ood and A gricultural S ciences and the S chool of Natural Resources and Environment for travel to Tampa that made it possible to participate in a panel about food sovereignty where I presented some of my early finding s In Jamaica, Rachel Moseley Wood and her husba nd Alan Wood offered their home and loving kin dness to my family. In the Dominican Republic Juana Ferrer and her extended family, including her brother Papo, offered aid and comfort including to my grateful family far beyond the call


4 In Grenada, Elliot Bishop was an unfailing source of knowledge, id eas, and testimony about the small farmer struggle listened to repeated presentations of my ideas about food sovereignty and Grenada, and prodded me in many useful directions ; I also thank Frankie Lewis for his contributions to our bull sessions. Sandra F erguson offered great feedback and patient support, even for my early morning calls; her courage is an inspiration. Reginald Buddy Bernadette Roberts and Lindy Roberts provided their food, ideas, and even their bed s to me, becoming cherished friends Jos eph Gill allowed me to work with him for a week at the WHAPCO farm at Calivigny and to pick his brain about Grenadian agriculture and history ; I will always revere his example Dion David, archivist at the Grenada National Library, unearthed various mater ials that enrich this study, including the pamphlet that provides its governing concept. I am grateful to her and the library staff, who encouraged me to work in the children's room at the library for several weeks in 2010, surrounding me with happy chatte r and air conditioned comfort Michael Alexis, who believed in what I was doing, was a gracious and generous landlord. I also thank the following people who in addition to Bishop, Buddy, and Ferguson, examined Chapter 5 and offered their frank criticism al ong with numerous corrections, additions, and ideas They include Grenada Cooperative Bank Senior Program Officer and former Agenc y for Rural Transformation and Grenada Cane Farmers Association employee Peter Antoine; former Marketing and National Import in g Board Chairman and former ART Secretary General and MNIB Board Chairman Byron Campbell; Grenada Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture Coordinator Cosmos Joseph; Cane Resuscitation Committee Chairman and former Grenada Caribbean Agricult ural Research and Development Institute


5 Agronomist Dr. Ken Buckmire; and Grenada Permanent Secretary of Finance Isaac Bhagwan. Textual and other errors as well as hard headedness remain my responsibility alone. In St. Vincent WINFA official Arthur Bobb was a f orthcoming host, as were Wilberforce Emanuel Steve Maximay, and Claude Cambridge. Among other people who provided advice, encouragement, or feedback during the process are Hilbourne Watson, Trevor Brown Tony Weiss and Raymonde and Phillip Anderson My g rateful thanks to them and to the many Caribbean people who gave me directions, offered rides, and saw me further down the road. My greatest debt finally, is to my wife, Candace Ward. In addition to her affectionate support, her sensitive readings an d re readings of the manuscript and able editorial attention improved it immeasurably To her the sun, moon, and stars.


6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 3 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 10 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 11 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ........................... 12 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION: PRODUCING FOOD SOVEREIGNTY ................................ ...... 17 Early Project Phases ................................ ................................ ............................... 19 FS, The Va Campesina, and Dissertation Questions ................................ ............. 22 Political Ecology, History, and Lived Experience ................................ .................... 26 Project Design and Timeline ................................ ................................ ................... 29 Chapter Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 33 2 FOOD SOVEREIGNTY CON TEXTS: THE CARIBBEAN IN THE WORLD, GRENADA IN THE CARIB BEAN ................................ ................................ ............ 40 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 40 Development, Agr iculture and the Caribbean ................................ ........................ 41 Cultivating Independence: Defining Peasant ................................ .......................... 44 Peasants: Objects of Development or Modern Subjects? ................................ 48 Peasantry and the Peasant Mode as Elective Resistance ............................... 50 Subsistence in Theory, Subsistence in Practice ................................ ..................... 53 Primitive Accumulation, the English and Caribbean Peasantries ............................ 58 The Metabolic Rift ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 61 Plantation Economics and Agriculture ................................ ................................ .... 65 The National Economy ................................ ................................ ............................ 70 Neoliberalism and the Poor Countries ................................ ................................ .... 71 Structural Adjustment ................................ ................................ ....................... 74 Impacts of Neoliberalism on Agriculture and Food ................................ ........... 76 Conclusion: A Global Food Crisis ................................ ................................ ........... 78 3 PROVISION, PRODUCTION ................................ ................................ .................. 84 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 84 The First Peoples and Early Colonial History ................................ .......................... 85 The Plantation System and the Imperial Matrix ................................ ...................... 87


7 Provision ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 91 Houseyards ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 93 The Provision Ground System, Its Constituents and Uses ................................ ..... 95 Developing An Internal Marketing System ................................ .............................. 99 The Role of Provisioning in Fdon's Revolution ................................ .................... 102 Multiple Cropping Systems: Foundation of Provision Growing and Small Farmer Productivity ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 103 A Landless Freedom: Emancipation Planning and Peasant Food Production ...... 106 The Post Emancipation Pe asantry and Free Village Movement ........................... 108 The Maroon and Other Institutions of Reciprocity ................................ .......... 109 Distinguishing Features of Caribbean and Grenadian Peasantries ................ 112 Land Sales ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 115 The Roles of Race and Color in Local Food Production ................................ ....... 117 A Peasantry Frustrated ................................ ................................ ......................... 118 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 120 4 1949 1984: INDEPENDENCE, NATION, AND THE FOOD ECONOMY .............. 129 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 129 The Rise of Eric Gairy ................................ ................................ ........................... 129 ................................ ................................ 132 The People's Revolutionary Government and Its Legacy in Agriculture ............... 136 P R evolutionary G overnment Planning ................................ ............... 138 PRG First Steps ................................ ................................ ............................. 140 PRG Ag ricultural Policy ................................ ................................ .................. 143 Idle Lands for Idle Hands: Land Reform through Cooperativism .................... 146 State Farms Fail To Lift Production ................................ ................................ 147 Other PRG Agricultural Initiatives ................................ ................................ ... 149 Small Farmers and the PRG ................................ ................................ .......... 150 The Maroon Form under the PRG ................................ ................................ .. 152 The PRG: Tentative Conclusions for F ood S overeignty ................................ 153 An Exemplary Invasion ................................ ................................ ......................... 156 Invasion Aftermath: USAID Interventions and the Loss of Grenadian Sovereignty ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 158 USAID Actions Regarding Agriculture ................................ ............................ 161 A Radical Experiment ................................ ................................ ..................... 163 Conclusion: Truth and Reconciliation ................................ ................................ ... 165 5 THE GCFA: REPEASANTI ZATION AND FOOD SOVE REIGNTY ....................... 173 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 173 Beginnings ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 174 Sparking a Sugarcane Farming Revival ................................ ................................ 178 Maroons and the GCFA Vision of an Advanced Farm System with Cane ............ 181 Out of Cane: GCFA Success, Food Sovereignty, and New Obstacles ................. 186 GCFA Membership: A Cane Farmer Profile ................................ .......................... 188 Mt. Hartman and WHAPCO ................................ ................................ .................. 191


8 The Prime Minister at Mt. Hartman ................................ ................................ ....... 197 Sale of the Grenada Sugar Factory ................................ ................................ ...... 199 GCFA Leadership and Goals ................................ ................................ ................ 200 ................................ ................. 204 Conclusion: Progressive Organization in a Neoliberal Straitjacket? ..................... 208 6 CONTEMPORARY GRENADA: ISLAND VULNERABILITY AND AGRICULTURE ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 218 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 218 A Prick in the Atlas ................................ ................................ ................................ 219 Ivan Terrible, Emily Unbearable ................................ ................................ ............ 221 Building Boom Impacts Agriculture and Environment ................................ ........... 226 A Labor Shortage and 35% Unemployment ................................ .......................... 228 Grenadian Politics and Outside Influences on It ................................ ................... 234 The Nature of Tourism ................................ ................................ .......................... 236 The High Cost of Food Imports: Crisis and Opportunities Ignored ........................ 239 Agriculture Today ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 242 Farm Size, Land Use, and Tenure Patterns ................................ .......................... 244 Small Farmers: Demographics and Subsistence Farming ................................ .... 250 Farmers' Ages ................................ ................................ ................................ 252 ................................ ........................ 253 The Marketing and National Importing Board and Farmers ................................ .. 255 Fitzroy James on Food Security and Small Farmers ................................ ............ 260 Post Hurrican e Policy Making ................................ ................................ ............... 263 G CFA Cheers 2008 Elections ................................ ................................ ............... 266 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 269 7 RIVER SALLEE: SMALL FARMER CULTURE AND F OOD SOVEREIGNTY FOUNDATIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 278 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 278 Situating River Sa llee ................................ ................................ ............................ 279 Houseyard and Provision Ground ................................ ................................ ......... 282 ................................ .......... 285 Bernadette Roberts: Now Everything You Buy ................................ ..................... 289 The Saracca ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 293 Pigeon Peas and the Plains of Chambord: Local Production in a Common Property Arrangement ................................ ................................ ....................... 297 Levera ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 302 Thinking through the Food ................................ ................................ .................... 305 Pi geon Peas II: Planting Peas and Corn ................................ ............................... 309 River Sallee in 2010 ................................ ................................ .............................. 311 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 320 8 CONCLUSION: TOWARD FOOD SOVEREIGNTY FOR GRENADA ................... 331


9 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 331 The FS Inheritance ................................ ................................ ............................... 331 Gairy and the PRG ................................ ................................ ............................... 335 USAID and Its Impact on Grenada ................................ ................................ ....... 337 The GCFA Achievement ................................ ................................ ....................... 338 Confronting the Contradictions ................................ ................................ ............. 340 Toward a Movement for Agrarian Reform in Grenada ................................ .......... 3 41 A New Maroon Movement for FS ................................ ................................ .......... 344 FS Villages and Knowledge Production ................................ ................................ 346 APPENDIX: A CANE HARVEST MAROON ................................ ................................ 349 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 353 BI OGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 387


10 LIST OF TABLES Table page 7 1 Roberts Buddy's 2009 2010 Houseyard Production. .............................. 320


11 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1 1 Grenada parishes and principal places cited in this study. ................................ 16 5 1 Areas on the north and south shores under cane cultivation in 1989 .............. 210 5 2 GCFA principals and founders at Mt Hartman in 2008. ................................ .... 211 5 3 Cane farmer and GCFA member Frankie Lewis on the edge of traditional cane lands of Calivigny. ................................ ................................ .................... 211 5 4 A cane harvest maroon in Marian in May 2012 ................................ ................ 212 5 6 Traditional meal served at the Marian cane harvest maroon ........................... 212 7 1 P reparing dumplings for the Saracca in 2008. ................................ .................. 323 7 2 The River Sallee Saracca ................................ ................................ ................ 323 7 3 Roberts and Buddy Saracca tray ................................ ................................ .. 324 7 4 River Sallee farmer John Philbert at Chambord. ................................ .............. 325


12 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS A IFLD American Institute for Free Labor Development, agency of the (US) AFL CIO A FL CIO American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (US) A GWU Agricultural General Workers Union A NAP Asociacin Nacional de Agricultores Pequeos (Cuba) A RT Agency for Rural Transformation C ARDI Caribbean Agricultur al Research and Development Institute C DGLH Citizens In Defence of Grenada's Lands and Heritage C USO Canadian University Service Overseas E C Eastern Caribbean E CLAC Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean F S Food sovereignty F T Fair Trade F TAA Free Trade Agreement of the Americas G ATT G eneral Agreement on Tariffs and Trade G CFA Grenada Cane Farmers Association G FAFO Grenada Federation of Agricultural and Fisheries Organizations G FNC Grenada Food and Nutrition Council G MMWU Grenada Mental and Manual Workers Union G RENCODA Grenada Community Development Agency (NGO) G RENROP Grenada Network of Rural Women Producers G R O G rassroots organization G ULP Grenada United Labour Party


13 H IVOS Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Dutch NGO) I FAD UN International Fund for Agriculture and Development I ICA Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture M NI B M arketing and National Importing Board M REP Marketing and Rural Enterprise Program N ACDA N ational Agency for Cooperative Development N AM N on Aligned Movement N G O N on governmental organization N DC National Democratic Congress party N JM N NP New National Party O ECS Organization of East Caribbean States P FU Pro ductive Farmers Union P ET P lantation economic theory P IA People i n Action (NGO) P RA People's Revolutionary Army P RC People's Republic of China P RG People's Revolutionary Government U N U nited Nations U WI University of the West Indies W HAPCO Wharf Agricultural Products Company W INFA Windward Island Farmers Association W TO World Trade Organization


14 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the D egree of Doctor of Philosophy FREEDOM IN THE MAKING: FOOD SOVEREIGNTY AND SMALL FARMER CUL TURE IN GRENADA FROM SLAVERY TO NEOLIBERALISM AND BEYOND By Matthew Kopka May 2013 Chair: Grenville Barnes Major: Interdisciplinary Ecology The demand for food s overeignty for the right of people to define and control production of their own food movement La Va Campesi na (LVC), the organization that originated the idea, is food n with more than 200 million peasants, small farmers, and rural dwellers in its allied affiliates This dissertation examines the FS issue in the Caribbean, where 100,000 LVC members live and work Its focus is the island of Grenada, where a st ill vibrant peasant farming tradition endure s despite growing dependence on imported food. Grounded i n fieldwork and histor ical investigation th e project examines s small farming inheritance, the practices associated with it and their ongoing val ue It also analyzes the constraints to the assertion of FS there from the persistent hold of export oriented plantation agriculture on the economy to the pressures of neoliberal governance and international debt. he Grenada Cane Farmers Association, an LVC organization B eginning in the 1980s its members refined the intercropping techniques and collective labor methods of their sugarcane farming forbears in a


15 process of repeasantization of a kind that has become i ncreasingly common across the world. The sophisticated farm system that GCFA members developed stimulated local food production in some of the poorest parts of the island and brought new pride and well being to small farmers. The study details the setbacks the organization has suffered as prized cane lands were sold for tourist development, two hurricanes devastated the island, and recent governments pushed to commercialize small farm production, curtailing aid to small and subsistence farmers. Agriculture the study concludes, remains the heart and soul of Grenadian culture. Commercialization of agriculture and the spread of consumer ism threaten that culture further entrenching poverty among the poor As proponents of FS i nsist and this study illustrates freedom for Grenadian communities in the twenty first century as for the newly freed Afro Caribbean peoples of the nineteenth continues to reside in their right to access the world around them, to practice their material culture, and to feed themselves.


16 Figure 1 1. Grenada parishes and principal places cited in this study.


17 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION: PRODUCING FOOD SOVEREIGNTY We the peasants are the producers of food that feed. the world. Yet we have been pushed to such dire poverty that we cannot even eat what we produce. Va Campesina statement to the UN Commission on Human Rights, Geneva, April 5, 2004 Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policie s rather than the demands of markets and corporations. Food sovereignty prioritises local and national economies and markets and empowers peasant and family farmer driven agriculture The Nylni Declaration on Food Sovereignty, February 27, 2007 for establishment of food sovereignty (FS) in that country. It also examines barriers to is a hi story of the Grenada Cane Farmers Association (GCFA) and its efforts to advance the cause of island sugarcane farmers, beginning in the 1980s. The dissertation seeks to contribute to FS discussions in two ways: by demonstrating the value of historical inve stigation to an understanding of the viability of small farmer cultures, and by exploring the implications of the FS idea on the ground in a single setting, where the transnational FS construct must ultimately be implemented. The dissertation had its beg innings at a February 2006 University of Florida conference on Latin America's rural social movements. At the conference I heard [LVC]) and learned about the FS idea that t he organization had introduced Hailed by Honduran LVC leader Rafael Alegr


18 formal inception in 1996, with 150 million peasants, small farmers, and landless people across the world in organizations fighting for the goal. 1 Impressed by the powerful, still developing idea, I decided to make it my dissertation focus. Initial research showed that several investigators (Desmarais [2007], Bor ras [2004], and Windfuhr and Jonsn [2005]) had traced the development of LVC over the period since its founding, along with evolution of the FS concept A useful next step, I decided, would be to explore the construct from the perspective of small farmers in a given place. In choosing a setting I turned to the Caribbean, where I had previously lived and worked, in writing a Master of Arts thesis about land issues in Jamaica (Kopka 2003), and later as a journalist. 2 rming tradition growing out of slavery, and of its key role in the development of export agriculture and capitalism. LVC was active in the Caribbean, then counting nearly 100,000 members in organizations in Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Martinique, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent. 3 My next step was to contact Annette Desmarais, who was developing a protocol for LVC's engagement with researchers. I was encouraged by her sense shared, she said, by others in LVC that examining the relati onship between the FS construct and local struggles might prove a useful next focus of study for the organization. In the same vein, she told me, LVC leaders had begun to focus on better understanding the policy implications of the FS idea. Desmarais infor med me in a July 2007 email that it was such project, and I worked to meet this obligation. I developed a short proposal and sent


19 it to LVC organizations in the Caribbe an, requesting permission to collaborate with them in writing a history of their organizations, to live and if possible work alongside their members in rural settings, to develop an understanding of their lives and challenges. Early Project Phases Initial ly I proposed a comparative project, hoping to study LVC organizations in two countries, one English and one Spanish speaking. My query drew invitations to visit and discuss the project with members of the Coordinating Body of National anizations (CONAMUCA) in the Dominican Republic, and the During initial 15 day visits to each country I laid out my ideas and worked to profile each organization and its mission. A questionnaire that I forwarde challenges helped to orient me to their work (Kopka 2008). After meetings and discussion with various members, both organizations invited me to study them, and pointed me to village settings where member s were working, where after visits of several days to each I received invitations from local members to live on my return. These visits were followed by three month stays in both countries (the second Grenada trip is described below). But soon it became c lear that my efforts would produce more data than I could hope to organize in one dissertation, and I decided to focus on Grenada and the Cane Farmers Association. 4 Part of the Windward Island Farmer Organization (WINFA), an umbrella group that is an LVC f ounding member, the GCFA was a 23 year the time the GCFA was struggling to overcome the devastating effects of two recent or damaged and 60,000 of its 100,000 people homeless. The 2004 and 2005 storms had knocked out


20 halt on the island. In the meantime, the leadership was trying to create a new national farmer organization, reaching out to other farmer groups in hopes of creating a wider farmer movement. They were, I felt, suggestive of the problems that farmers faced in the current period. traditions. 5 It offered an opportunity to study that tradition and the agricultural methods that formed its basis, to focus on the deeper connections of regional farming to slavery, Caribbean and were reshaped by the responses of the cr eolized African people who performed the island's agricultural labor. In 1939 it was estimated that Grenada had more small farmers than all the other Windward and Leeward islands combined ; through at least the 1980s this remained the case (Brierley 1988:6 7, 65). In a 2012 interview Judy Williams, the head of the Grenada governmental organization (NGO), told me that Grenada had the largest proportion of small farmers of any Caribbean island. This was also asserted by agronomist and former Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) director Ken Buckmire, who told me that Grenada had the most varied multicropping tradition of all of the Caribbean countries, as well All of these conditions made Grenada a strong subject for study in a


21 with new interest. Finally, as I also came to realize, the GCFA had in the 1980s undertaken something remarkab le, engaging in a conscious attempt to integrate the peasant practices central to traditional island small farming in a new and ecologically sophisticated small farming system. These efforts anticipated what more recent theorists have identified as a proce ss of repeasantization in the period just before the term gained currency among FS advocates. W orking with the GCFA presented an opportunity to study such a process up close with its inventors. south shores, where small farmer sugarcane cultivation became most heavily concentrated after slavery, and during the GCFA led cane farming resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s. cal consumption was historically if tenuously 1974:174 FS inheritance. The most intensive cultivation, however, had for some time been conc development is also located, and where traditional sugarcane farming exists in implicit, sometimes explosive tension with the tourist construct. Working in both places stretched my time and resources. The portrait of the north shore town of River Sallee, where I lived with my family for three months in 2008, remains partial. But I believe that the effort to describe it, along with the GCFA portrait, helps to draw out quite different The north shore


22 s uch usage, implying commercialization). The south shore setting, meanwhile, where such development is now more advanced, is viewed from the organizational perspective of the GCFA and an attempt in the teeth of such development to assert a right of poor far mers to FS even as that idea was still coming into being FS, The Va Campesina, and Dissertation Questions The LVC with the FS movement it founded has roots in the wave of d in Central and South America and the Caribbean during the 1980s and 1990s (Deere and Royce 2009:2), and in meetings between regional farmers that took place in the context of the Nicaraguan Sandinista Revolution and El Salvadoran civil war (Edelman 2003: between participants from many countries, which had begun in Central America in the 1970s (Desmarais 2007:84; Merchant 1992:211 213; Gimnez 2006:2 5, passim ), were another key co ntributor. The exchanges including those attended by GCFA members who had traveled to Cuba, Honduras, Barbados, and Trinidad to participate enabled adjustment programs and. free trade agreements, how national governments were Campesina 2006), essential for the consolidation of a new transnational movement of farmer organizations and rural dwellers. GCFA General Secretary Elliot Bishop headed the WINFA delegation that joined Central American, US, European, and Canadian organizations in a founda tional 1992 congress of the Nicaraguan National Union of Agriculturalists and Livestock Producers


23 in Managua (Desmarais 2007:25). 6 He came, he told me 16 years later, to press the case for a global farmer organization, and discovered that this idea was on many minds. A declaration issued by the gathering denounced the inclusion of agriculture in the global tariff and trade negotiatio ns (GATT) that led to establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO), insisting that poor countries should be able to protect their agricultural products. 7 countries (Edelman 2003:194, 2 04), a particularly powerful threat to Grenada, which was on its way to becoming the seventh most indebted country per capita in the world. The LVC was officially born the following year, in 1993, at Mons, Belgium. Forty six farm leaders from 36 countries, issued by the gathering declared that small farmers faced extinction. It addressed the unsustainability of commercial monocrop agriculture, and insisted on individual countries' right to shape their agri cultural policies without interference (Desmarais 2007:76 77). Three years later the organization introduced the FS idea in a declaration at the 1996 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Forum in Rome. 8 Made in the name of the half of humanity stil l living in the rural sector where, incongruously, three quarters to four (Mazoyer and Roudart 2006:10; FAO 2004:6) i or global agrarian reform to help insure it, and for a shift away from chemical intensive Green Revolution methods to agroecological farming models. 9 The declaration lamented the fact that high international debt rather than basic needs was driving poor co right of each nation to build its own capacity to produce its basic foods. 10 As these


24 statements suggest, the FS claim goes beyond notions of food security, which would compel governments to i nsure that adequate food is available to their populations (most often in the form of short term, often imported food aid 11 ), insisting instead on peasants' and indigenous peoples' right and even obligation to see to the sustainable provision of their own f amily and community food needs. FS is an idea in evolution. But among critical components of the construct are the following: A right of local and native peoples not to have their lands taken including through investors, and corporations (McMichael 2011; Borras et al 2011) that have become common in our period. A right of countries not to have cheap imported or unhealthy food whose prices small farmers cannot compete with dumped on them or local markets, inclu ding in the disguised form of food aid. (Martinez Torres et 2010:160). Food is not just a commodity, but essential. It must be protected from speculation, FS advocates insist. A right to the seeds and agricultural knowledge that are farm people's patrimony. FS opposes the dependence of small farmers on commercial and biotechnologically engineered seeds and on production value chains imposed by international agribusinesses, identifying such dependence as threats to the development of a democratic ag riculture. A right of women to land, resources, and decision making power, integral to the m echanization and commercialization (Dagenais 1993:95). The right of farmers to define the relationship with those who consume their products, including in elaborating new mechanisms of trade and exchange. FS does not oppose markets, but insists on the rig ht of poor countries to prioritize local production and markets, and to trade with each other in more reciprocal fashion, rather than be forced to trade their resources for finished products from rich countries including cheap food products from wealthy co untries whose prices local farmers cannot compete with Each of these issues forms part of the story in Grenada. Today Grenada imports 70% of the food it consumes while island farmers


25 are pressed to grow for commer cial production and export, in strong part to meet the on the idea of production for export, and the production of cheap raw exports continues to be prioritized over prod uction of local food and basic needs today. Historically and still, the poorest people in Grenada have been without secure access to land. And the farming population that produced the most food for local consumption has held least secure tenure there their dispossession has been fundamental to the maintenance of the plantation system. The push to fully commercialize Grenadian agriculture, a matter of policy in Grenada, stands to harm women and children most, yet women are rarely mentioned in government docu ments or position papers. The loss of vital farmland to tourist ventures, in land grabs by the government itself, has severely undermined small farmers and subsistence production in the present period. To the above list, therefore, my Grenada research sug gests that another important principle implicit in many of the definitions of FS above should be added: FS must mean a collective right to subsistence, conceived not only from the point of view of the individual farmer or family but community and nation, w ith national self sufficiency as ultimate goal, with governments becoming instrumental in pursuit of such goals. People must have the right to feed themselves. From consideration of these features of the FS idea and the problems that gave rise to it, sha red by peasants, small farmers, and rural dwellers around the world, comes the basic question for this project: What would FS really mean in Grenada? From it I derive five more specific questions that the dissertation addresses: What practices might be sai Which of these could be asserted by Grenadians to create FS today?


26 experience tell us about their ongoing viability? What a re the inherited constraints to establishment of FS on the island? How and at what levels do they operate? What are the prospects for mobilization around the FS idea by Grenadian small farmers and rural dwellers today? Political Ecology, History, and Live d Experience In addressing the above questions, I draw on concepts and methods of political have with their environment with close attention to the political economic forces. that Smith 2004:10). Piers Blaikie and Harold Brookfield multiscalar approach that integrates. ecology and polit (Zimmerer and Basset 2003:31) This scalar approach leads me to focus on the world I seek their implications for FS. Recurring themes in th e political ecology literature include conflicts over land, flora and fauna, soil, and water, and studies of social movements and organizations that are active around these issues; all of these assume importance in the Grenadian context. Among political ec ological concepts I employ is the idea of metabolism the consumption of resources for economic production in a given area (the island setting, the area around a village) and the impacts of such portant is the under capitalism, including at world level. Consumption also implies an attention to cultural questions, This means not just th eir eating or


27 culinary habits and the development of them, which assume importance here, but how people have through time obtained their food and used it especially to feed themselves, and their communities. Although I was interested in the agricultural p ractices of small farmers, especially those that they inherited, I was as eager to understand their dealings with the wider world, including how these governed their access to land and resources. This meant looking at relationships between farmers and thei r communities; between farmers and state. The question of the state and its power over small farmers and rural dwellers looms over this study as well as for LVC, which mai arms often unkind to small farmers. Governments on both left and right, committed to industrialization, pushed for development of a Green Rev olution monocrop agriculture that victimized small farmers and local, more diverse production (see Chapter 2). As I came to see it, any assessment of the potential adoption of FS in Grenada also had to s and sanctions of been the role of the state (and the plantation, instrument of colonial power in the Caribbean for four centuries) in the lives of farmers and evolution o f their practices? What support has it given farmers and/or how has it thwarted their desires for land or local economic development? What roles might the state fulfill in enacting FS? In examining these questions, I draw a crucial distinction between sta te, or governmental power, and nation. The state exists in implicit tension with the needs of a


28 on the other hand, is the expression of popular desires and needs through which the people seek to enact their will, including throu gh the state beginning with the essential element of their reproduction, food In the Caribbean, the idea of nation sometimes carries beyond island borders to include the identification of descendants of formerly enslaved peoples with one another. Such a p an African and Afro construct, is an inspiration for this project. I believe that it should form part of the basis for any regional Caribbean farmer/FS movement. That is because historical chapters show denial of the historic aspirations, needs, and material culture descendant peoples has been the basis on which wealth continued to be extracted from them and the soil right up to now (even as t he notion that the that the official record ignores and that this project seeks to bring to light. Ultimately, I wanted to link such insights about Grenada and Car ibbean history to the present, including in descriptions of day to day life in settings where farmer groups Michel Rolphe Trouillot between current and historical practices, learning what involvement in local LVC groups


29 means for farmers, and telling their stories unearthing the history they made loomed among the most important objectives of the study. Project Design and Timeline The project unfolded over four phases of travel to Grenada: in the fifteen day exploratory March 2008 period described above; in a three month phase between June and September 2008; in a month long follow up trip in June 2010; and in a fourth nine week stay from April through June 2012. In the first three month period, which was devoted to fieldwork, I lived in the north shore village of River Sallee. During this time I obtained life histories in long conversations, many of them recorded, with my River Sallee hosts: GCFA North District Chairman Reginald Buddy, and Bernadette Roberts, the vice president of the River s Agricultural Group, both of them longtime members of WINFA and LVC. I engaged in various kinds of participant observation (loafing), sometimes helping around their house and houseyard, and sitting with local community members during the evenings at the bar that forms the front end of their house During this period I developed an initial portrait of River Sallee, talking to people like the retired local schoolmaster, and also conducting oral interviews with GCFA members about t he history of the organization, sometimes traveling to the south shore for several days to do so. I also conducted interviews with sugarcane farmers in the week with Bish op, Buddy, Roberts, and GCFA founder and official Joseph Gill, filling out (Many organization documents had been lost in the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes.) All of the interviews w ith sugarcane farmers were digitally recorded.


30 12 two thirds of these in River Sallee and the surrounding area, as far away as the neighboring village of Mt. Rose. I also interviewed and visited the gardens of several middle class Grenadians to understand their attitudes about small farmers and farming. The interviews began with a set of questions but were otherwise open houseyards or fields and I sometimes wa lked with them to visit various additional fragments that they cultivated. The interviews inform the discussion throughout the dissertation. Among other things, they enabled me to try out ideas that I obtained in discussions with GCFA and other officials, in the newspapers, from television programs, or my reading All saw agriculture as existing in a state of crisis, exacerbated by the failure of government to organize the farming sector. Perhaps the most important finding was that like GCFA members all or almost all farmers desired to enlist in a project of national revitalization of farming. Almost all saw themselves as implicitly part of such a mer told me in exasperation.) Although many were not GCFA members, most saw traditional practices, especially the use of maroon labor collectives, as a critical way to effect a revival of small farming; some saw it as the only way small farming could be sa ved. The interviews which included several sessions with agricultural extension officials showed that a great deal of small farmer production served subsistence purposes. Still, most expressed great anxiety to be better rewarded for their labors. The inter views also confirmed the degree to which government communicated to them.


31 During 2008 I also spent a week on a farm with GCFA founder Joseph Gill, working through the mornings and early afternoons, engaging him in conversation about island of St. Vincent, interviewing and visiting agricultural installations with WINFA officials; and traveled to the Grenadian island of Carriacou to conduct interviews with two farmers there. During the last two weeks of the 2008 stay I moved to the capital, St. urity officer, the heads of several local rural development agencies, and the Grenada Food and Nutrition Council. With knowledge about the FS idea generally lacking or nonexistent, I developed a short presentation on the subject that I offered to various p eople. In 2010 I returned to Grenada, working for a month in the national library, conducting research among government documents, newspapers, and archived material. During that visit I made a presentation in two half day sessions to Bishop, receiving con tinual feedback from the GCFA General Secretary, and in abbreviated form to Buddy and Roberts, including about the organizational history of the GCFA that forms the basis of Chapter 5. I spent two days interviewing south shore residents about the effects o f tourism and tourist development on fishing, subsistence food gathering, herding, and local quality of life, and engaged in follow up interviews with most officials interviewed in 2008. And I interviewed historian and former Prime Minister George Brizan, from whom I gained considerable perspective about recent policies and programs of Grenada governments in agriculture.


32 The more that I learned about contemporary Grenadian agriculture, the more firmly I believed in the importance of the historical chapters to the project. Reversal of the historic orientation of poor country economies from the extraction of resources and greatest challenge of most poor countries. That orientat ion also remains the greatest countries, as Brizan once wrote with meaningful double entendre, are not poor but ment with which to effect such a reversal, to challenge the continued power that the wealthy countries and international interests hold over the poor and small farmers, and the appropriation of their labor to build the wealth of others. In 2012 I made a f ourth, nine week trip to Grenada and received a critique of the first full draft of Chapter 5, discussing its findings over several days with Bishop, Buddy, and Roberts. These conversations revealed previously unrecognized political tensions that had under lain some GCFA efforts. Since Chapter 5 depends on the word of a small number of officials, I worked to triangulate the data, furnishing the document to six long time observers of the sugarcane sector and the GCFA, who provided readings, feedback, correcti ons, and other perspectives on the material. In addition to their written commentary, they provided verbal feedback during wide ranging interview sessions that opened various perspectives for future work. Apparent from some of these interviews (which were recorded), was an often sympathetic stance of agricultural ministry extension officials to small farmers dating back to the 1970s and first years of independence (see Chapter 3), which suggested another layer of knowledge to gather,


33 especially concerning t he evolution of houseyard and small plot gardening in the country. Two senior extension officers agreed to meet for second, lengthier interviews, and gave me tours of their gardens. I was also able to conduct follow up interviews with many of the officials whom I had interviewed in 2008 and 2010, in person or by phone Chapter Overview Taking for granted that tiny, historically dependent Grenada cannot be viewed in isolation, Chapter 2 examines the world historical perspectives through which the country is presented in the dissertation. It looks at the key role of the Caribbean in the evolution of capitalism and the twin imperatives of development and modernity that grew up with it. Central to the establishment of the emerging global system was the dispos session of peoples in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean, their connection through global circuits of consumption and exploitation of their labor. In these developments, as I show, agriculture and an increasingly speculative view of land holding played an o ften underestimated, absolutely central role. The altered relationship of human beings and communities to food under the new system is examined, as are the powerful effects on meanings peasant idea critical to this project and the FS construct interrogated. The idea of a the wealth production that it emphasiz es, the primary needs that it obscures of neoliberal globalization, in which the wealthy northern countries have struck back at twentieth century attempts by the poor countries to attain economic freedom, binding


34 them in structural adjustment agreements, indebtedness, and trade regulation, further diminishing popular and national sovereignty. Chapter 3 investig ates the alternatives to plantation economic dependence elaborated by emerging peasant farmers and communities in the shadows of the inheritance. The chapter shows how agri cultural systems developed by proto peasant 13 slaves and the markets in which they sold their surplus supplied the material and cultural basis for island post emancipation development. With shared labor practices like the maroon institutionalized by the F r ee Village movement in the post emancipation period, these practices suggest a continuing modern alternative to commercial and import food dependence, a basis for FS and local economic expansion. But these developments did not come without continuing miser y for rural dwellers, a fact that helps to obscure the considerable power of the small farmer and Free Village achievement. They also created an enduring class split in the countryside between small farmers and estate workers those workers who continued la boring for the planter class that must be overcome to establish FS. How would an emerging state, amid a rising political clamor against their historic dispossession, respond to the political demands of the rural populace? To what degree could newly indepe expected to satisfy such demands? Chapter 4 investigates these questions in the period around the birth of the Grenadian island state, from 1949 to 1984. It focuses on the agricultural and land policies of first Prime Minister Eric Gairy, who galvanized estate workers and ended the unchallenged power of the plantocracy. And it examines the


35 agricultural policies and actions of the 1979 1983 People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) that overthrew Ga iry. The broadly popular PRG sought to effect explicit measures of food independence, many readily equated with the struggle for FS. But its leaders were in many ways intent on Western style modernization. Failure to place power or land in the hands of Gre nada's people helped to bring about the revolution's collapse. The 1984 US invasion and dismantling of the PRG government a quiet, unpublicized, and undemocratic counter revolution made Grenada a laboratory for neoliberal experimentation that has powerfull y influenced island developments since, imposing many continuing barriers to autochthonous Grenadian development, including the development of FS. Beginning in the aftermath of the invasion, the history of the GCFA, told in Chapter 5, constitutes an impo rtant chapter in the saga of Grenada's Afropeasantry: 14 an attempt to use the foundation of the peasant past to create a contemporary agroecological farm system and provide the social basis for a small farmer organization. From the late 1980s, members succe ssfully adapted and refined these models in a genuine early project of repeasantization, measures that retain enormous promise as FS models in the present period. The chapter details the blow the GCFA suffered in 1998 when the government seized and sold me mbers' most productive traditional lands by neoliberal currents of the emerging period, influenced how members handled the rospects suggest about the establishment of FS in Grenada today.


36 Chapter 6 offers an overview of Grenada's economy in 2008 with an eye on farmers and rural dwellers, especially women. The island was then recovering from two major hurricanes, dealing with the surge in food prices that accompanied that year's oil price hikes, and a world economy edging into recession. The chapter invokes political ecological notions of metabolism and vulnerability to look at tourism, sand mining, home constrain farm communities and food production. I work to establish the roles and size of the small farmer cadre, landless workers, and women farmers, their class and sectorial relationships to the economy and development of FS. The chapter includes an key rural sector player about FS and small farmers. A picture of recent efforts to accelerate commercialization o f small farming is offered, as is an analysis of the impact of these steps on small farmers and any push for FS. Both continuities with and erosion of Grenada's agricultural inheritance are evident in River Sallee, the rural north shore village that is th e subject of Chapter 7 Farming in River Sallee takes place on borrowed, squatted, rented, family and community owned land and in impressive houseyard gardens, including those of farmer partners Bernadette Roberts and Reginald Buddy, profiled here. A fragi le sense of community as well as wider nation persists in River Sallee, evident in its preservation of the Saracca, an annual harvest festival rooted in West African customs that continues to bind sometimes ambivalent community members amid a growing First World culture of consumerism and rural poverty. In addition to the Saracca, the chapter describes efforts by area farmers to maintain access to lands in a local common property


37 arrangement. The fragility of such arrangements are highlighted by the chapter land grab by the government, which has designated those lands in a move like that suffered by the GCFA on the south shore for development as a tourist resort. Unsurprisi ngly, the Conclusion finds, solutions to Grenadian food dependency lie in organizing for land reform, in a campaign for empowerment of people in the rural sector and for FS. They lie in a new understanding between farmers and the landless poor and in coali tion with groups beyond the boundaries of the island, as well as in a new embrace by Grenadians of their own officially and systematically neglected collective material culture. The roots of such neglect, Chapter 2 shows, are global and historical in chara cter. Uprooting them will entail a confrontation with that history, in both a global and local effort, and long term struggle. 1 /view accessed February 11, 2010. 2 I wrote for the Jamaica Gleaner during a seven month stay in that country in 2002 and 2003, and continued to contribute to the paper until 201 0. During the dissertation period I also traveled to Cuba and Barbados and for this project to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Vincent, and Grenada, as well as the Grenadian dependency, Carriacou. 3 A list of current Caribbean members can be found at mainmenu 44/our members mainmenu 71 accessed January 29, 2013. 4 My three and a half months in the D ominican Republic, the findings from which are largely set aside here, nonetheless contributed to this project in helping me to view the challenges faced by the GCAF in a more international light. As co coordinator of LVC Caribe, Juana Ferrer Paredes gave her blessing to my ambition to study the organization's workings in the Caribbean and oriented me to some of the tensions that the regional effort is faced with. In later travels, she urged me to consider myself an ambassador for the group, a designation t hat I assumed, if in low key fashion, in visits to the Windward Islands Farmers' Association (WINFA) in St. Vincent, and to Jamaica, where I interviewed leaders of the country's Organic Agriculture Movement (JOAM), a potential future member of LVC. I also spent time on several occasions doing telephone translation between WINFA organizers and the LVC Caribe office, and translated several emails between the two bodies. These observations are offered in the spirit of full disclosure of the degree of my commit ment to LVC's aims. In keeping with the commitment to develop the


38 Borda and Rahman 1991:9). In tha t sense my obligation to the LVC Caribe organizations whose aid I enlisted only begins with this dissertation. 5 ahistorical agricultural steady state that is contrasted unflatteringly with superior modern (commercial) methods, as George Beckford notes (2007:137). In the definition adopted here, which follows Beckford, traditional practices are simply inventions that have been known to work and that are there fore repeated; such traditions in a given culture definition of culture, wh 6 Consolidation of the enormous and influential Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo (CLOC), form ally completed in 1995, lent impetus to regional rural struggles as Latin American farmer groups united to fight the effects of neoliberalism on rural people. LVC's organizational structure would be patterned on CLOC's (Martnez Torres and Rosset 2010:155 and 157). 7 One outcome of the world monetary agreement created at Bretton Woods in 1944, the GATT talks paved the way for ongoing negotiations to reduce global barriers to trade, taking for granted that this was a beneficial development. The negotiation s resulted in establishment of the WTO, which has pushed away from more controlled to almost exclusively market 8 Bishop reported that he first heard the term used in 1989, at a Farmers Workshop in St. Vincent (Kopka 2008). 9 The US has refused to embrace the idea of a human right to food (Rosset 2003). It accepts the idea of food security only insofar as this m eans, accessed December 11, 2012). 10 1996 Declaration of Food Sovereignty 11 According to WINFA offi cial Steve Maximay, Trinidad's official definition of food security one Caribbean example involves maintaining a five day emergency food supply in Miami warehouses. Under such circumstances food security becomes a province of corporate interests dealing in durable processed food; local farmers lose out once again. The projected role of markets in attaining food security commercial farming is a precursor 12 In asking for the names of farmers to interview in River Sallee, I found that I was usually pointed to men. Six of the people whom I eventually interviewed around River Sallee were women. This is not a terribl e percentage in a landscape in which roughly one be women. But in seeking interview subjects I later came to feel that I had made a mistake in asking for farmers; I should have sought people who were raising food generally. Many people raise food in Grenada without thinking of themselves as farmers, either because they don't perform such work on a full time basis or because they don't do it commercially. In short, the farmer could exclude many people whom I w ould have liked to learn from. This holds particularly for women and for women who might plant around their homes, or do the majority of their work there, or who only occasionally join partners or family members in farming labor elsewhere, as I discuss in Chapter 6. We are reminded that farmer historically Wood 2000:99 100); this


39 way, and farming, tend to both a certain gender specificity and assumptions about landholding that may not include persons whom FS would benefit. 13 Mintz's term for enslaved Africans as they developed various farming systems on Caribbean estates pri or to their post Emancipation emergence as modern peasantry (1989:151); see Chapter 3. 14 Little attention has been paid to Grenada's sugarcane small farming legacy. Historian and former Prime Minister George Brizan, as sympathetic as any Grenadian authori ty to Grenada's small farmers, devotes just a few lines to sugarcane as small farming inheritance (1998:262 263) in Grenada: Island Of Conflict. Historian Beverley Steele devotes just a single line to small sugarcane farmers in her history of the island (2 003:175).


40 CHAPTER 2 FOOD SOVEREIGNTY Contexts: The Caribbean In the World, Grenada In the Caribbean '[T]he world'. with no apologies for the formulation. first became a modern concept in the Caribbean. Sidney Mintz Goodbye Columbus Mistaken interpretations of the cause of underdevelopment stem either from prejudiced thinking or from the error of believing that one can learn the answer by looking inside the developing country. Walter Rodney A History of the Guyanese Working People Overview This chapter establishes a political ecological framework for evaluating the FS struggle in Grenada. It highlights the role of the surrounding Caribbean region in the rise of global capitalism and the way that this historical relationship shaped the discourse s of development and modernism that domina t e our own period. It examines the question of and show s how in the Caribbean the labor process of former s laves emerging from the plantations (in Grenada called estates) a key development for capitalism: the industrialization of food production in an emer ging economic system It discusses the role s of primitive accumulation and continuing dispossession in founding and maintaining that system, and the various accommodations that small cultivators have made with outside demands on their production, occupying The role of plantation economic theory (PET) is introduced a dependency theory perspective first articulated by Caribbean social scientists that champion ed the region's Black peasant farmers. Regional countries


41 remain trapped in dependency, according to PET theorists, in the boom and bust cycles of a plantation economic system Effects of this dependency are visible in the present period of neoliberal global ization, through which the wealthy Western countries in a post Cold War reassertion of their power have sought through harsh measures of economic discipline, to integrate poor countries in a new system of trade regulation, curbing their ability to organiz e their economies on behalf of their own citizens Any investigation of Grenada's agricultural legacy and the quest for FS on the island, this and subsequent chapters argue, must be framed in terms of the ongoing tensions between the small farming models e emancipation peasantry and the four hundred year legacy of plantation economy, Western colonialism, and its current forms. Development, Agriculture and the Caribbean Critics sometimes ec to the p eriod after World War Two and Cold War that followed, when the US began exporting economic aid and technical knowledge to counter Soviet influence i n Europe (McMichael 2008 :1 37 ; Sachs 1997:1 21; Esteva 1998 :6 7). 1 In a landmark 1949 speech US President Harry Truman declared the poor countries of the global south 1997:1 7; Peet and Hart wick 1999:41,145). 2 A vast enterprise grew up ar ound the Truman initiative, with think tanks, graduate programs, government funded aid initiatives and non governmental organizations (NGOs), in which the United Nations (UN) then four years old would play an ambiguous role. These institutions were underg irded by ideas of necessary modernization that suggested countries and people that had not developed in the West's image were not evolved (So 1990:18 20; Portes


42 1976:61 68), need of Western guidance and models to develop Often it was rural dwellers peasants and other ethnic groups wh o were targeted for development, and the resources of the world's rural sectors that such interests wished to mobilize. Designation as mark ed poor countries and people for Western aid and intervention. Some critics charge that the t construct was and remains little more than neocolonial ism (Goldsmith 1996:253). But the roots of developmentalism were planted lo ng before Truman's speech. They stretch to when Europe first trained its sights on the Caribbean, in the period of primitive accumulation that helped g ive rise to the current system of capitalism. The Caribbean was the first focus of this globalizing gaze, the first platform for its projects of social and environmental engineering, of the forced removal and enslavement of millions of African people that made the European countries' emer gence as world powers possible. Historian Richard Drayton places agric ulture at the center of the colonial development exercise, showing how British agronomists applied their emerging natural philosophies in w hich religion and accounting were e n twined to the sugar trade and knowledg parlance of the day, meant enclosing land a cientific r British agriculture came what Drayton describes as 59). 3


43 says and Asian trade, and to reorganize taxation around this international exchange. Science, inherently expansive in its universal appetites. helped to commit Britain to 0 The Caribbean is therefore an ideal place to study not just the long term effects of globalizing development and its so called moderni zing influences, but grassroots respon ses to it t out what is 'new,' and old, argues development economist Kari Polanyi Levitt (2005:10). This is especially true when it com es to food and agriculture The fact that Caribbean production revolved around products like sugar increasingly fungible agricultural commodity subject to speculation, forerunner of both oil (Abbott 2011, passim fuels makes it highly im portant as an object of historical study, especially as poor countries struggle to reorient food production toward their people's basic needs today. With 50 million inhabitants, 30 million of them Spanish speaking, the island region that today's Caribbean citizens inherit is one of irreconcilable seeming contrasts from socialist Cuba and its hard 4 According to Holger Henke and Fred Reno is influenced by an extremely dense, contradictory. web of contending ethnicities, creolized value systems, hybrid cultural traditions, global life trajectories, international connections and discontinuities form a ba rrier to development for LVC Caribe, with affiliate s in eight Caribbean


44 countries Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Dominica, Grenada, and Martinique to the formation by small farmers of a united regional front for FS. But d espit writes anthr opologist Sidney Mintz (Benitez Rojo 1996: 35 ). The strongest basis for regional unity and future progress, agricultural economist George Beckford and other Caribbean post ture of self exp erience of slavery and struggles of their emerging post emancipation populations. For Beckford rejected the p Levitt 2005:58). According to Mintz the story of the Caribbean peasantry constituted "the most remarkable drama of culture building in the modern world" (1980:15). That culture, this disser tation argues, contained an alternative vision of development, one that the region can draw on in pursuit of FS today. Cult ivating Independence: Defining Peasant [I]f the word peasant, as such may be void of analytical validity, it reflects nevertheless a range of commonalities. These. are not to be found in a common peasant essence. Rather, they spark from a labor process we can conceptualize. Michel Rolph Trouillot Peasants and Capital Like every social entity, peasantry exists in fact only as a process. Teodor Shanin Peasantry as a Political Factor


45 What characteristics unite rural peoples including Grenadians, to whom the term peasant is attributed? Investigators warn against the dangers of generalizing too g reatly about peasants, an enormous group of people who have conducted their lives in highly varied historical, social, and material circumstances across the world. But if we assert the continuing value of a Caribbean peasant pa st and inherited modalities as FS does we must consider how researchers have employed the term As with themselves? In Peasants and Capital, his pioneering 1988 study of small farmers on the East Caribbean island of Dominica, anthropologist Michel Rolph Trouillot identified four ways of seeing the peasant idea, a concept and area of study then felt to be like peasants themselves in eclipse. The theorizing of agrarian econ omist and sociologist Alexander Chayanov, for one (Trouillot said) linked peasant cultivators as units of production and consumption based around the family farm (1988:2) not commensurable with conventional utilit y economics (Wolf 1966: 111) A second vi ew, that of rural sociologist Teodor Shanin, more strongly emphasized culture, not 243). Such a manner of living involved a direct relationship to the land, which peasants might hold under a (Edelman 2003:187). Shanin's desc ription also emphasized peasant s subjection to


46 more pow erful socioeconomic forces but importantly underscored their lingering collective power of resistance to industrialization (1966:240, 246). A third way of seeing peasants, associated with anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, sants' historic trading relationships with towns and the ways that peasant culture was itself produced by such relationships A fourth way of seeing the peasant which Trouillot link s to anthropologist Eric Wolf interests itself still more widely in peasant the state and capitalism (Trouillot 1988:2) For Wolf including to oduction (in ; 1966:9 ). Peasants are, in such a view, very much part of the societies that surround them despite the neglect they may suffer at the hands of the state. Other descriptions point to peasant relations of production, including to the soil. Peasants partake of largely unmechanized approaches to farming (Mazoyer and Roudart 2006:13) it is suggested, and have limited access to agricultural inputs. 5 The lack of means that they depend on their own and each other's labor (Trouillot 1988:5), a fact with implications for collective action I believe that goes far beyond the issues of fami ly relations that have often been stressed Because they seek to feed themselves their families, and communities, peasants grow a wide array of produce. This means that peasant subsistence bears a critical agro ecological component: diversity and the


47 development of the skills that growing and processing what they grow makes possible Peasants also diversify their agricultural production (including for cash sale) to guard against the harm that might come with loss of any one crop The insurance this pro vides is among important relative advantages that peasant farming holds over corporate monocrop farming, both for peasants and for nature. Contemporary peasants also engage in many kinds of work, as subsequent chapters show. Their central feature of peasant life, including in the Caribbean (Comitas 1973; Besson 2002:214). The foregoing by no means comprehensive observations can nonetheless point tow ard a working definition of peasants largely in keeping with that offered by historians Hillary Beckles most of t Among experiences common to rural regional dwe llers to whom the term peasant is ascribed, in the view of longtime scholar West Indian scholar Woodville Marshall, are their continued ties to the plantations/estates; the multiple occupations that they are required to engage in for survival; continuing efforts by governments to push small farmers toward commercial agriculture (a pattern this dissertation sh co for land (in Laurence 2010:4 5). All of these issues are pertinent for Grenada.


48 Marshall als o adapts Trouillot's notion of a peasant labor process, which suggests that small farmers labor on small units over which they exercise some control, possess most of the necessary tools for such work, and that much of this process is subsumed in a wider, c ommodity 2005:14). The fact that the labor process elaborated by the Grenadian people involved groups of people family, wider family, maroons and work teams, community, and even rather than the isolated economic individuals that mainstream economics takes as starting unit of study is vita l as this project shows. 6 In the analysis that follows I e mphasize three further aspects of the peasant idea important for this project, linking these notions of peasant process with the struggle for FS. Peasants : Objects of Development or Modern Subjects? The peasant is simply not adapted to the. rational m anner of life. Karl Weber The Protestant Ethic (Trouillot 1988:1), impediments to the institution of both an industrializing capitalism and socialism. That they survive at all has been viewed as remarkable (Trouillot 1988:1 2) and by some unfortunate: they are hard to discipline But as of 2002, according to environmental geographers William Marsh and John Grossa, half of humanity still avail ed of subsistence agriculture to provide the great part of its basic needs (2 002:137 139). Stalled efforts at global industrialization and collective social projects of peasantization and repeasantization suggest that these numbers may grow, reversing a ce ntury and more of peasant decline. Although a rootedness in soil and place may link such people with the past, they are also a contemporary phenomenon increasingly


49 held by some to be the fut ure of agriculture. In the Caribbean they are modern in all histor ic senses of the word. industrialization, is important. Among progressives, including participants in the Worl d Social Forum, the question of the modern, ion of modernity of whether the inherited Western vision of industrial modernity is inherently destructive, inimical to peasants, small farmers, and us all has been debated in recent decades, such modernism condemned. Among other things, it is understood to privilege rise to dominance of urban industrial capitalism. led to the equation of 'civilization' and human progress It conspires, economic power (the power to produce) in just a few hands. In such a vision of the modern citizens become telli ngly from an ecological standpoint But suggesting that modernity i s an all encompassing or unitary phenomenon risks o bscuring the alternatives, locking the peasant in the past and outside of modernity It is a specific, historically and ide ologically inflected modernism a strand of the modern that progressives critique. As political scientist Ellen Meiksins Wood has shown, the British capitalist current of modernism 7 that evolved if in a patchy pattern through various kinds of colonization i nto our present world system is different from the modernist contexts of emerging Italian city states of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries (Wood 1999: 26, 87), in which research shows a far different relationship to agricultu ral production ( Tarrow 2004:443 ), or the modernist vision that


50 took hold in a revolutionary eighteenth century France, where the peasantry, unlike Britain's, survived (Wood 1999 ). The spread of capitalism on the economic pattern that developed in England was not a foregon e conclusion, according to Wood, nor is its continuation assured Nor is the English model the only path to industrialization, especially agro industrialization, which can be conceived from a standpoint far more organic to local and basic needs production and be carried out by different kinds of social organization, including in cooperatives. Such a lternative currents of modernity including peasant practices offer alternative ideas of the future from which we may still learn. The example of the Grenadian p easant is important in this regard. It suggest s that other worlds are not just possible, but exist Indeed, Caribbean peasants are exemplary in that they played central roles at the creation of the present system and built their post emancipation cultures in resistance to it A s Caribbean economist Arthur Lewis described them, they are Best 1999:23 ). Investigations of what the pe asant experience consists of can help us to identify what it is in our received ideas about the modern that we cri tique. Caribbean peasants themselves developed their own unique alternatives to that system. The y developed these in an ongoing, often conflic tual dynamic with a modern (still prevalent) institution the plantation. "Caribbean peasantries represent a mode of response to the plantation and its connotations, and a mode of resistance the styles of life imposed on them by that institution ( 1 989:132 33). Peasantry and the Peasant Mode a s Elective Resistance A central feature of peasant existence generally noted above is the degree to which peasants remain at some remove from the dominant mode(s) of production,


51 attached to the land and in direct productive relationship with nature Trouillo t questions this assumption ( 1988:6) arguing that a large proportion of the Caribbean peasantry has long engaged 6, 15). In much of the Caribbean an emerging post emancipation peasantry remained tied, or partly tied, to the plantation, as some do to this day Chapter 3 de monstrates the often adroit accommodation that Grenada's peasants made on island estates and off of them learning to grow export crops with crops for local consumption. stances may be further qualified by John of non for many farmers, may be less the aim than the core strategy of their own reproduction. The compromises made and deals struck by (or available to) rural people in order to survive, the degree of their articulation with the commercial economy and shifting regimes of accumulation may also sh ift frequently, day to day or week to week, governing the degree of their misery or survival determining whether they remain in farming (or return to it) at all Any notion of peasant indepe ndence must thus be qualified: t he Anglo/Caribbean peasant labor er may not be at the mercy of the capitalist to the same extent or in the same form as a ful l scale proletarian wage earner, Peasants may d especially if this means a specialization that makes them unable to feed themselves. Or they may acquiesce in whole or part, sometimes cannily adding whatever new plant or strategy is


52 offered to their existing stock or repertoire They may willingly try all kin ds of government or NGO sponsored development projects out of desperation, interest, hope for many reasons departing from or modifying subsistence strategies to accommodate perceived possibilities for advancement 8 There is also no doubting that position as former slaves or people descended from them the ir desire to remove the yoke of the plantation made the pursuit of freedom a conscious one for Caribbean small farmers (Sheller 2000:5). In some real degree, if more intensively at some times t han others, theirs has been a conscious project of liberation with food as its central subject, as forthcoming chapters show At the heart of any consideration of the Caribbean peasantry and FS, then, is its volitional character. This means talking about t he peasant idea in terms of both agency (including collective agency and attempts to influence the direction of the nation, to make the state respond to their needs) and future possibility. The elective quality of peasant existence is what researchers spe ak of, in part, when they talk about processes of peasantization and re peasantization, the conscious construction of materially productive new cultures from surviving ones (Ploeg 2010:1 30; Velasco lvarez 2009:138 162). Small farmers themselves riate the term Mintz has called the Caribbean farmers who left the plantation to farm after slavery a 133; 2010:74). The notion of class is of central importance, because it was mainly in the degree that they worked collectively that they succeeded. Theirs was a pioneering early example of a process that we are seeing across the world today. The degree of conscious manipulation of the rece ived past by


53 their successors in a project like the GCFA's revival of cane farming is as we wi ll see also impressive, suggestive of the possibilities available to Grenadians in pursuing FS. Subsistence in Theory, Subsistence in Practice For many people s ubsistence is synonymous with poverty I t may suggest alienation, and be implicitly contrasted with benefits that come from engagement in a consumer industrial economy. Subsistence labor, public policy scholar Colin Williams notes, tends to be depicted as residual or dwindling non portrait of peasants and peasant culture projected by developmentalist models. But for science in ethnoecology, for example subsistence is simply term relationship between community and land base" (Foster 2000:220). The etymology of the term from the Latin (subsistentia/subsistir) g to mean suggests this a s well. 9 In the same way that this study pursues the relationship of the small peasant farmer to wider society rather than ecological subsistence and population studies examine issues like diet choice, group size, and the effect of sp atial distribution of resources as well as the effect of these on group behavior, identifying how groups exist in relationship to wider nature T he study and pursuit of subsistence in other words, can mean no more or less than the science of a given population's survival and the pursuit of measures to ensure it measures on which human communities and even the human project are predicated That some thing like this was once understood i n the West is suggested by Marti nez Alier's analysis of the Greek term oikonomia, from which we derive our economy, ecological economics


54 the material provisioning 9:112, my emphasis). S uccess in human cultures of subsistence historically did not mean pi ling up reserves of capital ( as Aristotle called it or profit, what mainstream economics focuses on today), but derivation of a surplus that ensured survival beyond the horizons of a single season or crop 10 beyond mere survival, that is, or pejorative conceptions of subsistence to something more like its meaning in ecology. It is not hard to see, then, that a subsistence society or culture, if conscio usly pursued, could include measures that reduce vulnerability : schools, health care provision, burial societies, community food lockers, shared secure places to shelter Bennholdt Thomsen and Mies 1999:3) what WINFA eminence grise Wilberforce Emanuel told me that he calls FS but not doing these for super profit or via super exploitation of labor. (Here local, or small economy, as opposed to the gl obal economy comes into play as well ) As we will see, Grenadian and other Caribbean communities developed many such institutions in the post slavery period that the pur suit of a larger subsistence, a national or regional subsistence, is a worthy goal Subsistence, then, including as a goal of peasant society, can mean the pursuit of sustainable livelihood. And i n the wider sense, developmentalism has often constituted a front in what Desmarai s (and Mies and Bennholdt Thomse n with her) against the Caribbean since the end of slavery, when colonial adminis trations and estate


55 owners worked to prevent emancipated former slaves from obtaining land to force them to continue working on the plantations. Uncovering the strategies employed by small farmers in this fight is therefore a goal of this project. Critica lly, as suggested, subsistence does not mean going it alone Traditional p easant subsistence in Grenada is not individual subsistence, I will argue, but a family and community endeavor threatened by foreign Western notions of individuality and consumerism B uilding on this inheritance, b ringing the conscious pursuit of such interdependence to the fore, making it part of national and regional campaigns for FS should be central to the work of LVC in the region, I would come to believe Community subsistence in turn, implies a necessary sharing of resources, including the most precious underutilized resource in a society that in 2012 was said to approach 50% real unemployment human labor, energy and thought Here various examples of the kind of subsidiarity or ecocentricity that emerg es as a central component of FS make themselves plain, including ways of organizing resource use in common property relationships Chambord 11 Despite the commoditization of many social relationships, human beings continue to share most of the earth, including the greater part of our labor. A lot of subsistence activity is shared, int imate, unmediated by technology engage in a tremendous ra nge of self Colin Williams notes (2005:36). Subsistence forms a large in many places growing part of most people's activity 12 in part because of the growing mechanization of labor, continual re division o f labor, under and unemployment. Subsistence emphatically does


56 not equal drudgery, although as articulated with capitalism it may reduce people to it. Cooking and eating our relationship to food these constitute a major part of subsistence activity every where, as do things like child care and creation and maintenance of gardens, activities that (ironically) the wealthy given the chance should be banished 'to the stone age'. or to the Third World, because in our failed to recognize that subsistence does not disappear, but rather changes through history and takes different forms in different The subsistence economy particularly women's and peasant labor's (Benera 1999:1 5, passim), go largely unrecognized by economists, in statistical portraits of national economies. But as our discussion of the peasant acc ommodation to capitalism suggests, capitalism profits from the peasant and from people's subsistence efforts, appropriating labor with little or no remuneration from a variety of sources: women's various critical labors of social and material reproduction ; prison and slave labor; write Bennholdt Thomsen and Mies (1999:11). From thes e observations it should not be hard to see that, as Bennholdt Thomsen and Mies say, the peasant and her/his labor exist in a similar relationship to capital as women and their unpaid work: by supplying their own food they contribute to primitive accumulat ion and are (therefore) useful to capital interests inside and outside of poor country economies. This relationship was first articulated on Caribbean estates


57 where the enslaved were charged with feeding themselves, and thus contributed to the fit margins. It persisted in the post slavery plantation as well, placing the previously enslaved person in a position analogous to the British peasantry with one critical advantage: the former slaves had some access to land, however insecure, that Caribb ean landowners could not prevent, while the British peasantry had been forced off of theirs. The question, however, arises: if FS implicitly champions a right to subsistence, how are women to receive just compensation for their work? FS in many ways beco mes a demand to address this problem of the failure to compensate women's and peasant labor, one reason why it is so important that the question of women and their roles is made central to the quest for FS as formulated by LVC, placed up front (as describe d in the introduction), where it is less easily swept from sight. Mies situates non wage [subsisten ce] workers, is absolutely crucial to the capitalist accumulation wage labor, wage labour exploitation would not be possible. To leave these two main areas of 'super surplus' to think through s uch questions, s he claim s (1998:200). The appropriation by capitalism of human subsistence labor is part of the larger, often violently appropriative ongoing process of primitive accumulation that makes capitalism possible in the first place. It is that construct without this wider historical perspective.


58 Primitive Accumulation, the En glish and Caribbean Peasantries In actual history. conquest, enslavement, robbery, murder. force, play the great part. In the tender annals of Political Economy, the idyllic reigns from time immemorial. Karl Marx Capital Capitalism made its great foundational leap forward as an economic system, economists tell us, through an accumulative push or series of pushes quantitative amassing of resources sometimes kn own as primitive accumulation, which underwrote early large scale capital projects. A mong such developments were various acts of dispossession especially the removal of peasants from their traditional lands 13 facilitated by a movement of enclosure that began in the early sixteenth century, lasting well over 200 years. For Marx the separat ion of people from their means of subsistence was fundamental to how the new system worked: The capitalist system presupposes the complete separation of the labourers from all property As soon as capitalist production is once on its own legs, it not only maintains this separation, but reproduces it on a continually extending scale [emphasis mine] The process, therefore, that clears the way for the capitalist system, can be none other than the process which takes away from the labourer the possession of hi s means of production. (1867; my emphasis) 14 England's dispossessed poor had no choice but to seek work in England's emerging industrial centers or to emigrate to Britain's colonies sometimes as indentured servants. Vagrancy and other laws were enacted by the British Parliament, making it illegal for people to remain idle. 15 The system placed h uman beings in a new relationship with nature, in which resources would be used first to generate profit rather than to sustain or develop livelihood or knowledge, and production was undertaken with profit as foremost motive


59 A gre at deal of the process was speculative and therefore wasteful. Competition for resources that cut production costs to create products more cheaply and attract buyers increasingly dominated industrial processes. Intensified exploitation of both people (lower wages) and nature (resources obtained quickly and cheaply) were central to success and rationalized as features of it ; a destructive and less organic quickening entered the system, whic h was often punctuated not by natural but economic crises like the Irish Famine. For the dispossessed poor getting food now depended on offering the to do this wou ld be made much of). Food, Goodman single most important wage good in the newly i Making people dependent on its purchase was a critical step in the development of the new system reason why th ere remains real liberatory potential in our ability, locally and as communities or countries, to feed ourselves In other words, the ael 2009:155), is fundamental to the creation of capitalism. The often wrenching economic developments described above required a further, more intimate id sanctified knowledge of improvement o a great degree this was furnish ed by religion, specifically Protestantism. Indeed, Protestantism re forms around t he needs of developing capitalism. All of this might at first seem to take us some way from the issue of FS. But t he evolution of Protestantism to embrace the new system t he elevation in Protestant religious rhetoric of ideas about work carries enduring importance in the Anglo Caribbean, where abolitionist groups worked to spread their vision of Christianity as they pushed to end slavery; where


60 Protestant missionary groups have powerful influence in shaping opinion; and where appeals to voters' religious convictions routinely inform the actions o f mainstream politicians 16 (It will also be seen to influence perceptions of local small farmer practices like the annual observanc Saracca described in Chapter 7.) The keystone of the process, however, was and remains continuing expansion and dispossession. A system in formation required land, resources, and labor. The colonies and slavery would supply these components of accelerating growth that helped the fledgling capitalist economies of Europe to ent theori sts put it T he seizure of colonial lands wa s a foundational instance of such accumulation. 17 According to early nineteenth century English economist David Ricardo, the colonies helped to reinforce the development of capitalism in part by spurring the way that land acquired value through speculation. ( creating wealth began not with the act of exchange, but with the process of settling and cultivating an empty land, a space of colonization, writes Timothy Mitchell [2002 :85] ) This fantasy of emptying, of clearing, comes to dominate today 18 including in the way some Grenada lands formerly worked by farmers have been turned into national parks and subsequently or assertion of FS. In the process, land formerly used to supply a basic immediate local need is swept up into international circuits of commerce beyond the reach of poor farmers. Although Marx saw primitive accumulation as a kind of founding moment capit alism's Original Sin it is not just foundational but ongoing. Capitalism is not self perpetuating, its critics argue, but stagnates without the dispossession that is its basis.


61 O ngoing appropriation of land ( land grabbing ) and labor is required to reigni te the system, which continually stumbles over the very poverty it requires to work in the first place. Indeed, we are currently living through the greatest period of dispossession in human h istory, according to Farshad Araghi (2000:145 160). Samir Amin, i n similar terms, describes ours and cites is as t he single greatest contributor to the current food crisis. I t is among the main reasons why people in the hundreds of millions have flooded into the world's cities since World War II's end, this shift The history of this expropriation, in different countries, assumes different aspects, and runs through its various phases in different orders of succession, and at differen What makes Grenada and peasants important, in many ways, is that the system's hold over the former slave and today's Grenadian farmer is incomplete. People in the rural sector often retain some slender hold on the soil, on the non commoditized means of their own reproduction (including food). As remarked earlier, their labo r is indeed expropriated; they are articulated with capitalism. But to the degree that they continue to prize independence they remain a threat. The potential remains for further, organized expansion of subsistence culture through processes of peasantizati on and the struggle for FS (Mies 1998:xvii). The Metabolic Rift The metabolic rift is a specifically ecological way to see the effects on nature of primitive accumulation and the growth of capitalism, which Marx discerned as a fundamental law of disrupti ve motion of the system's growth. The concept helps to


62 systems like those historically implanted in the Caribbean, and its expansive and speculative qualities. Marx described the rift as an outgrowth of people's and historical removal of peasant farmers from their lands. The rift offers a way to see not just the objectification for profit pur poses of the landscape under capitalism, but the subordination of agriculture to increasingly industrialized production relations, in particular the reduced recycling of nutrients as new chemical and input dependent methods are introduced to agricultural practices and older methods that used animal (and often human) waste are replaced (Foster 2000:ix; McMichael 2009:161). The problem was first described by German chemist Justus von Liebig (1803 1873) inventor of nitrogen based fertilizer and formed into a more general observation about the wasteful up and downstream impacts of the emerging system by Marx. The economist metabolic interaction between nature and society through human labor. and i n a wider sense. to describe the complex, dynamic interdependent set of needs and system, writes John Bellamy Foster (2000:158). The specialization of various kinds of production in the emerging system meant intense concentration of industrial or agricultural processes in certain places rather than their local integration for basic needs. Inevitably, this meant extraction of resources in previously unseen quantities in


63 some places and the piling up of waste in others, with large expenditures of energy to facilitate these. and animal manure to develop crops, as happened when large scale farmi ng accelerated, the soil became depleted and their yields fell. He postulated a global crisis if disruptions of this metabolic cycle persisted. The crisis soon arrived as agricultural yields dropped dramatically toward the middle of the nineteenth century, bringing a the European powers and the US took command of small islands and even rocks many of these in the Caribbean to collect bird droppings for their farm ing Leona bolstering a rise in fertilizer production T oday fertilizers account for 31% of agricultural energy consumption. 19 Marx and other social thinkers noted the increasing disruption of natural processes as the scale of industry and agriculture grew, including the pollution of the Thames River by human waste. They cited these as exampl es of a growing metabolic rift a cascading train of disruptive developments reinforced, in part, by a growing country/city divide (Foster 2000:147 163; Foster 2002:160). The rift is a phenomenon with repercussions far beyond agriculture 20 Our ideas abou t a distinction between the world's rural and urban sectors may ignore the way they grew out of the metabolic rift, where towns grew around manufacturing with never before seen levels of waste and environmental degradation not easily coped with by


64 nature o r communities ; dense habitation created new levels of waste; and food had to be shipped to people, increasingly processed as well as packaged, with increasing use s of energy facilitating these separation o f town and country was a major factor in the net loss of soil nutrients and Foster. As early as the 1840s, Liebig was noting that there were hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles in the United States between. 153) and the great transfers of energy and environmental disruption growing from this fact Agriculture is not a rural phenomenon per se (i n fact agriculture makes permanent settlemen t possible.) A city/country divide with agriculture confined to rural spaces is not inevitable but a product of the metabolic rift. 21 Maintaining food production in closer proximity to people is one goal of FS, a way to repair the rift, to re connect or elements. essential for life (Powers and M cSorley 2000:55). In Grenada, as we will see, this rift which yawns in the case of the plantation/estate (with imported tools and human labor, the Village Movement, and in proto peasant a nd peasant agricultural practices. For this project such issues assume importance when we consider the built environment, the way that space is consumed and organized historically first by the plantations, which arrogate much of the best land, sometimes fo r highly wasteful kinds of production; on slavery communities, where almost every house had its own houseyard garden; and by planners and builders as impose First World suburban housing construc tion on portions of Grenada's


65 return from Grenada and other Third World locales in the form of finished products); in the import of fertilizer when alternatives coul d be used; in the import of animal feed; in the importation and stealing of sand; in the tremendous amounts of energy expended to effect these exchanges; in the degradation of local nature and loss of natural wealth to Grenadians inherent in such processes ; and in the failure to use good local land for food theorists in the post independence period, beginning in the middle 1960s. Plantation Economics and Agriculture A proj ect of English speaking s (Polanyi Levitt 1998:1) beginning in the 1960s, plantation economic theory (PET) takes for working assumption that Caribbean economies and cultures continue to be dominated by the institutional st amp of the plantation and the social and political structures of the mode to Polanyi es in the explanatory power of 'the plantation' as the original and fundamenta l institution of contemporary she located the roots of Caribbean 'underdevelopment' in. three centuries of slave plantation e Levitt 2005:10). The legacy of institutions, structures and behaviour patterns of the plantation system are so deeply entrenched that adjustment tends to take place as an adaptation within the bounds of the established frame explain why Caribbean economies undergo alternating cycles of 'boom' and 'bust'.


66 dependence on the 'plantatio As a b ody of indigenous knowledge and theorizing by Caribbean thinkers connected to Latin American structuralist thought and dependency theory PET warrant s attention if for no other reason than that it assert the specificity of the Cari ) But it also speaks strongly to the study of FS and the Caribbean peasantry, whom its originators championed. PET theorists challenged the development models of Caribbean economist Arthur Lewis, who which offer ed incentives to First World corporate interests to assume roles in the island economies. It focuses instead on a and the energy of the Caribbean people (Girvan 2009: xxi ). As a first order of bus iness in combatting dependency, P ET advocated development of food independence. The famous observation of Trinidadian historian and Prime Minister Eric Williams about the was often repeated by PET the orists and influenced many Caribbean intellectuals. The cry would be taken up by the Grenadian PRG in the 1980s and fashioned into a new slogan of Grenadian food independence which Grenadians sometimes quoted to me when I intr oduced the subject of FS grow what you eat. Plantation economics foregrounds history, insisting that fundamental injustices that came with the institution of plantation slavery have yet to be addressed. PET also places critical im portance on a subject often avoided in the Caribbean and Grenada:


67 In the inherited plantation econo provided by the descendants of slaves, as manifested in the hierarchy of class and plantation lies wrote agricultural economist George Beckford (2000:xlix). Analysis of contemporary Grenada today reveals thorny questions of color, class, and race The physical fact of skin color is today less the issue than the fact that Black ethnicity the culture of the Black peasantry, has repeatedly been shoved aside in favor of Western agri/culture ; that the wider Afro Caribbean material inheritance is looked down on as unscientific or back ward, including by post independence governments ; and that it is the less 22 people who remain dispossessed in the Caribbean occupying the bottom of the economic ladder, while lighter skinned people more integrated in Western commercial culture occupy the wealthier social strata of most islands Criticism of plantation economic theory include s the charge that it is in some ways just a recapitulation of the existing historical narrative i.e., that it is descriptive rather than predictive (Best 1998:34 35). Figueroa and Witter charge that plantation economics fails to base itself fully in the social re lations of production and lacks a method of class analysis (in Barrow 1998:44). Today however, PET is an intellectual touchstone for mo st An glo Caribbean progressives and receiving new attention. As Girvan writes it countries to globalization that is highly relevant to the present xvii ). Insofar as it


68 foregrounds hist ory and the plantation a nd race, poverty agriculture, and basic needs development it offers a critical touchstone for discussion of FS in the region A current textbook for students in the UWI systems takes the dominance of the plantation economy in mo st islands as structural fact of life and notes t hese persistent system: raded all of their output with the rest of the world and protecting plantation interests. slave, ex plantation owner et al 2001:123 125). All of these conditions continue to inhere in Grenada. Indeed, one of the most important questions after the 2008 elections that brought a nominally more agriculture friendly N ational D emocratic C ongress government to power was what would happen to former estate lands, many of which remain in the hands of the government. This was and remains a burning issue in a countr y with limited land for growing and an imported food bill that ha s continued to rise for de cades. Polanyi Levitt insists, reach es economic structures, to illuminate the many ways in which the legacy of the plantation system has conditioned the behavior of all group Caribbean,


69 tourism assumes the form of other export staples stamped on the region by the plantation (Girvan 2002:2) Grenada Prime Minister Maurice Bishop spoke of the pa rallels between tourism and estates in the 1970s: [T]ourism was never intended as a means of developing the national econ omy and society. Just like sugar, bauxite, bananas, and oil, in many of the Caribbean territories, the tourist plant was own ed and controlled by multi national corporations. Typically, the foreign investors came and took as much as they could in terms of tax holidays. Very little of the profit. was. re invested in the island. Moreover, this process. meant that forei gners l aid claim to significant areas. Bishop also spoke of the problematic associations of whiteness and privilege in (quite similar to estate great houses) from which the general populati on was excluded (19 82 :67 68). Tourism also recapitulates a central feature of plantation economies highlighted by PET the way that they foment strong external but weak internal economic linkages (Polanyi Levitt 1998:3). 23 For my study the plantation econo mic theorists are also important because with few others in the Caribbean intelligentsia of the post independence period they championed the region's peasant class. They recognized the potential of the peasantry to lift the Caribbean economies when others did not and, in the main, still have not. 24 saw a future role for the working class as the agent of radical social peasantry interpreted more broadly as the pop ular classes as the agents of change and social transformation in countries of the region which remain locked into social (Levitt 2005:376). Levitt's observation suggests the rich promise that the Caribbean peasant tradition holds for LVC in the regio n, and for implementation of FS.


70 The National Economy The degree to which colonialism and plantation economics condition thinking about food production, including the mechani sms through which economies are viewed what is valued, what is not cannot be emphasized enough. According to into acceptance during the 1930s. Constructed for the Euro pean powers by colonial controllable spaces for the pursuit of profit. Through the l ens of the national economy planners and inevitably citizens were disciplined to accept a method that valued outcomes over processes, profit over basic needs. 25 what extent the realization of the economy belongs to the hi 83) as the European countries began to withdraw from Asia, Africa, South America, and th e Caribbean, working to protec t their access to material resources they had long worked to extract from them. As former colonies reaching independence along with much of the rest of a Third World whose cultures had been ravaged by colonialism, the Caribbean countries were saddled with of their inhabitants' development but the continued access to wealth of the n comprador elites in them. In Grenada accurate views of the rural sector are hindered because of this inherited way of seeing. Subsistence production including subsistence food production


71 fully supplanted by chrematistics, the pursuit of profit. Among the contradictions of such economies, measured as positive developments in a country's gross domestic product (GDP), can have nega tive environmental consequences as resources are intensively consumed. Forcing poor countries to focus on export production to repay their external debts, ne Losses to nature from extraction, meanwhi le, are not measured in such accounting systems or in conventional economics generally; the question whether sites degraded or left polluted can be regenerated, whether they will require millions to clean up or be abandoned, is not engaged (until the clean Alier possible to ignore the f act that from before the end of slavery to now they kept Grenada fed, the rural sector from starvation. Bringing such activity into the light, honoring and adequately rewarding it, would be central to establishment of FS in Grenada. Neoliberalism and the P oor Countries With more continuity than depart ure from historical developmental practices, n eoliberalism or neoliberal capitalism edro Stedile, a leader of Brazil's s it (2007) is the name given to the dominant economic philosophy of our period, which has held increasing sway over the global economy since the late 1970s Although i ncreasing ly discredited in Latin America and parts of Asia, its institutions continu e to exercise strong


72 power over the Caribbean. Associated with economists Friederich von Hayek, Milton (Gledhill 2007 : 332 ), neol iberalism has been guided by the anti regulatory stance of its advocates who tak e as faith that the market and market principles rather than governments are the best way to address human needs As the thrust of economic policy de veloped especially by the US and Great Britain, the set of trade regulations, institutions, and economic ideas that comprise neoliberalism may be seen t o have several less publicized aims ending the toric l abor capital compromise that made it possible to defeat Germany and Japan in WWII (see Harvey 2005:11 12; Mies 1998:xii), and thwarting poor country attempts to develop economic independence (Bello 2010 passim). ha ve in the near term been successful. Among under terms of loans from multilateral lending institutions like the IMF were policies that opened poor country economies t o trade and investment a nd forcing abandonment of price supports for local agricultural and industrial products turned over increasing portions of their economies to market forces ( Desmarais 2007:47). While these moves were couched in a rhetor b illed as anti poverty prescriptions, they were aimed Walden Bello insists at halting efforts by poor opening their markets to US and European goods (There is no doubt that such


73 Various twentieth century developments, especially in relation to agriculture and the rural sector, prefigured these changes in which Grenada also played a part Especia lly because of the way these involved the world's poor countries and their development they merit attention. The se include: Assertions of independence by nonaligned countries and former colonial states from the first decades of the twentieth century, gath ering momentum after World War II (see Prashad 2007) that met strong pushback including war against them by the rich countries of the Global North in response. These included the war in Vietnam and the overthrow of socialist leaders in Iran, Chile, Indones ia, Cuba, Nicaragua, the DR, Jamaica, and Grenada attempts to create greater economic and agricultural independence were cornerstones of the campaigns by the leadership in each of those countries E very current Caribbean LVC country except tiny East Caribb ean neighbors St. Lucia, Dominica, and St. Vincent was invaded by the US and saw a socialist or center left government overthrown by US forces during the twentieth century The Green Revolution, embraced by the US and Soviet Union beginning in the 1940s, mobilized large scale fuel and input intensive (mon ocrop) agriculture initiatives in support of economic transformation, championing industrialization and consumerism. T ens of millions of people left the world's r ural areas, swelling its cities, pushing t he world toward ecological catastrophe. 26 A collapse of family farming, augmented by oil, banking and debt crises that drove up interest rates beginning in the 1980s, abetted monocrop agriculture's consolidation and industrialization (Green 2003:27 30, passim). Farmers' own knowledge was rendered increasingly unimportant by technological developments and rising dependence on inputs reduced already small profits, driving many farmers out of business, into cities, or to suicide. Sale of enormous grain har vests, spurred by mechanization and other agroindustrial advances, helped to spur commoditization of select agricultural products and the growth and power of transnational corporations (Mazoyer and Roudart 2006:450 456). open poor country markets to First World goods. Among classic examples were increasing dependence on American wheat sales by the Soviet Union during the 1970s and 1980s and A merican rice aid, which flooded Haitian markets and drove many farmers out of production, leaving Haiti dependent on imported rice. US food policy was often calculated to create dependence (Korten 2001 passim ). 27


74 Dissolution of the Soviet Union, formalized in 1991 brought an end to the aid that many poor countries had receiv ed from that source and left them without bargaining leverage they had often held with both superpowers during the Cold War. It brought more aggressive policy making by the Western powers as they pressed their advantages. Structural Adjustment Walden Bello describes structural adjustment regimes key feature of neoliberal globalization across the boar d to Third World economies suff 0:65) The key to their imposition has been loans offered to struggling poor countries to pay their enormous international debts, and the conditions of those loans, which required fundamental ch anges in their economies and methods of governance. Such measures have included the privatization of state enterprises; trade liberalization; currency 28 ); the removal of price controls on food and agricultural goods ; reduct ion of pu blic sector employment ; acceptance and promotion of greater foreign investment; privatization (sale) of profit making or potentially profit making state institutions; reduction of welfare protections for the poor; reduction of trade union influence in the public sector (Mendes et al 2001:74); and cutting wages and weakening mechanisms that protected lab or, in cluding minimum wages (Bello 200 0:65). E ach of these changes it turns out, was implemented or at least initiated by USAID and/or ended up affecting Grenada in the aftermath of the 1983 US invasion of the country, as Chapter 4 shows, clearly reducing issues through national policies or programs. From the beginning of the 1990s, more than 70 countries have submitted to IMF and World Bank structural adjustment require ments in return for loans that rescued governme nts from default (Bello 2005:43) 29 The continued threat of default is in many


75 ways the driver of policy, making the demands of IMF and other officials the law in many poor countries influence in low and middle income By the end of the Reagan Bush era in 1992, the South had been transformed Bello writes. These 'reforms' have coincided with a sharp slowdown in economic growth and reduced progress on major soc ial indicators (life expectancy, infant and child mortality) in the vast majority of developing countri es since 1980," Bello continues (2010:65). The countries that ignored their strictures, meanwhile have fared best economically during the period: China, Vietnam, and India (Weisbrot 2007). The same has more recently been true of many South American countries where the rejection of neoliberalism, translated upward from the streets has slowly become a matter of national policy. Criti cism of structural adju stment tends to stress its often baneful economic effects on the poor. But by forcing neoliberal economic policies on poor countries in the Caribbean, the wealthy powers have also limited national and popular sovereignty Structural adjustment iggest challenge to the concept of [state] in the region (Mendes et al 2001:73), where l oan repayment and debt servicing have left many poor countries with crushing de bt and 14 of 30 of the world's most indebted emerging economies now lie (Kathuria et al 2005 ) Six Caribbean countries have debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratios of over 90%, with Grenada worst of these at 113% of GDP in 2008 when I began work there (King and Richards 2008:ii 1; Bynoe 2008:3). The relevance of the State in the societies of the Commonwealth Caribbean is a matter of great con cern to [regional] policymakers Mendes et al


76 particular party in power. Electoral change does not necessarily bring any changes in the structural adjustment progr amme. In the circumstances, the relevance of elections 74). 30 S ervicing and limiting debt, acquiring new loans, and striving to meet or set the conditions of loan agreements consume an enormous amount of poor country officials' time and energy. Impa cts of Neoliberalism on Agriculture and Food The wider effects of such wholesale changes in governance have ranged fr om the banal but nutritionally consequential arrival of American fast food chains in the Caribbean starting in the 1980s (Houston 2005:xxxii) to cessation of the growing of various crops. Other effects on poor countries, Caribbean farming, and the region' s rural sector include the following: Poor countries have sold off valuable assets (among these water companies 31 ) to foreign investors and reduced support for agriculture, cutting price supports and small farmer subsidies, reducing technical assistance, a nd pushing small farmers to commercialize production (Deere and Royce 2009:55 56; Desmarais 2007:47). Trade regulations have been crafted by representatives of large corporations, boosting t hose corporations into roles of authority over national governments (Babb and Chorev 2009:464). The WTO's General Agreement on Tariffs and terms of IMF loans, have required poor countrie s to open their markets to food products from wealthy countries at prices local farmers cannot compete with. By quantitative restrictions on imports, to reduce tariffs on many industrial imports, and not to raise tariffs on all other imports. In so doing they have. given up the or develop agriculture (200 0:73). 32


77 Trade block treaties like the North American Free Trade Agreemen t (NAFTA) have collaterally hurt the Caribbean, which finds it harder to compete with or obtain entry for its products in partner countries ( Pattullo 2005:8). The opening of land for sale to foreigners, tourism, and agribusiness investors, and lowering of environmental standards as a condition of loans and trade pacts have had a negative effect on poor countries' ability to enact or carry out policies of environmental protection (Reed 1996:17), including zoning. The period has seen continuing privatization in Deere and Royce 2009:81 82). Eased restriction on foreign investment has given investors an increased say in what happens in poor countries, further undermining local sovereignty. P olicy is often shaped to attract investors rather than to help the poor. F oreign direct investment (FDI) and foreig n portfolio equity investments aided by structural adjustment, soared between 1990 and the middle of the twenty first ce ntury's first decade, integrating poor countries in circuits of production with the First World. Wealthy local elites increasingly identify with their counterparts in other countries rather than their countrymen, and grow less invested in national projects that pursue equality or independence (Robinson 2004:23 25). The ext ension of credit to poor countries by the World Bank and IMF is often tied up with so foods (crucial for food securi ty needs) to cash crops that meet the luxury 33 mon for decades in Grenada, is euphemistic in such circumstances and can mean a reduction in agrodiversity if farmers forsake their extremely diverse growing practices to pursue cash crops. The repayment of loans has become a driver of policy, fueling further dependency as farmers are pushed to grow export crops to gain foreign exchange and servi ce debt (Green 2003:119 150). t women must (2005:8). Increasing poverty and a retreating state have reinforced the aid apparatus, spurring growth of charities and NGOs. Aid is increasingly delivered on a short term or ad hoc basis, often at the whim of elite donors rather than guaranteed by governments T he idea that they hold any responsibili ty to directly aid their own populations has dwindled, except perhaps when it comes to the provision of jobs.


78 R e ligious institutions and fundamentalism increasingly fill the vacuu m created by a retreating state and the end of welfare services (Rapley 2004:128), leading to increased nativism and sectarian strife in a period where greater citizen solidarity is require d to challenge such changes. Neoliberalism has stamped the language of development on poor countries. An (Henke 2000:71) on neoliberal rhetoric makes it harder for poor country populations to question or challenge the sys tem, to think their way out of their plight. Reports by international creditors and credit rating agencies are printed verbatim in the press as if they were simple facts rather than (often) instruments of external domination. T he impact of neoliberal poli cies on world agriculture has been dramatic. When the multilateral institutions came on the scene 40 years ago, Food First researcher Eric Holt Gimenez writes the global South had yearly agricultural trade surpluses of $1 billion. After three 'Development Decades,' they were importing $11 billion a year in 34 But the global squeeze on the poor with rising unemployment also brings new demands for equality A cco rding to anthropologist (2003:188). Another a nthropologist David Harvey says that neoliberalism has become the chief driver of h uman rights demands in our period (2005:178). Conclusion: A Global Food Crisis In 2008 the global economy entered a period of crisis driven by increasing fuel prices and a consequent rise in transport costs for food. The crisis, said s ociologist Philip McMichael erupted in 30 countries, including Haiti, where the country's foreign minister insisted that his government could not control food prices because it had signed agreements preven ting it from doing so : market regulations he said ( New York Times 2008 ). Such was th e loss of national sovereignty that elected officials felt unable to intervene when their own people starved.


79 Such were the blinders imposed by some believed it better to do nothing But the Caribbean was a "ticking time bomb" where agriculture was concerned, some regional observers warn ed with As of February 2009 international food prices had risen 30%, with Haiti, Grenada, Jamaica, Suriname, and St. Vincent most strongly impacted (Jessop 2007). In June 2010 food prices spiked again Ce ntral America and the Caribbean were (2011) The price shocks it soon emerged were part of an em erging global multi year recession, that one study showed was worse in its early stages for the poor countries than the Great Depression had been (Almunia et al. 2009) Disruptive world developments had long impacted a highly food import dependent Caribbean. During the American Revolution, with trade routes between the North American and West Indian colonies disrupted, many thousands of slaves died when regular shipments of food to the islands did not arrive. This did not happen in feed themselves and their masters in barrack houseyards and mountain provision grounds. Chapter 3 describes the emerging proto peasant culture that made such self provisioning possible in pursuit of a core Grenadian FS culture that, I argue, it is 1 The pattern was set with the post World War II Marshall development plan with the World Bank of what came to be known as development assistan ce was designed to. establish. political stability


80 et al. 2005:79, my emphasis). Today with co ntradictory consequences, as this project shows. 2 The inference is that the US had reached such a state of actualization suggestion that this was the desirable or inevitable trajectory of the rest of humankind was rejected from the o utset by progressives. Economic historian Andre Gunder Frank, writing especially of Latin America, argued that the poor countries had been purposefully under developed, and sought to chronicle the development of such underdevelopment (1966). As early as 196 9, UN social planners were writing that 2000:106). Ben nholt 3 Ecology has many of its beginnings in efforts to best use and maintain natural resources in the the. circumstances of environmental change at the colonial periphery that what we Damodaran. Dominica's Roseau Botanic Station, St. Vincent's B otanical Garden, and Grenada's now early as the mid seventeenth century decrying soil erosion and deforestation in Bermuda and Barbados, gazetting of forest preserves, and efforts to prevent rainfall decline (2006:4346 4347; Trouillot 1998:124). 4 Economist Michael Witter makes this declaration in Stephanie Black's 2001 documentary Life and Debt. Grenada vies with Jamaica for that title, with a 2008 d ebt to GDP ratio that was worst of Caribbean countries at 113% (King and Richards 2008:ii 1; Bynoe 2008:3). 5 Ecologist G. Tyler Miller distinguishes between two kinds of subsistence agriculture, traditional agriculture that depends mostly on human labor and draft animals with few inputs and traditional intensive agriculture, in which the number of inputs is greater and intercropping or polycropping help to increase yields. Such agriculture has absorbed some of the innovations of commercial agriculture, t he use of hybrid plant species and fertilizer, in particular (2002:213). 6 Trouillot's vital analysis may nonetheless overlook these communal labor aspects of an (admittedly distinct) Dominican banana culture which remain a key, in my view, to answering t he question of the continuing validity of peasant practices for present and future development of agriculture and wider culture on Grenadian rural dwellers' own terms. 7 British capitalism also had its rivals and antecedents. The British emulated Dutch bo okkeeping and other methods, for exa mple (Drayton 2000:59; Wolf 2010 :114 115) 8 9 Online etymological dictionary; in the early 15 th accessed November 27, 2011. 10 Chayanov's notion (1974:60), suggests a process of planning, seed saving, etc., more strongly connected to oikonomia than chrematistics. 11 Common property theory (CPT), area of interdisciplinary study t hat is the province particularly of 2001:2), seeks to identify arrangements by which communities share resources, including land and water, to maximize efficiency and preserve these.


81 12 Williams, who cites studies showing that the decline of paid work in [several] wealthy countries has spurred a rise in the relative rate of subsistence to paid work. He quotes Byrne et al. (Williams 2005:47) saying t obliterates from view the [subsistence] economic activity that engages more people for more hours of the day over more years of their lives than any ot 13 The seizure of land from and loss of power of the Catholic Church helped to spur these developments amid a parallel rise of Protestantism and its emerging alliance with British capital interests. 14 c1/ch26.htm accessed January 30, 2013. 15 Similar laws were enacted after slavery in the Caribbean and southern US; they helped form the basis of the US prison industrial system. A number of southern prisons, including some in Louisiana, are also farms. Florida's Agriculture Department long administered the state's prison system ( accessed November 30, 2012 ); the connections to plant ation labor are evident. Forced labor at low wages forms a significant part of the foundation not just world agriculture but the manufacturing to which it is connected. Of England in the period of monet 47). This is the obverse of the agricultural coin: the workers were expropriated peasant farmers and their progeny. 16 Literary historian Ann Louise Kibbie traces a shift in Protestant theol ogy from an anti usury rhetoric popular in a medieval period that was deeply suspicious of the proliferation of financial methods to Biblical and liturgical emphases compatible with finance and speculation (1995:1023 1034). 17 The idea of primitive accumula tion, according to agricultural economist Michael Perelman, ursprunglich ( m accessed November 27, 2012). 18 or the income that flows from exclusive control of the land. As colonization spread and inferior land was brought under ownership and cultivation, the difference in rent between land of different quality opened up the possibility of an increasing profit, Karl Marx made use of Ricardo's ideas, Mitchell says, to identify the laws of motion in wealth produced from manufacturing. 19 fuels.cfm accessed November 27, 2012. Estimates vary, but including water use, a US state with a strong agriculture sector California consumes 30% of energy used across all sectors accessed November 27, 2012. and society through human labor. and in a wider sense. to describe the complex, dynamic under the new system, writes Foster (2000:158). 20 Transportation has played a critical role in both the development of agriculture and the unevenness of its development, according to Mazoyer and Roudart (2006:355 357, passim ) 21 Even today, according to the US Department of Agriculture, 15% of food origi nates in urban spaces (Miller and Spoolman 2010:234). 22 avoid use of the term creole here, choosing to emphasize the African and Afro Caribbean aspects of


82 West a keyword for processes of dynamic creation, agency, and self making in. global culture, there is a sense in which the theory. was displaced from i ts Caribbean context. In that dislocation it was emptied Three Ancient Colonies (2010:192 195). It is my position that pursuit of a homogenizing equality can, however well intentioned, can tend to obscure the constituent elements of practices of injustice. As Waters notes, a melting pot vision of multiculturalism can also serve the purposes of corporate globalization, including in its attempts to captur e c onsumers in new markets (2001 :166). Cecil Gutzmore writes that creole based in a tendency to de 23 Among a list of shared features I compiled are: actual physical settings, with tourist venues often located on former plantation tracts, arrogating the larges t, best tracts of agricultural land; (often) accompanying foreign ownership of touri st enterprises; the role of wea lthy whites in promoting and using such facilities, while people of color recapitulate servant roles on them; pleasure/access to the landscap e denied to locals as before; strong parallels to predatory colonial sexual practices, with poor country women enrolled as prostitutes around tourist venues. 24 activity was creative and quite productive. the process of development through the peasantry had gone somewhat like that which Marx took for peasants generally (James 1996:3). 25 John Maynard Keynes plays a central role in these developments, Mitchell shows (ibid above), preparing accounting measures later widely disseminated as a retreating Britain left India. 26 Although closely linked to in dustrialization, agriculture in this historic scenario was slow to in part because both rich and poor countries protected food prices, using cheap food to protect their agricultural sectors and spur industrialization in others (Good man and Redclift 1991:87 88). 27 earthquake have further undermined Haitian farmers by donating food that they already grew, thus reducing in country production post/2012/02/post quake us food aid hurt haiti farmers accessed November 27, 2012. 28 Devaluation makes exports cheaper, therefore more competitive, thus bringing in more dollars with which to repay loans (Bello 2000:65). 29 Generally, the IMF and banks like the InterAmerican Development Fund finance economic projects internationally. The World Bank prepares the ideological ground and the WTO regulates trad e. introduction to the concerned mainly with longer Department is the primary funding agency for all three and as economist Mark Weisbrot notes final arbiter over their decision making. ("Developing countries that do not meet the IMF's conditions will generally not get credit from the much larger World Bank regional lenders such as the Inter American Development Bank, the G 7 governments st WTO policy (Bello 2010:83). 30 By the late 1990s the term structural adjustment had developed such negative connotations that the World Bank and IMF began a Poverty Reduction Strategy Initiative with poverty reduction as stated goal. The content of such initiatives is nonetheless much like the content of bank authored Structural Adjustment Programs: accessed November 27, 2012.


83 31 See for example ( 1997 ). 32 The WTO, says Bello, is animated by the desire to contain the economic threat posed by an economically independent south and to manage trade rivalries between Northern countries. Bello describes the Uruguay Agreement of 1994 which gives foreign corporate interests the same rights to act in poor country economies as counterparts in those countries (2000:73) campaign of global economic containment of the legitimate asp irations to development on the part of the fa 33 world bank trade/creating poverty w orld banks latest passion.html accessed October 28, 2012 34 gimenez.htm (11/27/2012). In 1960, the UN announced that launched the campaign with a speech from UN headquarters http:/// accessed November 2 7, 2012.


84 CHAPTER 3 : PLAN TATION, PROVISION, PRODUCTION Throughout Afro America cooking and eating were core areas of cultural resistance and persistence, as well as foci of ongoing creativity and dynamism. [S]ubsistence activities. became central not only to the physical well being of these Afro Americans but to their spiritual and moral life as well. Richard Price Subsistence on the Plantation Periphery Peasant development was emancipation in action. Woodville Marshall Notes on Peasant Development Overview This chapter works to identify the practices, cultural patterns, institutions, and events that make up Grenada's FS inheritance, tracing them from the perspective of the Caribbean (Mintz 1989:151) who emerged after e mancipation to form the island's peasant/small farmer class. Th is include s small farming practices; the contribut ions of escaped slaves Maroons who initiat ed their own proce sses of pea santization long before e mancipation ; and the development of provision grounds, which helped to and won enslaved people on the island a measure of freedom before slavery was abolished It also include s institutio ns of mutual aid developed after slavery in Grenada's emerging Free V illage s ettlements, through which a collective culture of subsistence and sharing w as elaborated As the chapter demonstrates, m uch of what Grenada 's s mall farmers accomplished wa s a function of their resistance to the plantation/ estate s. But it wa s also


85 the product of inventive accommodation with its harsh demands. This includes multiple mixed cropping system s that small farmers developed o n provision grounds and in houseyards adapting native and West African agricultural methods to create a new kind of Caribbean farming whose possibilities remain undervalued today. The chapter insists on the importance of distinguishing the achievements of s mall farmers and the Free V illage movement their pursuit of a collective subsistence their many successes from the enduring subjection of Grenadians who remained on the estate s The First Peoples and Early Colonial History There was adequate rainfall and abundant running water, and the soil was volcanic and rich. In the rainy season pumpkin and. yam vines, still grow wild and in profusion. Omowale David Franklyn Grenada, Naipaul, and Ground Provision Grenada, which includes both the island of Grenada and the smaller island dependencies of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, 1 is the second smallest country in the western hemisphere. Southernmost of the East Caribbean Windward Islands lying just 100 miles from Venezuela, the 133 square mile main isl and is dominated by mountain rain forest and dotted with three very deep volcanic crater lakes. With its well drained expanses suitable for mechanized agriculture and prey to erosion and drought (Ferguson 1990:55). Just six percent of the landmass has a slope of under five degrees (ARD 2007;9; Martin 2007:92), one reason why the country has long specialized in fruit and tree crops historically intercropped with subsistence food production Grenada served as a step up through the Caribbean islands from the Amazon for various peoples


86 Kallinago as they called themselves perhaps beginning as early as 4,000 B.C.; the Kallinago reportedly called th e island Camerhogne (Brizan 1998 :3 & 11; Steele 2003:11 & 12). 2 Their way of mounding earth to plant maize and other crops together prevails today. The mounds helped to h old moisture and reduce erosion ( Steele Beverly Steele says, and made rope from wild plants like the agave cactus (2003:20). Foods grown by the Amerindians that are still eaten include plantains, annatto, sweet potatoes, manioc, guava, mammee apples, and pineapples as well as corn, beans, arrowroot, peanuts, peppers, yucca, and squash. They devised baskets to catch the tiny local fish, still called titiwere in the native tongue b y Grenadians, and trained birds to help them locate fish at sea. Among many sophisticated methods of food preparation, t hey stewed foods with tamaulin, a sauce made of lemon juice, manioc, fish bones, r ed pepper and crabmeat, and casereep a bitter cassava extract, that preserves and flavors meat a practice that persists today (Steele 2003:20 23; Brizan 1983:13 14). Columbus and his crew members sighted Grenada on his third, 1498, voyage but 100 years passed before a group of London merchants attempted to s ettle there the Kallinago drove them off (Douglas 2003:1). It was not until the mid seventeenth century that the French established a long term European presence on the island, which they called La Grenade (Carew 1985:91; Steele 2003:34). Although the Fren ch intention from the beginning was to foster plantation colonialism, and although the Dutch were by then establishing sugarcane on other islands (Wolf 2010:151), the earliest methods and social organization of the new settlers w ere patterned on French pea sant farming (Brizan 1998:33).


87 Through what Brierley labels an openly genocidal policy (1974:5), the French killed or drove most of the Kallinago from Grenada. Half a century later in 1700 there remained just a few Carib lodges on the island their inhab itants tolerated, writes Brizan and quicou [Carib beer] provid (1998:30). T he French also learned how to catch, grow, a nd prepare various foods from the Indians and adopted a number of food practices from them, some of which would be absorbed by the enslaved African proto peasantry and emancipated peasantry. According to Brizan a small and medium white farmer class persist ed through the slavery period (1998:88). In 1699 the island's tiny population numbered 257 whites, 53 tates and 52 indigo The Plantation System and the Imperial Matrix By the mid of 168). 3 Sugar had a 100 year reign in Grenada, and the slave Brizan 1998:94; Grenada Handbook 1946:103). The Caribbean admirably fitted to the mass production of food staples for the exploding urban consumer markets of Western Europe. Plantation business was, from the outset, big busines Mintz 1989: 304). By 1763 Grenada had 82 sugar estates and had imported 12,000 slaves. Under the British, who came to control the island in that year as part of


88 the treaty that ended the Seven Years' War, the number of slaves continued to rise until th e trade was abolished in 1807. 4 By 1824, a decade before e mancipation, 124 estates many quite small by the standards of places like Haiti or Jamaica were producing sugar (Martin 2007:240). Despite sugar's dominance, export crops remained relatively diver se in colonial Grenada in comparison to many Caribbean islands (Brizan 1998:94; Steele 2003:61 62). Beginning in the eighteenth century larger scale cocoa and coffee production were introduced, along with cotton ; d uring the second half of the eighteenth ce ntury Grenada became a major coffee producer, with 82% of coffee exported to England from the West Indies in 1763 coming from the island (Brizan 1998:43). This relative diversity, as we will see, tended to bear positively on the peasant tradition that Gren ada developed as planters and enslaved alike adapted already rich inherited Indian and African patterns of food intercropping to production of plantation crops. 5 Brierley believes it was the transformation of sugar estates into less labor intensive cocoa a nd nutmeg orchard production that over time helped to 8). When the sugar economy began to slide in the late eighteenth cent ury, threatening more specialized plantations in Jamaica, Antigua, and St. Kitts with ruin, the Grenadian planter clas Still, the dominant economic principle in Grenada as thro ughout the re gion would remain production for export. Under rules colonies squarely focused on wealth production for Europe, Grenada was to be kept


89 restriction that remained when the British took over the island from the French ( Brizan 1998:28 29; Mintz 1989:304). Such polic ies created tension between the home cou ntries and estate interests especially as time passed, with Grenadian plan ters en slave d workers themselves, encouraged by planters, would begin to develop products to meet the island's basic food and other needs, and it is reasonable to deduce that this tension helped to fuel the growth of slave production for island markets and with it to provide a growing degree of freedom for some of the enslaved as it expanded fr om provision grounds in the middle of the eighteenth century. 6 The colonies produced great wealth for the European powers, as Guyana's Walter Rodney, Trinidad's Eric Williams, and Grenada's George Brizan have documented. Jan Carew says flatly, following Trinidadian historian (1985 :91). It also helped to create a new economy, based on speculation and profit. H renzy in the early capitalist states of Europe for gold, for slaves, for products of the soil, to pay the bondholders and stockholders of the expeditions, to finance the monarchical bureaucracies rising in Western Europe, to spur the growth of the new mone By the end of the 1770s, tiny Grenada was the fourth largest sugar exporter to Britain after Jamaica, Antigua, and St. Kitts. Ninety percent of its population were slaves (Brizan 1998:42). The cost to the English peasantry of this tra nsition to industrial capitalism was discussed in Chapter 2 The cost on both sides of the Atlantic to the millions


90 kidnapped enslaved and carried to the Caribbean would be difficult to exaggerate. rigidly regimented life of almost unrelent (Jacobs n.d:10) in the Brizan 1993:84), the plantation. P hysical discipline was routine, often murderous. 7 Quobna Cugoano, brought to G renada as a slave from Ajumako, now Ghana, at age 13, spent a year with a g ang on a Grenada slave estate cut to pieces, for the most trifling faults; this made me often tremble and weep. Thanks renada (1787 n.p.). But as historians have increasingly recognized, the enslaved Africans were not ideology of anti slavery was evident almost from the start obs (n.d., 20). Their r esistance included everything from malingering to deliberate destruction of animals and property. 8 The Abb Raynal, an anti slavery cleric who compiled an unflinching chronicle of European colonization of the Caribbean, wrote that es tate owners lived in fear of burning and massacre (Steele 2003:72). 9 During the transition from French to British rule that followed the 1763 Treaty of Paris, Andrew and St. John, escaped to the hills with guns, foo d, seed, tools, agricultural B y the 1790s, several established Maroon peasant communities could be found in Grenada, in St. Andrew and St. John as well as St. David parish (Brizan 1998:99) 10 The Maroons influenced the agricultural and other customs of the emerging proto intruder and potential ally ( including, at least sometimes, the head s of European


91 soldiers on pikes) they sugges ted a sy stematic alternative to slavery in Cuba, the DR, Haiti, and Jamaica, as well as in St. Vincent, Dominica, and Surinam across the Atlantic coast of the Americas and throughout the Caribbean (Price 1996: passim ). manioc, yams, sweet potatoes, and other root crops, bananas and plantains, dry rice, maize, groun dnuts, squash, beans, chile su garcane, assorted. vegetables, and tobacco and cotton. These seem to have been planted in a similar pattern of These observations suggest a greater role for maroon communities in the establishment of Caribbean peasant agriculture than is generally recognized many of which might be accounted part of the Caribbean's wider FS tradition 11 Provision Powerful notions of food security and food independence lie at the core of Grenada's popu lar history and culture indeed, of Grenadian notions of what freedom means. Central to these is the growing of provision which offered a basic level of food security to people on the estates and through much of the region during slavery. Evidence sugg ests that enslaved people in the Caribbean often went hungry, at least those who worked in the fields Sheridan concludes that Barbadian slaves received an average of just 500 calories a day (Tobin 2005:60). But i n Grenada a nd some other parts of the Caribb ean beginning in the middle of the eighteenth century slaves were allowed later encouraged to keep agricultural plots or provision grounds for their families 12 which enabled them to eat a healthier diet than was possible solely on imported staples like saltfish.


92 Grenada, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Tobago, and Jamaica as well as the nearby French colony of Martinique (Marshall 2003:470; Beckles and Shepherd 2004 :155) c ame to be imported plantation provided food account cultivation of provision grounds, supplemented by weekly allowances of salt provisions mackerel, enslaved peoples' own efforts in the little time afforded them for such gardens they achieved in substantial degree in the eighteenth century what some argue i t is impossible to do today feeding the population on islands where they toiled. When possible, p roduction also took place around slaves' houses The allocation of provision grounds was being regulated by local or dinances in Grenada as early as 1766. Although estate owners had misgivings about the practice it saved them money, made slaves healthier, and offered food security, between 1 French revolutions interrupted colonial trade (Marshall 2003:471). 13 Grenada's topography influential in the shaping of so much of island agricultural history, contributed to the establi shment of the provision grounds T here were numerous grown in volume which lent themselves to provision growing. In nearby Barbados, in contrast, most of the island' s largely flat surface was pressed into service for cane, little or nothing allocated to provision. Before slavery's end islands like Barbados were left


93 vulnerable by lack of such a system. 14 W hen the British prevented American ships laden with corn meal an d herring from delivering these during the American Revolution as many as 15,000 of the Caribbean enslaved starved to death (Tobin 2005:59). M ountain grounds in Grenada sometimes lay as far as ten miles from enslaved peoples' estate land dwellings accor ding to Marshall (2003:473). He notes that the distances probably meant that healthier slaves or slaves with families (and more available hands for labor) were better able to take advantage of possibilities they Caribbean people to gain a living. 15 Coming and going over these distances offered opportunities to build relationships and foment resistance as well as to form the productive connections that an emerging internal economy would depend on. Houseyards When possible, enslaved people's self p rovisioning also included gardeni ng in house or houseyard spots (sometimes called that were traditionally the province of women, to which less scholarly attention has been paid than provision grounds. Brierley, the only researcher who has written about proven facet of beliefs and practices of farmers, the basis of the local diet, and their role in the evolution of small farms Although they had t here was which to gain an appreciation of C With provision grounds houseyards form ed


94 and remained, Grenadian researcher John Angus Martin could write in 2007 much 16 A t the time of Brierley's writing houseyards held a more diverse array of edible plants than farm families' sustenance required by members of the farmers' not confined to subsistence consumption but could serve as an incubator for young plants, place for experiment with new plants, or place to protect valuable plants that might be stolen (Brierley 1993:15 principal training grounds where children acquire knowledge and skills pertaining to the cultivating of vegetables and A number of farmers told me that they had learned about farming initially from their mothers or female family members in houseyard gardens, often a source of happy memo ries. holdings, they often retain only their [houseyard] garden which provides. their Brierley continue d (1993:16). Thus began a dual pattern also fou nd in Jamaica (Besson 2002:196) of houseyard and provision ground production, that helped to create, with diverse exceptions, some of the loosely gendered labor patterns that persisted after slavery. 17 In part because of land scarcity, highly proficient use of even tiny amounts of land and a high rate of agrodiversity would come to characterize such production and Caribbean sma ll farming in general (Hills 198 8:1, 21, passim; Brierley 1991:18).


95 S. H. Olivier, who traces several Jamaican agricultural practices to antecedents in African multiple mixed cropping, 18 chosen and well handled plot the quantity of food produced is astonishing and the yield Hills 198 8:1). The Prov ision Ground System, Its Constituents and Uses Provision you always have. William Abraham Sylvester Farmer, Mt. Rose, St. Patrick's parish The enslaved people's achievement in gaining and expanding the possibilities in houseyard and provision ground cannot obscure the hardship in which they struggled. Brizan says that they worked from 14 to18 hours a day on the estates and were legally 1998:92). The amount of land that individual slaves managed to cultivate was probably no more than a quarter acre and the threat of theft limited what they grew (Marshall 2003:274). Trouillot qualifies our sense of the provision ground achievement by noti lantations themselves (1988:18); they helped to make ongoing primitive accumulation by the planter class possible But the amount of time allotted for provision ground work, won through open agitation as well as hard labor, continued to grow. In the 1820s slaves' demands coupled with abolitionist pressure forced an increase in the days allotted annually for provision ground cultivation to between 26 and 35 (Marshall 2003:475). Beth Fowkes Tobin, who writes about women and material culture, notes that some slaves developed customary rights to their provision grounds and continued to


96 farm them after slavery ended (2005:60). I did not meet anyone, 178 years later, who claimed to farm lands held by their own slave ancestors in Grenada But Grenadians today share in this legacy when they farm mountain land first opened by the enslaved. This was the culture and emerging agrarian technologies of the alternative to slavery, the birth o European, and Oceanic origin, making these the basis for emerging new agriculture(s) in the Caribbean (Besson 2002:197). After e mancipation, the pop ulations of countries with well established provision grounds are said to have fared better E conomist Arthur Lewis contrast ed and Montserrat with poverty in Barbados and other islands dominated by plantation sugar, whose economies suffered strong post emancipation depressions (Barrow 1998:43). In retrospect, there is a simple message about dependence and the ability of any coun try to produce its own food to be drawn from the provision grounds. The principle staples of the provision ground system across the region, Marshall says, were root crops or ground provision yams, eddoes, sweet potato, and cassava, the latter (as noted) part of the Amerindian inheritance as well as tree crops: plantain, (Marshall 2003:475). Provision, a term with a long history in English, French, and Spanish, 19 generally means basic stocks or sup plies. But in Grenada as in many places in the Caribbean, provision became something specific a group of foods and way of eating them that continue to form the soul of island cuisine, a central constituent of many Grenadian diets. T oday t he


97 Grenada Food a nd Nutrition Council (GFNC) promotes the eating of provision along with leafy vegetables instead of imported foods as part of a healthy diet. 20 For my River Sallee host Bernadette Roberts, provision mean t like a piece a' yam, bloggo Boiled today with 'salt' (salted) pork, saltfish, herring (sometimes scallion) until they obtain a starchy amalgam that Grenadians and this writer find pleasing they likely come very close to bei ng eaten they way that they were 200 years ago The added coconut milk, spices the flour dumpling you might throw in, which extends the meal are thought of as provision, too. Part of their appeal lay in the fact that ground provisions could be stored, inc luding left in the soil. 21 In the absence of refrigeration ( 10% of Grenadians still lack ed electricity in 2009 [Kairi:xvi]) they were foods that kept providing a quintessential kind of food security, sustaining people during hard times, bad weather, even b ad crop years Traditionally, provision was also food laid up, or laid by Here the comforting notion of providing, of advance preparation across agricultural seasons and perils of weather and personal struggle became part of the constellation of meanings, consonant with FS ideas, that the term carrie d Provision is a subsistence institution, what the slave and emerging peasantry produced for themselves. 22 There is a shared tradition of such foods and dishes uniting the Caribbean that might be used to unify and inspire regional FS advocates in LVC Caribe and it is not hard to see how provision and a right to provide might go hand in hand with a fundamental assertion of FS and a right to subsistence in Grenada today


98 potatoes and cassava. were the staple of the Kalinago. .Ciboni, and Taino indigenes. Then there was the yam, which was the staple of some of the West Africans who were brough t to the Caribbean as captives and enslaved on the plantations. There were dasheen, tannia, and eddoes, all tubers. The breadfruit plant 23 was imported from. the Pacific and shares a history with many of the peoples of the Caribbean as having been t ransplanted on the islands. The breadfruit plant was brought national dish (Franklyn 2007:70). 24 T here is ambivalence among West Indians about foods from the slaving past j ust as there is about agricultural labor, so much that Grenadians sometimes call it (Franklyn 2007:67). But Martin offers a sense that it is a kind of food that Grenadian pride has redeemed: eem, consumed by peasants and poor urban residents. They can, however, be found on P rovision was a feature of every big or celebratory meal I ate in Grenada and in many meals I had with farmers and friends. The provision grounds not only assured food security they also gave rise to a regional cuisine. Many regional dishes prized today were pioneered by enslaved cooks over their own fires, or devised for the tables of estate owners, their families, and their guests. Domestic Manners and Social Conditions of the White, Coloured, and Negro Population of the West Indies (1833), by the wife of a planter (Mrs. A.C. Carmichael), sought to attract British audiences by claiming insider knowledge o f delicious slave


99 cook ing in St. Vincent and Trinidad. I pigeon pea, plantain, West Indian peppers, pig, chicken, goat, yam, beans, peppers, espite complaints by officials about the negative influence of imported foods on Grenada (see Chapter 6 ) all of the items on Carmichael's list are still eaten two centuries later T he list would provide a reasonable starting point if you asked people what they eat right across the region. It goes some way to demonstrating that there is a core Caribbean cuisine for LVC and FS advocates to organize around, investigate, and share knowledge and practices of a productive basis for a regional FS future. Developin g An Internal Marketing System European observers ranged between amazement at slaves' gardens and a tendency to discount their accomplishment. There was a contradiction, Tobin notes, between visitors' claims that the food grew itself in the rich Caribbean soil and the unceasing labor required to grow plantation crops. Owners meanwhile worried over the labor expended in provision grounds and not on their own crops, about the loss of potential income from products that slaves began to sell them (Tobin 2005:62), which clashed with dogma about the en slave d people s inability slaves worked assiduously at cultivation. and soon supplied all of Grenada with fresh vegetables, fruit and ground provisions. They peddled these from door to door, but also sold produce in market s that quickly grew up in the. 2003:100). Feeding themselves and plantation owners, too, slaves began to develop the internal economies of emerging island societies, including patterns of marketing,

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100 communication, and urban and social development as they moved between their own quarte rs, market, and field (Marshall 1993 and 2003; Hall 2000; Beckles 2000; and Tomich 2000). Mintz and Douglas Hall say that the development of such marketing was closely connected to the development of the peasantry itself in Jamaica (2000:758), and descript ions of the work performed and products sold make clear this was the case in Grenada, too. Though prone to exoticize them, eighteenth and nineteenth century diarists and travelers noted the lively profusion of the Sunday slave markets Sunday being the one day of the week, on many islands, when slaves coul d gather and sell their goods. The markets were the cooking pot of a distinctive new culture, where the creolized West Indians first saw themselves reflected, and heard and felt others give voice to experie nces like their own. Laws covering what could be sold appeared early in the life of the plantations in both the Windward Islands and Jamaica (Marshall 2003:476). Manufactured goods like soap and candles, cakes and drinks as well as preserves came to be fo und in the markets with baked and prepared foods (Beckles 2000:734 735). In creat ing and processing such goods, slave vendors refined new skills and production methods that would be employed when slavery ended. As they became more ambitious, tensions aros e between them and local merchants hindered in growth of their own trade by the same imperial monopolies that the vendor s now undermined with their efforts. sell and and charcoal as well as animal feed in those places, with planters depending on them

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101 Women emer monopoly, one that (in Grenada) persists today. In this gendered activity, the slaves len t practice of the Gold Coast of Africa, historian N.A.T. Hall writes, suggest social development and advancement of the enslaved people who t ook part. Writing of Martinique' s market vendors, historian Dale Tomich notes that their initiatives writes McDonald; chose how and when to spend the earnings they accumulated, assessed how to apportion their free time, and weighed the advisability of this or that The provision grounds, slave markets, and new patterns of social relations n ot only afforded the slaves certain rights, privile ges, and material goods before e mancipation, they helped to provide at least some of them greater freedom in its aftermath. Discussing St. Vincent's provision grounds, anthropologist Virginia Heyer Young a to the Afro Caribbeans the freedom to refuse plantation work in the post emancipation Tobin sa that existed independent of and eventually in opposition to in Young 1993:71 says nd has

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102 come to be understood as. the seed corn from which post emancipation freedom The Role of Provisioning i n Fdon's Revolution Provision played a key role in what was perhaps the most important event that Grenada witnessed before the end of slavery, the 1795 rebellion against the English led by mixed Steele insists that the uprising, traditional months, sup planting the plantation system with one of various freedoms (Steele 2003:115). 25 Ga may, an enslaved woman, and a Maro on leader, Seka, helped plan the uprising and served as military leaders A ccording to Grenada historian Nicole Phillip and taking part 26 Together, the allies planned the burning of installations like cane refineries that held the most odious connections to slavery (Carew 1985:119). 27 Grenada's was therefore not just a bourgeois revolution b ut carried out in partnership between Fdon's bi racial middle class, the island's 12,000 slaves and the communities of the (the with slavery (Carew 1985:91). 28 The allies were joined by mutineer English soldi ers and sailors 29 and the plantations en masse to fight with Fdon and his troops, who occup ied the island for fifteen months. Provision s and provisioning lay at the heart of early success.

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103 his camp on Mt. Qua Qua, at 2,500 fe et (Franklyn 2007:71). A doctor who survived a massacre that Fdon carried out against 48 captured members of the British in the rebels. planted for the express purpose of the pre two years before the insurrection began (Jacobs n.d.:3). raids on the plantations to procure food and lessened, as a result, their risk of being recapture could be consumed cooked or uncooked, and provided strong natural cover, offering n .d.: 36). 30 On my first ride over the mountains to Grenada's north shore, GCFA Secretary the story of Fdon's provision grounds. Provisioning in the Grenadian hist orical imagination his account suggested, lies not only at the heart of a process by which independence is produced on a daily basis but of a peo ple's rebellion against slavery. Like Sim n Bo l var still revered across the English speaking Caribbean Fdon is today looked on as a symbol of emancipation Multiple Cropping Systems: Foundation of Provision Growing and Small Farmer Productivity Provision growing brought with it a strong developing tradition of intercropping and polycropping Both methods played a role in the success of provision grounds and growing on the plantations and in the development, to the present, of all three major Grenadian export crops: nutmeg, cocoa and banana. 31 Inter and polycropping, which

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104 involve the combined cultivation of various plants in varying patterns and proximity, not only helped to make for healthier, more bountiful yields but to provide food security to Grenadians. Nowhere were the se practices more developed than in Grenada's houseyards (Brierley 1978:13 19; 1991:16, passim ) After slavery intercropping practices honed and developed through houseyard and provision ground cultivation, became more widespread, the subject of experiment on farmers' plots as well as the plantation's owners interplanted the ir fields of cocoa and nutmeg with breadfruit, planted in swampy parts of the plantations and on the banks of drains 32 and streams. The breadfruit trees, along with immort elles, 33 provided shade for the cocoa trees but may also have employed knowledge brought from West Africa, where the growing of trees with other crops is highly developed (Powers and McSorley 2000:274). A knowledge of the architecture of each plant, the length and reach of their roots and leaf systems, all went into such innovations. Polycropping, a practice closely related to intercropping, involves growing various crops together, often in varying, sometimes staggered, combinations through the year; it can involve practices as simple as interspersing rows of several crops (beans and corn) with one another. Although polycropping might incorporate inter planting, it tends to involve a larger view. As agroecologist Miguel Altieri writes, multiple cropping designs

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105 are adopted to ensure constant food production and vegetation cover for soil protection. By ensuring a regular and varied food supply, a diverse and nutritionally adequate diet is assured. Extended crop harvest reduces the necessity for storage, often hazardous in rainy climates. Polyculture is used strategically to diversify diets, generate income during different parts of the year, plan for or s tabilize production and labor levels, reduce risk a s well as insects and disease, and intensi fy production and returns. (1995 :108) S ey 2000:266), its lack the most fundamental expensive pesticide applications. Multiple cr opping systems. allow diversity that can the entire Caribbean, highlighted both the sophistication of the multiple cropping techniques developed by protopeasan t farmers and their adaptation of new food sources: When Indians gave way to Negro slaves, the latter took over for themselves, rather than for their masters, the cultivation of the Indian crops, and added thereto such African things as the greater yam [di oscorea alata, or purple yam], the pigeon pea. okra, and the keeping of fowls. The food potential of the tradition. is hardly appreciated, because its traditio n as well as content are so different from what we know and practice. Yields are much hig her than from grains, production is continuous year round, storage is hardly needed. (Mintz and Hall 2000 :762) Sauer praised peasant farmers' methods while acknowledging that Western agricultural experts struggled to understand them noting that they produ tubers underground through the understory of pigeon peas and coffee a second story of

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106 use of light, moisture, soil, and even steep terrain, and we l 2000 :762). handled hoe, the mattock, and the bush knife were adjusted to the new conditions. techniques assoc iated with food processing, storage, preservation, and seed selection were :236). By dint of such efforts Mintz enumerates ways that the Afro Caribbean protopeasantry combined familia okra, with native American crops, including corn, sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, and species of Xanthosoma [the family of large leafed plants that includes eddoes and dasheen, or malan ga]; European vegetables, such as cabbage and carrots; and Southeast Asian cultigens, including the breadfruit. Citrus, avocado, mango, coconut palm, papaya, soursop and akee trees were cultivated, to provide cover, fruit, and wood together they illustrate well the intersection of different agricultural and orchard traditions. (1989:236) All of these gained favor in Grenada. A Landless Freedom: Emancipation Planning and Peasant Food Production The colonial and imperial agenda for emancipation was to give e ffect to a landless freedom for the Black community. Beckles and Shepherd Freedoms Won peasantry was not forced to struggle mightily. As e mancipation approached, British planners sought ways to keep property out of the hands of prospecting ex slaves. Economic historian Stanley Engerman notes that British officials studied the ratios of land to labor in the crown colonies and the potential ef fect s of emancipation on production as they plotted to create a proletariat dependent on plantation labor and engineer a profitable

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107 transition fo r the plantations, or at least forestall collapse of the Caribbean plantation economies ( 1996 :306). [P] lans ha tched by abolitionists, and the suggestions that the West India Committee made to the Colonial Office, [were] almost all of a piece: lantation :123). The m easures included harsh vagrancy laws of the kind created in England at the inception of capitalism when the peasantry was forced off the land there, designed to force workers into wage labor (Brizan 1998:119; Marshall peddling, huckstering or hawking without a license were all considered acts of vagrancy punished by one month's hard lab (Brizan 1998:119). Such acts including one that made it possible to evict tenants of up to seven years' standing a concerted attempt to prevent development 34 As in England and the southern US, jails for those who broke the new laws became a structural feature of the economy and plantocra t ic rule (Brizan 1999:120). For the Caribbean's proto d t Thomsen and Mies (1999:17) and Desmarais (2007:47) recognize as necessary to the imposition of capitalism was being waged against the m before slavery ended Planners also considered ways to keep freed slaves bound to plantation and state, including taxin g one contemporary British source said, an approac h 1996 :307). 35

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108 2000:261). As the sol wages at a level just above subsistence. They took advantage of the opportunity to refine operations, reducing work forces by up to 40% (Marshall 1972:1 24). The peasantry that emerged would rem Boom times brought profits to plantations but little benefit to peasants and wage workers; in hard times everyone su ffered. T his pattern has persisted (Girvan 2009: xviii ). The Post Emancipation Peasantry and Free Village Movement Independence. meant freedom from dependence. New villages were founded in the hills and mountains by those who turned their backs on the plantations. They set about cutting and clearing their own spaces, literally and figuratively, in which to plant their ground pr ovision, reassert their humanity. and reassemble their families. They referred to this process, to such production in the service of their own development, as 'making freedom.' EPICA Grenada, The Peaceful Revolution Planners' and estate owners' ef forts notwithstanding, villages began to spring up at the edges of Grenada's estates beginn ing in the second decade after e mancip ation. Their growth was connected with the collapse of sugarcane production by the estates: ed. villages grew up on their environs. By 1866, 1998:135). Estates sold some of the less productive land at their edges, Brizan told me ho worked on them went into peasant farming. That place in many Caribbean countries (most prominently Jamaica).

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109 slaves throughout the region (1968 :255) ; for Grenadians it brought them into direct conflict with the plantation: Th e planter dominated legislatures refused to initiate surveys of Crown Land as a preliminary to smallhold settlement, and they adopted strict either refused to sell surplus and marginal est ate land, or they charged high, even exorbitant prices for small portions. Moreover, the legislatures instituted costly licenses for the sale of small quantities of manufactured sugar and coffee and for the production of charcoal and firewood. They also le vied land taxes which discriminated against the owners of smallholdings (1968 255) Still emancipated slaves acquire d land in growing numbers. In the parish of St. Patrick, where River Sallee is found, 3,303 people were living in villages in 1838, accor ding to the Grenada Blue Book; 36 342 were freeholders (Brizan and Brizan 2005:69). By 1853, fifteen years after full emancipation, some 7,127 persons or 22% of the population were living in Grenada's villages. The villages remained isolated, Brizan writes, administrators made little effort to develop their infrastructure, let alone to provide for local welfare. Many of the people in them still worked on the estates. But it was in the free v plantation territories into modern societies (1968 :260). The Maroon and Other Institutions of Reciprocity slaves pooled their resources to buy land, to lay down : 261) They founded villages and markets; they built churches an d schools; they clamoured for extension of educational facilities [and] for

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110 improvements in : 260). They also made use of cooperative arrangements to meet the labor demands of preparing ground for planting and harvesting. A c entral practice was called a maroon (sometimes maroune), named in Carriacou [Martin 2007:155 ]) have been used t o build, move, or repair houses and to harvest crops ; they are usually crowned with a generous meal. The maroon system ployed by the P RG during the Grenadian revolution for collective work projects I n 1990 a national maroon was called to clear debris after th e Finance Ministry burned down on the Carenage (Frank lyn 1999:37). Naming th e practice for the self liberate d Maroons identifies it as a mode of resistance even as it institutionalizes it. R etaining the name and practice also forms its own commentary on the plantation economic system that replaced slavery down to today 37 Food was and remains central to the maroon including the drinking of rum that 38 and salt food than can be I f the meals were meagerly estimated or maroon labor, including this fragment about the break up of a n enslaved family, in which the father was sol d to Trinidad, the mother to Haiti: Weep for me, Lide, weep, Maiwaz. Sunday next, the schooner sails for Haiti.

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111 Whoever loves me, console my children for me. EPICA 1982:15 Sociologist Claude Douglas connects the Grenadian maroon with collaborativ e work practices like Haiti's coumbite, all of which have African antecedents (2003:30) 39 As threatened but surviving practices involving reciprocity rather than exploitation, maroons are an initial egalitarian rife. They almost undoubtedly helped to prevent or slow the development of class differences among Grenadians in the period after slavery, and continue (in limited degree) to serve such a function a fact that could be brought to bear in more conscious fashion by Grenada's government in pursuit of FS. In addition to maroons many other social practices in an emerging society where little currency circulated, became h allmarks of free village life as early as early as 1836 social institutions in which women performed prominent roles. The 1932 and 1933 Grenada Blue Book listed 45 such societies, including one in River Sallee, with several others nearby (Brizan and Briza n 2005:78 Possibly of Yoruba origin, Susu are revolving saving s clubs in which participants regularly deposit money one person holding it as it accumulates usually toward a specific purchase or investment, members withdrawing the accumulated savings money when their turn

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112 arises. 40 Susu remains popular in Grenada and elsewhere in the Caribbean, where such informal credit associations are also 41 the ca sh dependent nature of th But partnering can also make for carefully reasoned purchases carried out with the help of the community and may signal the uneven development of capitalism its incomplete reach into the rural sector as muc h as dependency Perhaps most importantly, such savings institutions, whose establishment constitute d another strong movement in Grenada, made it possible for Grenadians and and. he continues, up to 200 British pounds per acre ore often than not it was marginal land which was barely accessible, not surveyed and even unclea red (1968:256). Despite such disincentives, i n Grenada, the number of smallholders rose from roughly 3 ,600 in 18 69 to 8,000 in 1911 (Marshall 1968 : 257 ). These rural institutions, most still in existence were part of a wider system of social solidarity a nd sharing that typified life for the post emancipation peasantry, whose erosion many people I spoke to lamented but which has not been erased what might be called a culture of collective subsistence whose revival and further institutionalization could be foundational to establishment of FS in Grenada today Distinguishing Features of Caribbean and Grenadian Peasantr ies Several features of Caribbean peasant/small farming development distinguish it from such traditions in other p arts of the world. T he stron gest of these was the continuing relationship to the plantations/estates and the economic activities that this

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113 forced Caribbe an farmers and their families to adopt As Marshall writes, the peasantry could not exclusively on cultivation of the soil for its income and subsistence. Early [Caribbean] peasants, and many of the later ones as well, often combined cultivation with activities like fishing, or shopkeeping, and casual estat (1968:253 ). Grenadians, like other Caribbean farmers, were pushed toward a high degree of (Besson 2002: passim) from the outset, turning their hands to such possibilities as they spotted them or as new conditions arose. But there is evidence that Grenadians were able to combine such paid work activities and farming with considerable success. In the late 1890s one source wrote that Grenadians (in comparison to those on other form a stable and satisfactory class ( Richardson 1997:192). At least during the late par t of the nineteenth century, according to Bonham Grenada's prosperous small holders and the impoverished plantation labourers of the nearby sugar islands was often remarked upon; most, not all colonial authorities ass ociated self sufficient peasant virtues with Grenada's small (1997:47). Richardson writes that Grenada's relatively low death rate in comparison to an Among produc ts developed for export were arrowroot, cotton, spices, cocoa, citrus, bananas, and logwood all products also used internally according to Marshall d spices in Grenada were regarded as peasant crops from the 1850s (19 6 8 : 257).

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114 While the number of smallholders began to decline in other parts of the Cari bbean from the 1930s ( a period of rising organized labor activity that accompa nied industrialization in places like Jamaica) it grew in Grenada and the Windward Islands. noted 42 communities than any of the other i :2 60 ). He attributes ongoing growt h of the dominance over the economy and. landscape varied export production, and small number of large tracts a ll prove likely keys to such developments Another is that little industrialization took place in Grenada and the other Windward islands, alternative economic development in these islands to compete with agriculture. The pe asantry has thus been able to sustain a competition with the plantation for land and (Marshall 1968 :259 ). The absence of such economic development, Marshall s peculates, helped to root small island economies like in subsistence production and may have in turn stemmed a greater push produced food might have canceled out the advantages of large scale production for export markets by introducing impo rtant el ements of self :259 ) From a contemporary FS standpoint in which imported food dependence is perceived as an impediment to basic needs development Marshall's comment raises the possibility that what have often been seen as the liabilities of an economy like Grenada's could come to stand as its strengths.

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115 Land Sales Despite the lack of historical aid by the Crown authorities to the establishment of Grenada's peasant/small farmer culture the island saw a limit ed distribution of land to poor rural dwellers at the turn of the nineteenth century. The 1897 report of the Royal West India Commission, in the face of an imminent collapse of the sugar economy of many West Indian colonies flying in the face of the histor planter class to thwart them noted that peasant cultivators were they needed land (Marshall 1968:26 2). The commission, which visited all of Bri tain's West Indian colonies, recommended land reform. There was no change permanent welfare in the future of the West Indies as. settlement of the labouring population on the land as small pe shall 1968 :26 2). As it happened, Grenada was the only colony to follow through if but partially on the recommendations not with anything approaching comprehensive reform but a series of land sales at low prices to peasant farmers A 1901 law, based in a decision by Grenada's governor to authorize use of Grenada Treasury funds for the purpose, enabled the colonial government to purchase and divide abandoned estates, making land available to peasant farmers, to be paid for in small installments. The projec t began 244 lots and 51 building sites were made available from two estates. Much productive activity on the plots went into limes and coconuts for export, which helped to replace a failing cotton industry 43 (2003:238 239).

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116 Although Steele does not qualify the characterization, she also says that the scheme was succes sful on the island of Grenada, if not in the degree described for Carriacou. Portions of the Calivigny and Westerhall Estates, prime cane land on the island's southern shore, were purchased and made available, along with Crown lands at Morne Rouge and True Blue. A dditional land was purchased to accommodate laborers returning from work on the Panama Canal in 1914 and 1915 (Steele 2003:238 239). 44 By 1940, 20 settlements had been created (2003:292 to a significant expansion of th Brizan structures that accompany land reform credit facilities, subsidy schemes, marketing operations, economic and social infrastructure were set up T he estate system nificant change in the system of land tenure or. One critical deal of farming continued to take place on vacant or squatted land T his tended to be land devoted to food consumption In the degree that tenure of growers was insecure, local food production also remained vulnerable This pattern continues to the present. The 1946 Grenada Handbook gives an idea of the patterns of growing elab orated since the end of slavery, and suggests the precarious basis on which production for local consumption t ook place: With the decline of sugar, most of the estates had taken up cultivation of cocoa and later also nutmegs. The emancipated African also took readily to these crops: a quantity of vacant land in the interior could be bought, rented y readily and offered. an independent existence and reasonable profits. The interior of the island to day is almost entirely covered with cacao and nutmeg. and represents a well wo oded appearance. Dry lands round the coasts in the rest of the i sland are

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117 cultivated mainly in peasant gardens on the shifting principle (1946:103 my emphasis ). Obtain ing a secure continuing basis for local production to meet the core food needs of Grenadians remain s an unmet goal today, and would need to be a strong ly articulated demand of any campaign for FS Here lies the core of a contradiction regarding peasant society and its limited success in Grenada : there was too much land to prevent formerly enslaved people from making productive use of it, but legal and s tate/colonial power and regulations coupled with the hold of the estates and limited aid from government prevented them from seizing fully any means of their own reproduction or furtherance as a class. To too great a degree such limitations have been con strued as their failure, the limitations imposed by the plantation confused with the limit ations of small farmers or their practices. The Role s of Race and Color in Local Food Production One feature of evolving post slavery life worth noting: there were very few white people in Grenada probably no more in 1891, Richardson says, than 250 or 300. Grenadia P owerful parish boards were not explain how mixed production, as Brierley writes was the case (1974:176, 207). But it does suggest as did quiet remarks to me by some farmers that the insistence that race and skin color were not issue s in Grenada is something of a fiction I note th ese distinguishing element s of farme r stratification because they bear on arguments about who makes up the country's poorest farmers as well as its rural landless population and attitudes

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118 about the kind of production they have traditionally been involved in on. As a more Grenadians' ties to wealth and social networks would have afforded them gr eater access to export markets, and the capital outlays required to enter them dating to the days of French mixed race planters and their progeny on the island Race or color per se are less the issue than the fact that a certain kind of farming, the kind of local food production historically associated with poorer farmers as Brierley described them in 1974 i ncluding sugar cane farmers on the north and south shores has both suffered from greater insecurity of tenure and received less attention from Grenada's govern ing pre and post independence bodies 45 Such neglect farmers continues now as a matter of policy, at least since Hurricane Ivan, though it is rarely identified as such or even pointed to as a problem A Peasantry Frustrated While it is this project's purpose to uncover the achievements of emerging peasant farmers and to highlight their potential contribution to FS in Grenada, it is critical to acknowledge the crippling conditions that th ey faced, and how those conditions persisted Slavery was abolished in 1834, observe s economic foundations of slavery, especially in the general picture of land ownership, well into the twentieth slavery the vast masses labouring in poverty on the property of the minority remained stamped in West :82). emancipation days, not only in Grenada, but in Jamaica, Guyana, Antigua and Barbados, planters O ne hundred years later ying the self sa 8:256). According to Theo Hills,

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119 well into the present [ twentieth Brizan offers striking examples of the neglect of a vulnerable p easantry by the British island administration, planters, and colonial office. 46 For 100 years after slavery, he note s the daily pay o n Grenadian estates averaged one shilling. 47 133). 48 A 1934 co mmission appointed to investigate conditio ns among the working poor decri ed the state of peasant housing and found many emaciated from hookworm, venereal disease and C hildren ed 2003:291). According to Brizan, it was common to find as many as fifteen people. in a two Among the biggest sources of bitterness fo r some sectors of the Grenadian peasantry were share cropping arrangements that ke pt them tied to the estates. After e mancipation, many who could not afford to purchase or rent land remained in arrangements where they cultivated provision grounds as well a s estate crops fo r a small wage while living rent free. Thirty three percent of the formerly enslaved were doing this in 1844 (Steele 2003:175). In 1848 the metayer shar ecropping system was introduced as the situation o n sugar estates grew worse. Under it estates provided workers with sought after land to work and various inputs sometimes including manures and plants ; workers often built houses on the lands ( Beckles and Shepherd 2006:29; Brizan 1998:139) Those employed under the system obtained no securit y of tenure, and the planters retained their lands and control of the product By 1854 all of

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120 the island's coffee and cocoa estates were being managed under this system (Steele i te s rarely productivity and was still bringing accusations of cheating from workers in the 1930s, when the Great D epression forced more farmers to return to the estates (Steele 2003: 2 93 294) One of the features of the system that most embittered farmers, still remembered by middle aged people I spoke to in Grenada was being moved off of estate lands when the cocoa or nutmeg they planted had matured. 49 William Sylvester, a south shor e farmer, lived on a St. Patrick estate as a young man and experienced this with his th ings told me Merle Collins' novel Angel draws on this collective experience to capture the severe alienation that th e system visited on rural dwellers and how rural workers repeatedly ha day. Bon Je 50 always startin', always in the beginning (1998:10 1 1). Con clusion By 1950, Grenada had reached PRG member thirds of the richest eight clos had ruled the country for most of the previous century, coming to share power with merchants in St. George's (EPICA 1982:25) The wealth and holdings of the two groups

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121 contrasted sharply with that of 20,000 peasant farmers with holdings under five acres (Brizan 1998:250 252) or t he remainder of the adult population that still toiled on the estates, earning an average of 82 cents a day ( Steele 2003:293). 51 become the most dynamic social force yet they remained a social underc lass, deprived of political or combined (Brierley 1988:67). A lthough they were uniquely successful, to too great a But if there is value in peasant approaches to small farming as LVC and agroecologists today insist i f small farmers are best able to take advantage of small holdings, local soils, and difficult conditions growing food where the poor and hungry people are then a more nuanced reckoning with the achievement of Grenada's peasant farm ers l variety of subsistence food and livestock they introduced new crops and/or re All of their effor attacks of disease on crops like cocoa and bananas was. severely limited by thei r (1 968: 261 ). But the peasants, Marshall says flatly, : 261,

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122 260) Girvan captures th e contradiction a nd its enduring character when he writes that here was the peasantry but that neglect of this sector the principal reason for the absenc toward something approaching island or regional economic independence The legacy and gov d to hold back development (2009:xx ). Grenada remained little touched by the labor ferment that roiled the Caribbean in the 1 930s and 1940s in Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad, and elsewhere (Cox 2007:30; Benoit 2007:98). Scholars offer different opinions about why this was the case. Brian Meeks insists that a deep paternalism prevailed in Grenada H e says that there was little state structur e and therefore no middle class who would have occupied that structure to demand or foment change Meeks also suggests without providing statistical evidence that through metayage much of the peasantry had been tied back to the plantation (2001:134). Grenada had experienced little or no industrialization, which helps to account for Meeks's observation that Grenada had not become, like some colonies, ) a way of life based in consumption that colonial planners themselves had hoped to instill, which might have aroused rising expectations in the poor population and ge nerated greater demands for change. Currents of militant thought about labor organization had not impacted the country. But it is also likely th at th e lack of unrest in the 1930s was a function of the peasantry success its more extensive cons olidation in Grenada And it is possible that the looks less like failure if we stop looking on the

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123 peasant class as benighted or its aspirations and material culture as intermediary steps on some necessary road away (to modernity, for example), i nstead of as worthy ends in themselves. Meeks does not contend with the fact that by 1930 there were 16,000 and by 1949 just under 20,000 peasant landholders in Grenada, among the largest number proportionally in the Caribbean (Brizan 1998:250 252). Grenadian sociologist Oliver Benoit sees the relative numerical and cultural strength of the peasantry as a reason why Grenada did not erupt. But he also discerns a critical faultline among class forces in the countryside when he notes that the peasa [,]. had little interest in associating with the estate workers. This isolated the workers and weakened solidarity persists C hapter 5 examines t he continuing evolution of these forces in the period leading to independence, from the late 1940s through the 1983 US invasion. 1 Carriacou, at 34 square kilometers, has about 4,500 inhabitants, and is subject even more than the main island to drought; traditional crops are cotton and peanuts. Petite Martinique, 2.4 kilometers square with 900 people, supports a fishing com munity and it is said smuggling. 2 New research is altering understanding of the names and origins of these groups. The people held to be Grenada's first people, may not have lived on the island (Steele 2003:11). 3 (2003:83). As sugar prices fell the substance powerfully impacted what English working people ate (2009:63 64). Although tinged with the blood of African slaves in the Caribbean, Mintz says, sugar the mines and fac the pattern for wheat and other commoditized agricultural products 4 estimated that 20 million African people were transported to slavery in the New World (Brizan 1998:93 94). Such numbers demonstrate why an experience specific to the region's Afro Caribbean people must be reckoned as primary shaper of regional small farmer consciousness, material inheritance, and practices, as Beckford argued and Mintz affirms (1989:225), and as focus of political organizing by LVC.

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124 5 Cocoa was introduced in Grenada as early as the late 1600s, cultivated as a trade item by the 2007:53). It received a boost as export after 1828 when a Du tch manufacturer invented a method to squeeze the fat from the beans, becoming for a time a mainstay of many Caribbean islands with volcanic rainforests (Parkinson 1999:344). By the 1860s, with the collapse of sugar, cocoa had become Grenada's primary expo rt crop. Expansion was facilitated through use of the metayer system (see later this chapter), low production costs, and the willingness of small farmers to embrace it as crop (Martin 2007:53), undoubtedly boosted by cocoa's intercropping possibilities. In 1900 sugar was not even included on a list of Grenada's exports (Brierley 1974:12, 8). 6 the southern Caribbean (Brizan Grenada and Trin idad in wooden. schooners, trading. ground provision and fresh fruits in exchange 2007:73). Such trade bears continuing promise for expanded markets for Grenada's small farmers and as potential boost to Carriacouan ship building. 7 n years of work from an enslaved the Leeward and Windward Islands (Thomas 2005:169). 8 Citing what may be the earliest recorded instances of marronage (r unaway slave activity), Martin describes an escaped slave named Petit archives, notes a Maroon u prising, perhaps that of Petit Jean, in Grenada in 1725 (Price 1996:110). In 1767 another slave revolt broke out there. 9 1837 across the period of Caribbean slaver (2004:167 169). 10 According to Brizan, then Governor Robert Melville offered the Maroons amnesty in 1765 but was turned down (1998:100 101). Not much is known about the former lives of Africans enslaved in the from farming and animal ke eping (not pastoral, and not solely hunting) societies. or were war captives. (2010:196 197). 11 named of okra, four of maize, four of sugarcane, six of watermelon, 15 of tannia, and 20 of cassava to relay only a partial list (Price 1991:109 111). In 2010 Tinde Van Andel reported that Saramacca Surinam Maroons were still growing a variety of black rice of A frican origin, O. glaberimma, for food and ritual uses ( accessed December 11, 2012) 12 Mintz says that the practice originated in J amaica. The Latin term peculium was used to describe these slave properties, and in Jamaica it was assumed that if such lands were reappropriated by planters ion repaid (2010:53). 13 A 1788 law required Grenadian planters who could not offer off site grounds to enslaved workers 2003:472). In 1790 one of Gr enada's biggest planters, Alexander Campbell, reported that it was the

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125 greatest benefit to a planter that his Negroes should have a sufficient quantity of provisions, and the more Late eighteenth Under abolitionist pressure, the 1788 law was amended to stipulate that a quarter acre be given to each adult in Grenada and Tobago to grow food (Marshall 2003:473). 14 Despite this, Beckles has shown that the Barbadian enslaved managed to grow a considerab le amount of food on the very small plots allotted to them, and to create their own internal economy, beginning as early as 1725 (2000:734). 15 Several scenes in Jacob Ross's Grenadian novel Pynter Bender take place in such hidden in Ross's novel, romanti cally exalted mountain spaces (2008). Brierley notes that many farmers he spoke to looked on trips to their mountain land as a kind of pilgrimage as I had also seen in Jamaica and rn refreshed with what produce Brierley 1987 :197). 16 Agroecologist Mundie Salm notes that women often tend such highly diverse mixed cultivation near home around the world while men are more likely to develop cash crops on other parcels, sometimes traveling long distances to reach them (2010:28). 17 division of labor, rural women performing similar agricultural activities to men in addition to th eir domestic c :250). 18 crops are grown, possibly in inter cropping and polycropping arrangements. Or it can describe an integrated system invo lving raising of animals and crops), in which Wolf says a good deal of output is sold Chapter 6, implying that it is one in which the metabolic cycle is compl eted by recycling of manures. 19 See english/provision ; both accessed December 11, 2012. 20 Note to author from Ms. Stephanie Simpson, Nutrition Education Coordinator, GFNC, July 10 2012. 21 Yams keep up to six months without refrigeration. According to Reginald Buddy they are sometimes left for an additional season in the ground for use in creating another crop. 22 See among numerous examples Mintz (1989), Besson (2002), Marshall (2003), Beckles and Shepherd (2004) and for Gre nada Brizan (1998), Steele (2003), and Franklyn (2007). 23 Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis), brought to the Caribbean from Tahiti by HMS Bounty Captain William Bligh, is a fruit eaten as a vegetable, roasted, baked, fried, or broiled (Martin 2007:29). 24 In nearby Trinidad, where Grenadians often emigrated during and after World War II, poor Trinidadians were familiar with provision too and notions of G renada as a place where peasant traditional production remained more dominant, dependence on commercial food less extensive. Franklyn quotes experienced in the Car 25 The 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man was amended twice to grant freedom to enslaved people in France's colonies, and citizenship to free colored citizens (Cox 1982:7). Fdon was n amed leader of the French Revolution in Grenada by the French revolutionary government and the rebellion

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126 was planned and carried out in collaboration with several commissioners whom the National Convention in France sent to the Windward Islands (Carew 1985 :119) Grenada's was therefore in important ways an act of that revolution (Ashie Nikoi 2007:32). Taylor Caldwell quotes Fdon as saying that he intended accessed August 15, 2012. 26 http://www.c accessed October 30, 2012. 27 had grown to more than 1100 by 1787 (Jacobs n.d.:2). Many considered themselves part of the French plantocracy. But they had suffered steady erosion of their civil and political rights. The English were more antagonistic to them than the French had been, s trongly hostile to their Catholicism, and eager having recently (re)acquired Grenada to place their own discipline on island governance and plantation life (Brizan 1998:54 58; Steele 2003:102 107). According to a planter then resident in Grenada, French sp eaking islanders outnumbered the British two to one (Jacobs N.d.:2 ). 28 Reportedly there were 24,000 slaves in Grenada at the time (EPICA 1982:18). 29 and joined 30 scale reinforcements of British troops overwhelmed the rebels' outposts through June of 1796; Fdon was never caught (Steele 2003:140 143) The first of three revolutions tiny Grenada has experienced, it was highly destructive. Seven thousand slaves died. Much of Grenada's physical plant, including buildings on more than 65 plantations, was burned to the ground. Three years' worth of crops w ere lost. All captured insurgents likely thousands of slaves u were transported (Brizan 1998:79). Following their capture and execution, the heads of fourteen insurgent leaders were p laced on pikes in the St. George's market (Steele 2003:142; Brizan in Carew 1985:159 160). Franklyn wonders whether Afro Grenadian participants in the failed revolution would have remained free had Fdon succeeded. In Guadeloupe, he notes, Napoleon restore d slavery and that island's mulatto 31 Nutmeg was introduce d to Grenada from Indonesia, possibly in 1843. Bananas were introduced as a substitute export crop after 1955's Hurricane Janet destroyed the country's nutmeg and cocoa crops (EPICA 1982:24,40). 32 place, often on a slope away from the family dwelling where the plant will receive continual moisture without being swamped, sometimes on a slope away from the house is a first step in the establishment of many backyard gardens in Grenada (Denyse Ogilvie, Bernadette Rober ts 2012 interviews). 33 Leguminous woody plant, also known as a coral tree, sometimes used to shade coffee. 34 governed. In December 1877, Crown Colony government was imp osed on Grenada and most English colonies. It removed power from a local legislature that had made decisions under a former Legislative Councils members of th e plantocracy effectively leaving the rest of the citizenry, including the formerly enslaved, without a voice in government. Agitation against the system, including by Grenada journalist William Donovan prominent early activist and advocate of West Indian federation brought greater local representation in 1925. Continuing agitation brought universal adult suffrage in 1951 (Martin 2007:61, 66 67).

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127 35 Planner speculation constitutes a Rorschach test of period attitudes about race and emerging economic realitie plantation was a vital agency for civilizing the black masses and ought to be kept alive irrespective of emerging peasantry to exert themselves. till they acquire fictitious wants, they will never b 2005 :249].) The role of a developing consumer economy in such calculations is apparent. 36 Blue Books supplied annual statistical information for Parliament from each of Britain's colonies starting in 1822 ( accessed December 19, 2012. 37 Jamaican provision grounds were called polinks, a term that The Dictionary of Jamaican English connects with the Spanish palenque, mountain provision grounds. 38 Cocoa is still often processed by Grenadians at home, the seeds ground with mortar and pestle and the cocoa rolled by hand, stored and grated for use later. It may be added to coconut, cow, or goat's milk, sweetened with sugar cane juice or honey, and boiled with a cinnamon stick, sometimes with a bay leaf. 39 A cooperative work practice like Grenada's maroons exists among the Akhan people in what is present day Ghana (Martin 2007:3). 40 Martin says that Susu was brought to the island by Yoruba slaves (2007:243). 41 nt from a visitor: PARTNER ALL A DAT HAS PUT ME THROUGH SCHOOL AND through plenty of trips.. it's going to be around fuh mi kids, my new house car, and even wedding ( 64646/ accessed April 6, 2011). 42 43 Ten years later Grenada's Governor reported that the initiative ha been repaid (Steele 2003:238 239). 44 Given that emigration rose from 2,575 people between 1891 and 1901, to 8,780 between 1901 a nd 1911, to 12,041 (over 10% of Grenada's population) between 1911 and 1921, the economic success of the schemes should possibly be judged, despite Steele's assertion of success, as relative. Wages on plantations in Trinidad, where the greatest number of p eople went, were higher than in Grenada, drawing many Grenadians to work there during this period (Steele, 2003:237). 45 are the only producers of sugar cane and those more likely to cultivate food crops. The reasons for this association between race dians who had come to dominate, with East Indians, plantation and export grain like other period observations of small farmers and the rural sector. But they speak plainly to differences in perceptions of skin color and connected status in Grenada of the building of class or even caste system around color, originating in a construction of race that was very much the product of colonialism itself. One e

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128 the basis of his colour, and consequently seems himself at the bottom of a colour caste system which, as far as he is concerned, limits his achievements and thereby his ambit 46 Fuller investigation is required of the changing nature of the state apparatus from the end of slavery to independence. 47 A shilling carried the value of 1/20 of a British pound throughout the period. In an April 2008 interview, River Sallee farmer Alma Roberts told me that her grandfather raised 11 children on the wage. 48 When cholera swept the West Indies in 1850 one in twelve Grenadians and an eighth of St. Patrick's residents died. On an island where there was one doctor the Governor reporting on the disaster in an 1854 number of the Grenada Dispatch for medical aid. Ma ss graves, dug too shallowly by estate owners, spread infection through the rains into the food chain (Carew 1985:175 186). 49 According to Shepherd and Beckles, workers around the region on estates operating under metairie often had to take advances from or purchase necessities from owners, sometimes accumulating heavy debt (2006:30). 50 51 According to Steele 5,323 people were employed as wage laborers on the estates in 1949, 1,549 of them full time, which unfortunately, does not tell us how many Grenadians lived on the estates (2003:293). The 1949 population was roughly 76,000 people ( accessed August1, 2012).

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129 CHAPTER 5 1949 1984: INDEPENDENCE, NATION, AND THE fOOD eCONOMY Overview This chapter describes the revolutionary if politically stunted rise of Grenada's rural working class under the autocratic leadership of trade union leader and eventual first Prim e Minister Eric Gairy, under whom Grenada reached independence. It and its effect on Grenadians and the rural landscape. It appraises the land and agricultural policies of the People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) that overthrew Gairy during the four years that it held p ower, before a 1983 invasion by US forces brought its explicit attempt to overcome Grenada's plantation economic legacy to a violent end. T he chapter argues that USAID imposed changes to the government structure and tax system that followed the invasion st ill largely undocumented placed Grenada on a path of structural adjustment debt and ideological dependency in which the island remains trapped, and reinforced many of its enduring plantation economi c patterns Still, the independent governance the Gairy years and the PRG experiment form a reservoir of experience and ideas that Grenadians have a right to recover an d examine i n placing the island back on the path to independence, including FS, today The Rise of Eric Gairy B orn in rural Grenada in 1922, Eric Gairy was introduced to trade unionism in Aruba where during the 1940s he worked for an oil company and bri efly studied law. On his return to Grenada the young Gairy saw as former River Sallee headmaster and

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130 the people like animals, and gave them little or nothing fo T he planter class, constituting less than 2% of the population, owned 45% of the country's arable land. Especially on the estates Grenadians lived in squalor, without health care and usually without electricity or running water. Eighty six p ercent of houses were made of wood, wattle, and mud ; 80% of these were one or two room dwellings (Ferguson 1990 :10 ). Gairy would soon founding the Grenada Manual and Mental Workers Union (GMMWU), helping to organize estate workers, 1 and leading a series of strikes that electrified the rural proletariat and altered the country's economic balance of power. In 1950, shortly after organizing the GMMWU, Gairy demanded a 50% raise for workers at the Grenada Sugar Factory. Four hundred ninety six workers walked out; another 400 workers on eleven estates joined the strike in sympathy. When owners re jected the demand for higher pay Gairy upped the ante, demanding 20% more for cocoa workers, who had recen tly been asked to accept a drop in their pay due to falling cocoa prices drawing the cocoa sector into the fray (Meeks 2001:136). Although the se actions did not yield immediate success, by January of that year Gairy had organized most of estate workers. 2 He called a nationwide strike, the country's first. Edward Frederick, in a PRG era pamphlet, notes that brown as well as white skinned 1979/80: 7). Gairy described the struggle to striking workers in terms th at both evoke the making of a new united working class and hint at what Meeks calls the strongly ip there are no longer 7, 8, or 10

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131 classes in Grenada today. Th ere are only two classes; those belonging to the tactics were frightening and effective. As labor negotiations were taking place the private property of key members of the rul ing class was set on fire. 3 In a series of acts oads were barricaded and elite schools burned along with crops (Frederick 1979/80:7 I n a sign of solidarity am ong the region's ruling classes, police were brought in from Trinidad and St. Lucia to battle with rioting workers (Brizan 1998:273; Co llins 2007: 26 27; Martin 2007:94). Gairy in turn won support from unions across the Caribbean, from leaders like Tubal Butler in Trinidad, Jamaica's Alexander Bustamente, and Robert Bradshaw in St. Kitts. When Gairy archly begged his followers to abandon the violence that he had himself orchestrated, he made clear to planters his power to control their actions In the wake of Sky Red, planters met Gairy's demand for recognition of the new union, higher and retroactive pay, and for paid holidays for agricul tural workers (Martin 2007:233 234). In a series of actions between 1950 and 1952, Gairy's GMMWU won higher wages for all the country's plantation workers A bsolute control of the country by the planter class came to an end. As the first national figure to challenge plantation/estate dominance Gairy who became a he ro to rural Grenadians. In elections early in 1951 his newly formed Grenada People's Party received 71% of votes cast and he was elected to the co untry's primary governing body,

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132 the colonial Legislative Council. Between 1951 and 1974 Gairy won five of seven elections that he entered, becoming the country's first Prime Minister (Ferguson 1997:296). Gairy's contradictions, his desire to be accepted by the lighter skinned members of the national elite, the corruption and personal enrichment that came to dominate his increasingly erratic administration, are documented (Benoit 2007: 95 111). But he retained the loyalty of many of the country's poorest peop le through the PRG government of the early 1980s (EPICA 1982:36 39); his face still fills murals in the country's poor precincts. riots transformed Grenadians' sense of them sel ves Gairy's studied elegance, even as he came to ignore the masses, w as a source of pride to many he was one of them made good. Under his early leadership, estate workers achieved a collective politicization and improvement in their living conditions. 4 f terrified estate workers into the Santa Maria tourist hotel and demanded they be served a meal, or told domestic servant girls to revolt against a system. which required them nce to their 160). 5 But despite his sense of drama Gairy failed to hand poor Grenadians decision making power, keeping them in thrall to his decision making and largesse with jobs, land, and other perquisites. G Land for the Landless Program In 1968 Gairy implemented a land distribution program his most notable and far reaching intervention in agriculture distributing 1400 acres in tiny lots of a quarter to one acre in size to followers (Douglas 2003:9). 6 H istorians are more or less unanimous in criticizing the program. James Ferguson says that it amounted to a with some tracts

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133 distributed to build political patronage, others given awa y as bribes ( 1990:68). By t he mid 1970s, according to Meeks, the s of all estates in Twenty five estates in all were seized (Ferguson 1990:68) or what Brierley says was one fif th of all estate land (1985a:304). 7 a:3 04 305). 8 Gairy also rewarded loyalist members of his political party, the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP), by purchasing their farms at inflated prices hrough such acts and creation of the state farms, writes Ferguson, Gairy ctor, based on. patronage and corruption. He also organize estate workers or boost production on the farms 9 land program, 10 r countries studied. The repor t identifies the follo program: Acquired lands and other Government owned lands were subdivided into small uneconom ic holdings and distributed by the Prime Minister himself. Careful screening of applicants was apparently not done. Rent was collected irregularly if at all. There was no central authority responsible for formulating and executing work programs providin g services organizing marketing or for providing infrastructure. No proper long term leases were drawn up; tenancies were therefore insecure. ( In Cumberbatch 1 977:6) Among problems with the so called reform, according to Brierley, were that lots were gi ven to people with too little knowledge to farm them efficiently; much land was of

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134 marginal quality; and plots were uncertainly defined (1985 a :305). 11 In a 2012 interview, long time extension officer Theresa Merryshow, who as a young agent helped to distrib ut e plots on one estate, told me that many farmers possessed too few resources to farm them properly redistribution of land to the 'landless' and saw an accompanying decline in the area of island land under production. In 1961 71 per cent of [Grenada's] cultivable land was under cultivation, but by 1975 this ). Still, there was popular enthusiasm about the program attested in 2012 interviews with Merryshow as w ell as in conversation with sugarcane farmers S ome of the sense of goodwill and benefit to small farmers and estate workers has been enduring, a sense that I acquired in none of my reading about the subject. It became my impression in talking to Merryshow and former chief of extension Orgias Campbell in 2012 that extension officers under Gairy, however lacking in resources, sought to help small farmers expand and improve their subsistence production, thus contributing to the maintenance of the peasant trad ition on the island This view is partly countered, however, by Brierley's observation that program planners often pushed farmers to adopt they could n ot afford. 12 Still, program made an impact on public consciousness i n what, like the Sky Red protests, might be described as a symbolic or Fanonian regard: a sense of their power was transmitted to poor Grenadians, especially estate workers, some of who m were able to begin farming in a newly independent country run by some one up from poverty like themselves. A s I learned from GCFA officials, a number of cane farmers benefited, receiving land from Gairy at Mt. H artman and Calivigny.

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135 H owever lacking in extent or structure, t he Gairy program also saw creation of housing settl ements on some lands taken, several of which grew into villages T hese included Telescope, Grande Anse, and Corinth (Douglas 2003:9). Reginald Buddy, many of the plantations accepted thought about the breakup of the estates that I heard offered on at least four occasions by Grenada offi cials and came to believe might be fairly commonly held : that although the breakup of the estates ended the unchallenged rule of the plantocracy a s one commentator put it for Grenadian agriculture plunging it in to an unproductive chaos from which it never recovered In many such cases, it is true, estate wor kers simply lost their jobs; often houses were built on such lands rather than farms (EPICA 1982:44). But the opinions sometimes carried an assumption that th e estate workers had failed to make good on the possibilities that Gairy afforded them i .e. that i t was they who had failed or (still more problematic still) that setting them up as independent farmers was a fruitless endeavor, and that creation of a wider peasant class had been demonstrated as The lack of wider support with which to initiate productive activity under the haphazard program is obscured by such received wisdom which I am convinced continues to guide planning today. There was however, a further empirical basis for such opinions. According to East C aribbean researcher Robert Thompson agricultural production fell by half from 1970 to 1974 as a result of

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136 reduced investmen t and maintenance expenditure (1985:133). In the atmosphere of intimidation generated by the land seizures many estate owners ceased production. Between 1961 and the New Jewel revolution 43% of cultivated land was taken out o f production, according to Thompson (1985:133). 13 But it is regrettable that, for even have shut t he door on the small peasant proprietor ideal. 14 Through the GMMWU's strikes and militant action, through expropriation, Gairy 1985:133), transferring power over many of the country's estates to the go vernment. Gairy did not end the country's dependence on estate based export production ; in the end, he only hobbled these As nineteen years in Office, including the fina l twelve, when he exercised virtual dictatorial New Jewel leaders believed that Gairy kept them this way in order to cultivate their dependence on him (Douglas 2010:50). The People's Revolutionary Government and Its Legacy in Agriculture The [PRG] government which came to power in March 1979 inherited a deteriorating economy, and is now addressing the task of rehabilitation and of laying better foundations for growth. Governm ent objectives are centered on the critical development issues and touch on the country's most promising development areas. World Bank memo 1982 The New Jewel leadership wh ich entered power as the People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) seized control in a largely bloodless coup while Eric Gairy was out of the country in March 1979. The N ew J ewel M ovement (NJM) had developed an extensive critique of Grenad political economy, including of tourism, which had seen

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137 considerable growth under Gairy. 15 Despite residual loyalty in the countryside, the coup had wide backing from a Grenadian society that had become alienated from the increasingly erratic Gairy (Lewis 1987:6 7). 16 The c onditions th at th if not according to Gordon Lewis. A third of the population was illiterate. Most Grenadians levels of deprivation and exclusion that had not drastically changed since the begin ning of the 20th century ( 1990:66). Grenada orien ted, primary nomy (Payne, Sutton, and Thorndike 1984:14). G rants in aid and loans that Britain and other countries had awarded the new republic on independence had dried up, in part because of military ties that Gairy formed with Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet (Ferg uson 1990:11). Sporadic i nterventions in the rural sector notwithstanding, 90 % of farms were no bigger than two hectares and held just 26 % of arable land; 49 large agricultural installations held 38 % of remaining farmland (Cumberbatch 1977: 1). Hilbourne W atson calculates that 0.5% of large installations in Grenada contained just under 50% of all arable land (1984:5). Thirty five to 45% of farmland overall was idle and more than half the labor force an estimated 70 80% of youths officially unemployed (Brierley 1985 a :300, 305). Agricultural exports had fallen by almost 50% from 1970 to 1974. And praedial larceny was s o extensive that new Prime Minister Maurice Bishop suggested it might be the most critical challenge facing the country (1985 a :305).

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138 But the country's dependence on imported food, and general dependency, were more deep rooted problems I mported foods constituted 39% of all imports (Brierley 1985a:300), 70 % of calories Grenadians consume d (EPICA 1982:76). common fruit drink was Florida orange juice (EPICA 1982:78). In a 1974 paper for a conference on the implications of Grenadian independence, Curtis McI ntosh and T. O. Osuji captured t he dynamic between agriculture and food in has been oriented to export crops (nutmegs, cocoa, bananas) for further processing and re export by the United Kingdom. The foreign exchange earned was then used in pur chasing imported food. Thus, what Grenada received in one hand, she gave. back with two. (1974:99) The import ed food emphasis meant a lack of links between local p roduction and consumption (Thompson e domestic food production attractive to long noted by providing adequate marketing arrangements or guaranteeing prices for local :55). The PRG would make ending such dependence the focus of its effort s as a matter of both politics and policy approaches in many ways consonant with FS S logan s like Eat what you grow, grow what you eat and w ere chanted at rallies and by poets. 17 Whatever the success, these actions were in many ways successful according to Franklyn ). P R evolutionary G overnment Planning Although it s leaders openly embraced the idea that their revolution was socialist and had agreed upon a strongly Marxist Leninist turn by the time of its collap se, the

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139 PRG government's policies and programs until very near the end were far from radical. Mainstr eam or progressive accounts stress the mild nature of reforms the PRG ical reliance (1998:558 559). 18 Brierley describes ). Gordon K. Lewis says that in the British state has increasingly taken over responsibility for. services vital to the public Analysis from the Marxist left notes that the PRG had chosen w hat was then describ which was not (Watson 1984:8) T he idea was that this would prepare Grenada for a later stage of socialist development. The long range problem with this approach was that the strategy retained much of the country's existing power structure, its relations of production, and Watson says (1984:8). PRG polices need to be contextualized with efforts to end the dependency of emerging former colonial countries from the West dating back to at least 1917 as described in Chapter 2 Th o se efforts had culminated in the 1955 Bandung Conference and emergence of a non aligned country movement NAM that the PRG, on taking power, joined (Ferguson 1990:67). In keeping with NAM's goals, a populist rhetoric of anti imperialism was used to unite both Grenadian la nd owners and the poor in the

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140 national effort, especially against the US, which responded to the PRG with hostility from the start 19 One feature largely missing from PRG perspectives acknowledged by observers like historian and former Prime Minister George Brizan, the Agency for Rural Tran sformation's (ART) Sandra Ferguson, and the GCFA's Elliot Bishop today was any real conviction that the peasant/small farmer inheritance offered a basis on which to center future development. Despite many promising ideas r elating to agriculture in the New Jewel movement's 1973 manifesto, for example, there is no mention of the peasant/small farming tradition or its intrinsic value in it. The party was bent on modernizing Grenada's economy through a process of industrializat ion and the emphasis, in keeping with period thinking, was on production cooperative s as Ferguson told me in 2012 Nonetheless, the PRG demonstrated considerable flexibility an d practicality (Heine 1998:568), and did dr a w on peasant institutions like the maroon to mobilize village labor. Many of its plans for industrialization sole natural resource untapped potential of its people, that the country possessed as the manifesto acknowledged (1973) While the PRG struggled with es it found a reservoir of support among small farmers. 20 PRG First Steps The PRG scored a number of quick successes t hat helped t o consolidate its popularity among the poor. Many of these had the ch aracter of WINFA official well being, that would have to surround any concerted government effort to create FS. It froze food prices and established price controls on several i mported staples (Brierley 1985 :56). Expanded social services included free education through high school; free

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141 school books for the poor; free medical and dental care; hot school lunches and free milk for mothers and small children; and establishment of a revolving loan program to help the poor repair their homes (Deere et al. 1990:141). The PRG expanded popular access to higher e ducation. In 1978 three people had received scholarships to study abroad; in 1983 more than 300 would do so many to study in University of the West Indies (UWI) programs (Ferguson 1990:7). Income tax was abolished for 30 % of the lowest paid workers (Watson 1984:40). The PRG established a national bus service, following a recommendation voiced in the country wide village opular T he buses traveled roads that commercial buses did not, increasing the mobility of poor rural dwellers and the ability of farmers to move their produce. Although the popular assemblies would re grettably not continue the y were an attempt to make Grenada's political process more democratic, and included the holding of national budget planning sessions (Deere et al 1990:91), that had ever take n place in the Caribbean (Heine 1998:561). A mass literacy program, developed by Brazilian educator Paolo Freire, reduced illiteracy to 2% from as much as 45%. While few women occupied top PRG leadership positions women's lot improved, with es tablishment of a National Women's Organization, the creation of nurser y and pre government established a National Comm ercial Bank, which thrived, making loans to rural workers and small farmers It inaugurated a national insurance scheme that many of Grenada's older people still depend on 21 All such policies affected the rural sector and agriculture As

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142 Brierley put it, f repair, a more reliable water a :306). government created an Agricultural Workers Council which visited all the estates and s little as 80 cents (US) a day, their hours determined each morning by management T hey received no sick leave or overtime pay; most of their homes lacked electricity or running water (EPICA 1982:105). The PRG introduced guaranteed minimum wages, pensions, and other benefits for such workers Almost 1,000 employees in the Grenada Farms Corporation, which the PRG established to oversee the estates became eligible for health care and maternity leave (Ferguson 1990:68). Estate owners were given deadlines to improve housing and work ing conditions, and most complied. Peasant fa rmers meanwhile, were brought into a newly cr eated Productive Farmers' Union, which emphasized extension of credit, training, and advice to small farmers (EPICA 1982:105). Eager to enlist business involvement in the economy the PRG mov ed cautiously where land issues were concerned. Such caution was in the end fateful for the new government; it had been foreshadowed by the New Jewel business community alliance that had made the largely bloodless revolution and rapid transition to power pos sible. reward was a recognized role in the new economic regime 9).

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143 More bluntly, particular supported the NJM strategy precisely because it posed no real threat to er expropriations or nationalizations took place under the PRG than had happened under Gairy (Ferguson 1990:10). 22 PRG Agricultural Policy The land is the source of our wealth. We have no oil, bauxite, gold, iron, or other mineral products. What we have are agricultural products grown on our fertile soil and exported, $58 million worth of cocoa, nutmeg and bananas. Yes we grow and export food but we do not produce enough food to feed ourselves. In fact, we import a shocking $57 million worth of food every year. The Free West Indian, St. George's, Januar y 17, 1981 Many of the new government's activities were tied to agriculture 23 where the 1973 manifesto underlined a need for increased professionalism and better commercial farming can provide a decent and respectabl types of Farm Manager/Operator with a higher standard of education and a better tryside the manifesto said At the same time it called supply of staples islanders relied on. Many ideas offered in the manifesto remain provocative from a FS sta ndpoint it recommended creation of community pastures to stimulate production of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and rabbits. Its a uthors identified many of the pressing problems farmers faced: unaffordable inputs (fertilizer and seed); dropping produce prices ; and unaddressed plant diseases (Bishop 1982:173 174). The

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144 processing; then (as today ) millions of pounds of produce were left to rot annually, unharvested or unsold (EPICA 1982:78). In a wider sense the aim was to lay a foundation for the restructuring of Grenada's export dominated economy, establishing links among its various sectors, ending speculation and corruption, and stimulating investment in areas with the best odds of generating employment an d foreign exchange (Deere et al. 1990:140), especially through development of agro industry. The PRG hoped to achieve this by improving performance and augmenting the public sector, which would come to encompass about 30% of the economy by 1983, including the estates and 23 state owned companies; by creating a cooperative sector accompanied by a supporting, very mild land reform; and by preserving the private sector, boosting various key enterprises within it (Deere et al 1990:1 40). processing plant built to produce jams, juice, and other products for export as well as for the local market. 24 It would be hard to overstate the importance that the plant and ability to proces s their own food assumed for Grenadians; no one I spoke to at length about Grenadian agriculture 30 years later failed to mention it. It was important, McAfee writes, because it employed local people, provided a market for small farmers and made use of loc al crops that would otherwise have gone to waste. [It] embodied the type of economic activity that the PRG had hoped would increase the country's earnings and reduce its dependence on expensive food imports. [The plant] linked agriculture, the main source of wealth and livelihood in Grenada for centuries, to industry, one of the keys to the country's development. Thus, to many Grenadians, the plant symbolized a development strategy that would build a bridge from Grenada's impoverished past to a more prosper ous future. (McAfee 1991:97)

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145 Plans for further development received the backing of international agencies, including a US $7.8 million dollar agriculture loan from the World Bank. The Canadian International Development Agency offered a US $6 million grant to finance a cocoa rehabilitation project and Grenada entered into negotiations with Indonesia to create a nutmeg cartel (Ferguson 1990:68 69; McAfee 1991:97; O'Shaughnessy 1984: 96). Although the trading sector remained largely in private hands, taxes w ere raised on im ports. T he state created its own monopoly on the import of rice, sugar, flour, and fertilizer, breaking the monopoly previously held on these items by just a few private import firms (Deere et al. 199 0:141). The existing National Import Boa rd was also tasked with marketing and distributing Grenadian produce The organization was required to buy produce from every farmer, a policy that many farmers I spoke to as well as figures l ike former Prime Minister Brizan still think that the board needs to revive. T hese developments stimulated and diversified commercial production (Deere et al. 1990:141). The uncertain position that the government would thus come to occupy between Grenada's subsistence economy and promotion of a more commercial one is partly captured in this statement by the EPICA authors strongly sympathetic to the revolution who wrote young Grenadians view farming as an alternative to wage employment and expect it to produce a monetary return. The government is acutely aware of the marketing problem, and is formulating a careful strategy, analyzing potential markets and developing expor t outlets through the MNIB. (1982:81) In addition to offering technical and other training to Grenadians, Cuba contributed to efforts to augment the country's agriculture and food related activities. Grenada's new ally donated a block making plant with w hich both new homes and farm

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146 buildings were constructed 25 an asphalt and stone crushing plant to build farm feeder roads, and a fleet of fishing vessels to better exploit the abundant marine resources that lay off of Grenada's shores (Steele 2003:385). Wit h UN I nternational F und for A gricultural D evelopment (IFAD) funding and Cuban help, a National Fishing Corporation was established O ver time, it was planned, the program would draw on the skills of traditional ship builders on Carriacou to create a nation al fishing fleet. One hundred youths also received training as fishermen in Canada. The boost in the national catch that followed helped to make Grenada self sufficient in the production of saltfish, a provisionary staple, for the first time. The island na tion had previously imported EC 2.5 million worth of cod from Canada each y ear (EPICA 1982:79; Deere et al. 1990:140; Ferguson 1990:72 73). 26 These measures independence demonstrate the number and kinds of job th at might rise from a national campaign for FS today, not just in Grenada but in many countries. They also suggest the degree of investment and energy that required to get such projects off the ground. Idle Lands f or Idle Hands: Land Reform t hrough Coopera tivism According to the new government's estimate, a third of Grenada's arable land lay idle when the PRG came to power; much of it belonged to absentee owners. The PRG's ref term leases. The project began with creation of a Land Reform Commission that held heari ngs around the country. At these participants identified 4,000 acres of idle land (EPICA 1982:79 81) another exercise that could bear interesting fruit on the island in pursuit of FS today. Groups of people willing to work the lands were encouraged to present plans for their use (Brierley 1985a:306). After an application pro cess that included training in coope rative

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147 mana gement the lands were leased to these applicants (Brierley 1985a : 306 ). A N ational A gency for C ooperative D evelopment in A griculture (NACDA) was formed to of private entr epreneurs in the towns and put to use thousands of acres of idle land while at the same time offering a livelihood for the thousands of country boys w ho were out of a job 27 included agriculture as well as craft and retail efforts (Hodge and Searle 1981:40); NACDA provided financial and technical assistance (Brierley 1985 a :306). In 1981 the PRG also put into place a law addressi ng unused tracts of land of more than 100 acres, creating a Land Development and Utilization Commission (EPICA 1982:77, 79). 28 Under it s guidelines, owners were compelled to develop such lands or lease them to the Agriculture Ministry (Brierley 1985 a :306). 29 The decision met no real resistance (EPICA 1982:77, 79). The poor performance of the state farms inherited from Gairy was addressed by placing many under new management T hese farms accounted for nearly 40% of G renadian holdings over 40 acres with 40% of their acreage estimated idle, and thus represented a large potential source of growth for the agricultur e sector. An incentive program gave workers on them a one third share of their profits, and managers sought to expand production on them. In monthly me etings, workers were apprised of developments regarding the estates and their management and solicited for their input about improvements (EPICA 1982:77; Brierley 1985:56). State Farms Fail To Lift Production These biggest PRG projects would not, howeve r, significantly raise production.

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148 aid offered by the Canadian government and [international NGO] Oxfam, among others, there was not enough business and managerial exper tise among the unemployed youth 30 The PRG also struggled, a report in the New Internationalist aises the question about the PRG's inability or unwillingness, in the short run, to more directly confront the issue of historic land hunger and denial of the rural poor. Some of the inability to significantly lift agricultural production was attributed to an estate laborers. were tied firmly to Gairy by their lack of education and their emotional memories of 1951, and they remained largely loyal to him up to t he time of his with the PRG's approach may be revealed in this analysis by the same authors: Ironically, while unemployment persists in Grenada, the agricultural estates face a chronic labor shortage because of the stigma historically associated with estate work. To counter this, PRG ministers have visited the estates to praise the worke agricultural work. (1982:77) The passage suggests that a somewhat patronizing attitude informed the PRG's relationship with estate workers, who had historically sought land of their own on which to work. 31 E state work remained so unattractive to Grenadians that the government continued to struggle to find workers throu ghout the period (EPICA 1982:77). 32 One is left to wonder what the long lasting effects might have been if the PRG had sought, in som e degree, to divide the estates among landless workers and their families, or if those workers had been encouraged to seize estate lands themselves in some

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149 galvanizing act, the estate system abolished or diminished in pursuit of comprehensive agrarian refo rm. These are easy questions to ask today But they have continued bearing on Grenada's future especially any pursuit of FS by small farmers and rural dwellers Other PRG Agricultural Initiatives Other agricultural initiatives were more successful, and gains associated with them sometimes substantial. A campaign was begun to make agriculture more attractive to young people, with new programs of education at a re opened national farm school Mirabeau which had b een closed by Gairy (Steele 2003 :387). Joseph Gill, who would become a GCFA founder and leader, was educated at Mirabeau and went on to work as an extension officer for the government Farmers from throughout the East Caribbean were invited to study in Grenada Vincent Dominica, and St. Lucia today you will still find people who cam e to study in the Gill told me in 2008. Although GCFA General Secretary Elliot Bishop told me several times that he felt the PRG had devoted too little attention to sugarcane, one River Sallee man I interviewed David Augustine, a furniture maker and farmer lauded the manner in which the Bishop government urged the public to participate in the cane harvest, as also happened in the early years of the Cuban revolution. Participati on brought new respect to farmers, Augustine said, and their contribution to public welfare was better appreciated. Youth camps were held where children learned about farming and participated in agricultural labor Students were sent for three day overnigh t trips to farms, and agricultural study was introduced in primary and secondary schools (EPICA 1982:102).

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150 ibbean history to (1985a n.p.). 33 The government also created campaigns to raise awareness of farming techniques and nutrition. Whatever the merits of some of its policies then, or their relative success, the PRG promoted a level of basic subsistence ; it adopted food independence as an explicit national goal. With surplus production being circulated nationwide by the MNIB, the PRG effort held many elements that would be app lauded today by FS advocates. These measures, the reasons for their success and failure, deserve new scrutiny today. Fifteen years later, Brizan a strong critic of the PRG's politics, who in the intervening period served as Agriculture Minister and Prime M inister ideological aberration. many of the social and economic programmes of the PRG were good and could help develop self reliance in our people and attack the disease of Small Fa rmers and the PRG ; s ome came to number among the PRG 's strongest backers. A Productive Farmers Union (PFU) was begun to give sma ll and medium Grena make collective purchases of inputs (EPICA 1982, 78). 34 Among other aims were expanding distribution of produce; improvement of extension services; reduction of praedial larceny; and contributing to the education of farm families. At its height the PFU had 1300 members (IICA 1989 :15). But like the rest

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151 became a driv er of the revolution (Watson 1984:41). A strong part of the rationale for the PFU both GCFA official Gill and former Prime Minister Brizan told me was that farmers should concentrate on what they did Gill put it a very different attitude from that forced on them today A number of farmers that I interviewed insisted the trucks used to said Brave September, one highly respected farmer. 35 ) The MNIB played a major role in working to find new outlets for Grenada's products. Most small farmers I spoke to between 2008 and 2012 including several whose families had opposed the revolution, like farm er and NDC Agriculture Ministry food security officer Ingrid Rush praised the PRG's efforts in agriculture and with regard to small farmers. Most o ften cited was the fact that the PRG emphasized agriculture and understood it to be central to Grenada's inde pendent survival. But some farmers including September disciplinary violence by members of the People's Revolutionary Army (PRA) A nd a number of farmers, including the GCFA's Elliot Bishop, tol d me that they felt in 36 Transcription of party meetings and analysis make clear the gulf that existed between the PRG's middle s and the countryside I n response to pressure from members of the Political Bureau, as the crisis that ended the revolution unfolded, Prime Minister Maurice Bishop himself traced the

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152 Shaughnessy 1984:116). Watson says that none of the rural organizations achieved true independence, a goal that might have changed the dynamic in the countryside and brought a concerted push for comprehensive land redistribution and reform 37 The Maroon Fo rm under the PRG According to Hodge and Searle, community projects under the PRG w ere food and drink, and a large pot of oildown or pelau 38 bubbles away. The Revolution has wrote (1981:39). Sam Kee, a calypsonian who became manager of the village of Brizan backed project: The first six months was the hardest for our cooperative, so to keep up the enthusiasm, I tried to keep them all in a maroon form by everybody in the morning bringing what they could cook. The maro on form is the way we pass round the village and ask people to give us help. Some give us corn, some give us peas and yam The maroon spirit is one of the best we have right now, because the people getting the f eeling that they together again (Hodge a nd Sea r le 1981:52) The term maroon was applicable in various situations and the spirit generated sometimes long continued after the US invasion; a number of village houses were built this w ay, according to GCFA official Reginald Buddy. Meeks notes and self help projects were not inventions of the PRG, but had roots in the traditional ew meaning as people increasingly saw themselves as part of a progressive, national

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153 The PRG: Tentative Conclusions for F ood S overeignty By many economic measures and despite ultimately crippling fundamental contradictions the PRG's four years brought success in the rural sector. Comprehensive planning with the broad needs of the polity had been introduced. T he gross national product had grown 5.5% in 1983, as the World Bank, praising the PRG, affirmed (Lewis 1987:26). While most Car ibbean economies languished in the period's world recession, Grenada's grew at a cumulative 9% a year O fficial unemployment dropped to 14% from 49%. Agricultural diversification and agro industrialization reduced food and overall imports from 40% to 28% d uring a period of collapsing agricultural prices throughout the world (Zunes 2003). MNIB purchase of produce from even very small farmers stimulated production, introduction of new crops, an d increased well being. I t ensured a countrywide supply of many co mmodities Agricultural e xtension services were improved and low interest loans made available to farmers (Brierley 1985:56). Structural changes required to address Grenada's rural sector problems Lewis says b ut a great deal had gone right. Nontraditional exports, including flour and clothing, had grown by 28%. 39 The PRG had established a Water Commission, critical for an expanded agricultural sector, and improved the water supply the number of peop le receiving electricity and water doubled. Eight fish selling centers had been built, with deep freeze containers, the national diet shifting to take advantage of this protein source (Lewis ar; and the Grenadian population certainly did not suffer from the acute shortages of vital food items that prevailed in Guyana Burnham government of the period ; nor did they suffer from a repressive police thing like the

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154 ferocity that Guyana on the left or Chile and Argentina on the right did (Lewis 1987:26, 42 44). Brierley says that according to Ministry of Agriculture personnel about 10% of Grenadian farmland had been brought back into production. Local sales of domestically produced fruits and vegetables doubled between 1981 and 1982 while export sales an average of 33 % of imports in 1979 to 27.5 % in 1982 both a serious inroad and perhaps suggestion of how progress might be incremental in this area As a result of increased exports of nontraditional f oods the role played by nutmeg, cocoa, and bananas, Brierley says, diminished where in 1978 they had accounted for 90 of export value, in 1982 they accounted for 62 % new spirit of optimism among Gr people to farming the average age of farmers had dropped from 62 to 51 years in the span of three y ears (Brierley 1985a:307; Brierley 1985b:5 ). 40 The PRG e ffectively unionized the countryside ; 80% of Grenadians were union members by 1983 (Ferguson 1990:25). The existing Agricultural General Workers Union (AGWU) grew from 1,000 members in 1979 to 2,300 i n 1981, when the organization led a successful strike against the government on eight estates. The AGWU represented farmers in bargaining with the PRG (EPICA 1982:105). The cooperative initiative, on the other hand, had in real degree failed to flourish (Ferguson 1990:23). Watson, drawing on Ambursley, reports that 23 cooperatives, 12 in agriculture and 11 in fishing and handicrafts existed in 1981; a paltry 146 acres and 160 ops were failing. because the PRG

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155 commercial bourgeoisie continued to dominate landed property and agriculture, and determine the conditions under which rural labor power and value were reproduced with committant s of rural unemployment, inefficiency, parcellization, praedial larceny, labor shortage, etc., the co 39). One is left to wonder whether the Central Committee's contemplated turn to broad collectivization would have brought success, further fail ure, or (in time) a turn to smaller scale peasant type farming. 41 But there would be no next turns or further adjustments, no opportunities for the rural sector to unite and push the PRG toward a more comprehensive or smal l farmer based land reform, no room (even) for furthe r failure, as NACDA and most PRG programs were shut down by US officials after the invasion. As with socialist experiments in many parts of the world during the period it is not ea sy to judge the ways, large or small, that outcomes in Grenada were distorted by US hostility, threats, and interference what would have become of the PRG experiment had it faced less external pressure? T he early popular assemblies, the use of maroon s to perform collective labo r and encouragement of backyard gardening, among other initiatives, demonstrated flexibility Attempts to develop local agro industry and escap e plantation economic dependence if contradictory, remained laudable from the point of view of GCFA members I spoke with and, in many ways, from the stand point of FS. In view of the region's history and the current economic woes of many of the s maller is wr o be asserted that Grenada under the PRG advanced farther down the road of economic

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156 development in a shorter time than any island ). On the other hand, the failure to hand the revol ution or land to the most historically deprived Grenadians led to further contradictions. A s early as 1979, Meeks notes the PRG was strongly at odds with both the agricultural diversification, coopera tive, and import substitution model s originally initiated by the PRG, and with the avowed Marxist Leninist deepening of the revolution that had officially, if secretly, been embraced by the central committee (2001:163). In 1983, after a PRG schism result ed in Prime Minister Maurice Bishop's murder 'r October 25 42 Thirty years later, the GCFA's Elliot Bishop was stil l fuming that PRG leaders had let such a good 43 An Exemplary Invasion What danger did Grenada pose to the US? 44 the New Jewel Movement was reaching a dangerous level of health care, literacy, In fact, participation was on the wane, partly due to an inevitable lesse ning of the enthusiasm of the revolution's heady first few years But Grenada had become an international cause c l bre, al 1990:140). The island made an appealing target for th e US, and offered an opportunity to counter a series of recent military reverses in Vietnam and Lebanon, a

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157 northern giant used to impose its nascent neoliberal policies on and to militarize the region. The big gest source of US antagonism as publicly professed was an international airport being built on the island's south shore with Cuban aid also with a loan from the IMF and the financial involvement of various US allies 45 Grenada's existing airstrip lay half way across the island from the capital via a perilous mountain road and could not accommodate jet travel. But the new airport, the US argued, would make it possible for Soviet mis siles to land in Grenada, or, its officials said, for Cuba to store arms fo r revolution in Central America In the course of the invasion US Marines occupied a processing facility the Grenfruit Cooperative where after various efforts to develop new products the rural women who ran it had discovered that they could process fruit f or out of season sale. Coop members were evicted, and all of their records destroyed (Deere et al. 1990:110). Several of the fishing trawlers Cuba had donated to the country were bombed by US planes as they lay at anchor (EPICA 1982:79; Deere et al 1990:1 40; Ferguson 1990:72 73). In another troubling action, remembered by several pe ople whom I interviewed, US soldiers destroyed a number of the Grenada's small tractors, designed for the steep terrain the country's farmers work in, donated to Grenada by th e Soviet Union 46 One farmer I interviewed was at the time a heavy equipment mechanic at the government's farm school at Mirabeau. He lay in hiding and watched marines drive a number of the tractors into nearby ravines to destroy them ) These likely violations of Geneva and other war accords would limit ability to feed itself, or indeed develop commercially after the invasion.

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158 On a quick trip to the island after fighting stopped, then US Secretary of State George Schultz told 0:17). The statement drew scorn but showed how US planners saw the country: as a place where tourist and real estate investment would come to take precedence over basic needs policies or economic independence Measures to attract business, meanwhile, would trade on Grenada's supposed attractions as a source o f cheap labor (McAfee 1991:99). US planners quickly decided that Grenada did need an airport however for any ex (Steele 2 0 03:418) and completed the construction work. Invasion Afterm ath: USAID Interventions and the Loss of Grenadian Sovereignty These places can't get along witho ut outside investment, outside technology. Alone, they are not viable; they will in the end have to become something like offshore states of the United States. Peter Johnson Director Caribbean Central American Action, 1984 They take we lovely machineri es and take it to Dominica! Everington Smith Farmer The conditions imposed on Grenada after the invasion, largely in the absence of democratic decision making by Grenadians, were in m any ways more radical than the changes made with the nominal assent of Grenadian s considered a mandate not only to roll back communism but to discip line the Third 2000:65). The invasion and re mak ing of Grenada governance must be seen in this light. James

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159 and social change, engineered predominantly by USAID 47 and its associates. This r aspect of the economy agriculture ( 1990:67). The post invasion period requires more investigation. But even a brief examination makes clear that the changes had an enormous effect on Grenada and continue to do so 48 The invasion offered an opportunity to implement an incipient form of neoliberal economic policy. In f act, almost all of the earmarks of a still emerging neoliberal structural adjustment paradigm (Mendes et al 2001:74) were implemented by USAID on the island 49 An interim Advisory Counci l a caretaker government was named. According to run enterprises through 07:1). In theory, the council had executive powers. But the body took its direction from US officials (McAfee 1991:98 and passim ; Ferguson 1990:23). 50 The Council's chief accomplishment, according to Martin, was in quickly staging elections, thus helping to legitimize the changes that had taken place (2007:1) According to Ferguson, Advisory Council members never saw the report USAID developed to guide the changes that followed, 51 deregulation. privatisation of many state ow ned businesses. and the replacement of centralised price and import controls The report highlighted g overnment agencies and state businesses to be sold off; price controls and state run import marketing for abandonment; and labor legislation to be rewritten or

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160 dismantling the state sector The decisions saw no debate by the reconstituted parliament (Ferguson 1990:43, 22 23 61 ). 52 Among the casualties w as the Spice Isle Agro Industry Plant, already damaged by US bombing which as noted the PRG had built to process a range of food products. In what was widely seen as a reward to Dominican Prime Minister Charles for helping to legitimize the invasion, the plant was sold to Dominica (Ferguson 1 9 90:21). With it went 70 full time jobs, work for more part time laborers, and a critical ou tlet for small farmer produce. T he lack of proces sing capacity for Grenada's home grown products, lamented by a prior gene ration of Grenadians, would be lamented by another. Some farmers had a hard time seeing the plant s ale as anything but an attempt to renew their dependency on US you're self But in less than three years, its sales were growing fast. Many private factories get tax concessio ns and are still operating at a loss after five years, but the same people don't who emerged as a strong critic of USAID actions in Grenada (McAfee 1991:97 98). The government's agricultural school at Mirabeau was closed graduates had emerged as strong partisans of the revolution. When it reopened the teaching emphasis Grenada's coffee processing p lant was closed. The national dairy was sold to a Jamaican businessman for US $20,000; in short order it failed. A company established to market part of Grenada's nutm eg crop also quickly collapsed (Ferguson 1990:23).

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161 The entire Grenadian army was disbande d and an estimated 3,000 employees in ministries most closely associated with the PRG (including Culture, Wome n's Affairs, Mobilization, and Education) were relieved of their jobs. USAID officials oversaw the firings (Ferguson 1990:24). Under USAID pressur e NACDA the cooperative development agency was closed (Ferguson 1990:23 ). sighted pe James Development Foundation sought to move in the opposite direction of the PRG's approache s to cooperative development, setting up small private businesse s. An Industrial Development Corporation was created to facilitate foreign investment (Ferguson 1990:29). The bodies would influence approaches to agriculture in coming years and point investo rs to tourist projects on former agricultural lands. USAID Actions Regarding Agriculture private property policies of the to be, rs (1991:101). She notes that AID's Agriculture Sector Revitalization Project for Grenada produced more than a dozen feasibility studies and reports but that the se living (1991 :101). According to Brierley, m ost of the PRG's agrarian initiatives were ended by deology a :308). 53

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162 USAID worked to place public land back in private hands. Most such land had been acquired during Gairy's tenure, a fact that USAID officials were unaware of. Since many of the tracts had previously been i dle, some pre Gairy owners had welcomed eter Orr admitted (McAfee 1991: 100). Several people who reacquired land did so for speculativ e purposes, taking land out of agriculture (Ferguson 1990 : 24). With so much land to be reprivatized, lands available to rent or own, was set up with the help of a $400,000 USAID grant (Ferguson 1990:32). McAfee de (1991:102), but it won the hopeful backing of the likes of George Brizan, who for a time became Agriculture Minister. Two hundred acres of F Belvedere w ere repurchased at further cost and distributed to small farmers and estate workers ( Ferguson 1990:69 70). A disappointment on its own terms, 54 the Model Farms program also prove d fateful for cane farmers i t was under it that a number of GCFA officials came to farm the lands at Mt. Hartma n, for a time boosting sugarcane production significantly and drawing many other farmers to the area. Grenada farmers needed land, but with the loss of the canning plant, uncertainty about USAID motives, and red tape, most we have so Tomatoes, cabbages, dasheen are rotting because we can't get transport or sales for them. I'd put in more tree crops, but I don't know if I might lose the land. It seems like the government wants to give the estates to rich Americans, or they'll sell plots for people living overseas to build houses, but there's no way for farmers like us to get land. (1991 100)

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163 By 1989, Ferguson writes, the Model Farms only 6 0 of the farms begun under the program were in operation, only 500 of 3,40 0 acres designated being farmed. M any projects were abandoned as not viable and l ittle program money was unemploymen ect sought by invasion planners : it splintered the AGWU, whose workers had been employed on them (Ferguson 1990:70 71). A Radical Experiment Likely most US officials believed in the rightness of the work t hey carried out in Grenada. But to say that the changes wrought by USAID were coerced would be an understatement in the circumstances of an invasion, with US troops in Grenada's streets and Grenada officials now beholden to US officials sophisticated in su ch planning, not only for US funding for government operations but also oft en their forthcoming election campaigns as well It would be difficult to exaggerate what a thorough infringement of Grenadian sovereignty the affair was Yet there has been little discussion of these events in Grenada, according to people I interviewed in 2012. Part of the reason that the post invasion period is looked on with so little interest may be that Grenad a was returned to its p arliamentary system 55 events of the preceding p eriod could therefore be characterized as a n aberration, the new period as a return to normalcy. But the period that followed the invasion was clearly more than a simple restoration. To the social reforms of the PRG USAID had responded largely out of view of the Grenadian people or media with a reinvention of Grenada of taxation revolutionary Grenada provided US

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164 ory and showcase of US ideological superiority write Mowforth and Munt 2003:250 If part of the quarrel the US held with the PRG was that it had not held elections a repeated Reagan administration complaint i t is hard to see how changes imposed by USAID were democratic. After 1983 n otions of unionism and cooperativism of united or collective action, generally lost critical momentum in Grenada, foreclosing many paths previously available to Grenadian poor and w orking people to create change there McAfee writes, almost none of the development goals set by the US had been met. Grenada was deeper in debt than at any time in the nation's past. AID sponsore d efforts to balance the government's budget had failed. The country's tax system, after being thoroughly re designed by USAID officials and consultants, had largely collapsed. Unemployment, estimated by AID at 30% of Grenada's work force, was at an all ti me high. AID was withholding promised grants to Grenada's new government in an effort to force it to comply with structural adjustment conditions. 56 (1991:95) Although the PRG path had also meant dependency on grant in aid funding and loans unsustainable i n the long term it had improved the lives of people in the rural sector Now a gricultural productivity fell into sharp decline and hunger began to creep into some rural communities (McAfee 1991:95; Ferguson 1987:87) Grenada's health system eroded as Cuba n doctors were sent home; Vitamin A deficiency and a fall to pre 1983 nutrition levels were reported by the UN Economic and Social Council in 1989 Grenadian told McAfee ( 1991:95 96). Development Corporation reported ( Pa t tullo 2005:44). Lack of an adequate tax base

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165 due to the re gressive setup foisted on Grenada government after the invasion remains a critical crippling feature of Grenada's current constraints, and prevents the government from establishing almost any new initiatives, including in agriculture, without outside aid This means that outside agencies, incluindg the IMF and World Bank, strongly influence the direction of such projects. Conclusion: Truth and Reconciliation In 2001 a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established in Grenada to examine the circumstan ces behind Maurice Bishop's murder and the events le a d ing to the US invasion. The process, according to anthropologist David Scott, was in many ways a failure (2007). 57 The invasion and its aftermath were not on the table for discussion. An open conversation about the period including what was valuable and what misguided in PRG efforts in agriculture former G C FA official Pe ter Antoine told me in a 2012 interview. If the collapse and invasion were a tragedy that remains too little analyzed in Grenada, the benefits to US interests the failure to establish a flourishing economy notwithstanding were considerable T led to the consolidation of conservative and pro to bring structural change (Deere et al. 1990:93). Along with Jamaica, the East Caribbean especially Grenada and Charles's Dominica testing ground. for the US policy of privatization, an unregulated free market and the aggressive pressures on the poor and heightened the islands' vulnerability to ext ernal economic had a strongly colonial character, resembl ing

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166 those of administrations which shaped Caribbean economies through the mid 20th (1991:56). s the region's potential for development with its ability to produce and supply resources crops, minerals, labor and tourist attractions The aftermath saw growing militarization of the region. Police forces receiv ed training from US Green Berets who established police militias in Grenada and other island countries with reports of rising brutality, arbitrary arrests, and abuse of authority of conservative and pro US gove Deere et al write ( 1990:92). The country's four and a half year attempt to break with the plantation economic past had been violently rebuked, Grenadian sovereignty forcibly overridden, and th e country placed back on a path of dependency. 1 Road workers another constituency that persists, among whom many landless and very poor rural dwellers number also became members of Gairy's union (Brizan 1998:223). 2 The granting of universal suffrage to Grenadians in 1950 proved instrumental in bringing Gairy to power, and in shifting power away from the planter class (Thompson 1985:133). 3 According to Steele, Gair y egged on strikers by saying that the land had been stolen from them expressed rage during the 1952 strike at the way families had routinely been moved off of l ands they planted when fruit trees matured. Some land was seized but was later returned to estate owners (2007:108). 4 Gairy paid small farmers scant attention. They ended up battling him when he tried to seize control of the country's cooperative nutmeg, cocoa, and banana boards between 1971 and 1975 (EPICA 1982:104; Meeks 2001:141). Despite the complex social ties betwee n small farmers and estate workers this period likely drew stronger lines between the groups. 5 In 1967 Gairy was elected Premiere of Grenada and retained office through 1979, becoming Prime Minister when the country gained independence in 1974 (Heine 199 Tourism expa impacted agriculture. Monopoly import privileges, tax breaks, government contracts, patronage, the land owed Gairy to control much of the expansion in

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167 the urban sector, including in housing, resort construction, and small manufacturing (Thompson 1985:133). 6 According to Brierley 7 According to a report made by one outside group sympathetic to the PRG government that strata farmers; the largest estates 8 The Ministry of Agriculture's 1995 Agricultural Census says 43 estates were acquired between 1969 and 1979, 9 A small group of black businessmen joined the national elite during this period, according to Such attitudes, it is implied, complicat ed middle class revolutionaries' relationship with Gairy's followers (Meeks 2001:143). 10 nd's population was unknown (1982:76). 11 According to Claude Douglas many lands seized were banana producing estates and their break up harmed that industry (2004:31). 12 http://archiv accessed August 21, 2012. 13 Other factors contributing to agricultural production declines through the period included shortages of estate workers, neglect of infrastructure including farm roads, praedial larce ny, inadequate extension and cuts to extension services, and owner reluctance to invest in holdings amid the decline (Brierley 1985:55). 14 This may also have influenced PRG decision making when the group came to power. 15 New Jewel was one of a number of Caribbean during the 1970s which included various tendencies in nearby Trinidad, the United Popular Movement of St. Vincent, and the Workers' Party of Jamaica (Deere et. al 1990:90). As Gairy became more businessmen and estate owners, the Grenada National Party (Ferguson 1990:12). Despite vote rigging by Gairy, their People's Alliance won six of 15 seats in 1976 pa rliamentary elections with Maurice Bishop becoming leader of the opposition ( Thompson 1985:134). 16 4 2; Ferguson 1990:11). A group of paramilitary Gairy toughs called the Mongoose Gang, sometimes compared to Haiti's Tontons Macoutes terrorized his political opponents (Ferguson 1997:296; Douglas 2010:76). 17 accessed August 21, 2012. 18 According to Manning Marable, the manifesto was especially influenced by the writings of CLR James, by Tapia (a reformist Trinidadian party of middle class intellectuals of the early 1980s), and by Tanzanian Christian Socialism (in Lewis 1987:6 7; also see capitalist

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168 Catholic population philosophies of environmentalist E.F. Schumacher. The manifesto can be read online at accessed August 22, 2012. 19 Gairy was offered asylum in the US and remained there until the U S invasion. 20 in many ways this organizing remained su perficial among small farmers, too, as his analysis also shows. 21 from many center left countries, including Europe's social democratic governments. The list of donors seems astonishing today, as does the audacity of the Reagan government in invading Grenada despite the support it enjoyed. As US hostility toward the tiny country grew Grenada secured 62 million EC dollars in loans from Cuba, the USSR, several Arab countries, the UN, the European Community, Canada, and the USSR during fiscal 1979 and 1980, compared to three million that the Gairy government had managed to secure in its last year (O'Shaughnessy 1984:108; Deere et al. 1990:141; Lewis 1987:27). Such gr ants in aid constituted another kind of dependency, however one that both Eric Gairy's and concessional and other loans that enabled the regime to provi de workers, small farmers and other PRG enjoyed. Th financed many of the welfare gains in the rural sector, spurred the sense of looming crisis that engulfed the central committee from 1982 on (1984:35,38,39). 22 The new government nationalized several hotels and nightclubs previously owned by Gairy; it also inherited 30 farms Gairy had expropriated. After the invasion USA ID erroneously assumed that these had been seized by the PRG (Ferguson 1990:10). 23 The World Bank criticized PRG plans to build luxury hotels, saying that they conflicted with an ghnessy 1984:90). Maurice Bishop told a New Internationalist 200,000 tourists a year can cause the rest of the rural population to abandon the land to work in the accessed August 22, 2 012). Deere et al. suggest that the PRG thought tourism could help inoculate Grenada against price fluctuations in the agricultural sector of the kind that many countries including Grenada were then experiencing (1990:141 142). 24 Coffee and spices were gr ound at another new facility (Brierley 1985:65). 25 Thompson, writing in 1985, signaled concerns that I raise in Chapter 3 about house construction Grenad use of imported concrete. Cuban concrete is cheap and used throughout the Caribbean by governments of all political stripes because of its price; however, it is cheap because, as an energy intensive industry, it relies on oil supplies from the Soviet Union at below world prices. The uncritical use of Soviet or. other technology risks the selection of equipment and techniques which can divert factors of pr oduction problems of development in. dependent soci 130).

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169 26 Just a few individuals now pursue its small scale production ( 0/item_2/agro_processing_saltfish.html accessed August 15, 2012. 27 Gains made by women under the PRG were substantial, but the orientation of the government often remained traditional, including where work and gender roles were concerned as the reference d quote suggests Literacy expert Richard Gibson notes that two pamphlets created for the country's contexts. ( accessed February 13, 2013. 28 Brierley says it was tracts of over 40 acres, left unplanted for more than two years that came under commission purview (1985a:306). 29 The law carried assumptions about a necessary contribution of national resources to the public of a number of Latin American countries. The idea has received new attention from governments in Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela, and could be adopted by more countries as land pressure intensifies in the 21st century (Ankersen and Ruppert 2006:71 72, 118 and passim .) 30 One PRG official told a reporter from t he New Internationalist that young people found it hard to scale up their backyard gardening skills to the larger settings, which may suggest that training was needed to foster greater success with the cooperatives, a training PRG leaders may themselves no t have possessed, but which might have been supplied by Cuba or another ally: accessed August 22, 2012. 31 Meeks says that the tensions continuation of the 1951 struggle of fair skinned against black, of urban 2001:143 ) 32 Frederic Pryor says that estate workers paid by the d the more forgiving conditions they now encountered (1992:198). 33 accessed August 23 2012. 34 The PFU party members. 35 See interview, Appendix 36 This was the conclusion of Claremont Kirton, who organized the annual budget discussions that electrified the country in local assemblies in the early going. Another ranking party member, Bernard 162). 37 structures could not advance independently because they lacked prolet 38 One pot rice dish introduced by Indian plantation workers to the Caribbean employing pigeon peas or black eyed peas. ( accessed December 11, 2012)

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170 39 The inference is that this refers to the period from the last year of Gairy's tenure to the US invasion. 40 Brierley saw residual effects of this renewed enthusiasm as late as 1995, when that year's Agricultural Census showed landless farmers averaged 20 years younger than medium (1 to < 25 acres) and large (25 + acres) farmers. He interpreted this finding to suggest an unsatisfied land hunger aroused by the PRG not in keeping with views that farming was unattractive to young people. The finding again r aises the question whether allotment of land to small farmers by the PRG would have spoken more the same study also found that the PRG governme nt had not affected the basic size of small farmer holdings (1985a:: 306 and passim). 41 42 Reagan announced that the US aim was restoration of government after Bishop's assassination and protection of the US student population at St. George's University, then a medical school. Contingents of soldiers from Barbados, Antigua, Dominica, and the Edward Seaga government in Jama ica regional governments with right wing leaders joined the invasion. One hundred eight countries voted to condemn the US action at the UN including Canada and Great Britain, which was stunned by the US action, taken without consultation or authorization a gainst Grenada, which still had Queen Elizabeth as titular head (Zunes 200 3 ; Martin 2007:124). 43 Meeks (2001) cites an atmosphere of growing crisis, personal exhaustion, and an inevitable drop in foreign aid, as well as an ebbing pace of change in the cou ntryside as reasons for central committee tension. op program were at a stan ). The partnership with the Grenadian bourgeoisie was reassuring to the IMF and World Bank and helped to reassur e investors but bore clear cons equences, especially as outside sources dried up and the ability to economically compensate rural workers became more difficult. 44 In a speech to sympathizers in New York, Bishop claimed that the threat Grenada posed lay in t he potential success of an alternative model of development. He quoted what he said was a State new socio economic and political path of development. Gren ada is different from Cuba and Nicaragua. Grenada is in one sense even worse because the people of Grenada and the government of Grenada stated tha our country then we can have a dangerous appeal to 30 million black people in the United States. That aspect of the report 1983 speech available at:, accessed August 6, 2012. 45 The contractor was a British firm, Plessy, underwritten by Margaret Thatcher's Tory government. Financing was gu aranteed by British Finnish and Canadian firms and the European Community was a partner ; a Miami dredging firm carried out some construction The World Bank had noted its utility it would enable Grenada to land and more quickly ship agricultural products (Ferguson 1990:4; O'Shaughnessy 1984:88 89; Steele 2003:389), including to stimulate inter island trade. 46 The Soviet Union had come to specialize in building equipment for use in various kinds of terrain for poor countries, and had made a gift of 33 of the tractors to Grenada, Elliot Bishop told me in 2008. 47 The USAID acronym suggests that the government organization offers indeed in the through which the US sends non administrator Frank Coffin told a US House of Represe development for the sake of sheer development. An important objective is to open up the maximum

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171 opportunity for. private initiative. to insure that foreign private investment, particularly from the United S 960; jvu.txt accessed August 27, 2012. 48 Briefly Grenada became the world's highest per capita recipient of US aid; St. Lucia Prime Minister Eugenia Charles complained that a country had to get invaded to obtain the superpower's help. About a quarter of funds, owned shipping and manufacturing Meanwhile, Eric Gairy re turned from the US where he had been granted asylum during the PRG years and both the GULP and a former opposition Grenada National Party made up of Chamber of Commerce members, estate owners, and members of the urban middle class ld political forces. reemerged more or les s 14) 49 Indeed, AID Project Number 538 0141 01, initiated in 1987 at a cost of $5 million US, is flatly accessed December 4, 2012. More work to uncover and understand the contours of such projects and their effects on small farmer culture and the rural sector are required. 50 officials, were visible in nearly every town and government office during the aftermath. many were still 51 Seeking preceden sector emerged early in Grenada's history when trading ships from Europe brought articles for sale or barter with the islanders in return for products to be taken back to Europe 52 A a banker, accountant, trade union member, chamber of commerce member, and several others (Shay 1987:206). A brief account by Donald Shay, an American consu the only AID participant whose account I found does not say what part they played in the process. The group identified 29 Grenada state ente rprises, worth approximately 20 million US dollars (just three were profitable, according to Shay, two of these banks whose profits nearly covered the operation of all the others) for privatization. The amount of money seems almost negligible if their futu re potential contribution to Grenada is considered what benefits might such institutions have generated for Grenada these last thirty years, and why was it not for Grenadians to decide about their lasting value? Prime Minister Blaize and his cabinet were g iven a menu of options about privatizations from which to make final decisions about their dispensation, which ranged from outright sales of some entities; to sales of part ownership to outside interests; to liquidation and sell offs of some assets. 53 A 19 82 World Bank report had endorsed the PRG's basic strategies, noting that amid a worldwide (Brie rley 1985b:58cd) 54 The thrust of the program which emphasized banana production was commercial monoculture 55 resulted in a restoration of constitutional government ; accessed August 22, 2012. 56 Former Permanent Secretary of Finance Lennox Andrews told me in a 2012 interview that businesses were left to collect the revenue on the honor system and simply kept tax monies for

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172 themselves. Revenue didn't reach the government and that the tax severely r educed demand, he said. The new system collapsed after three months. 57 The commission never met with the Grenada 17, the former leaders of the PRG convicted of crimes associated with the overthrow and murder of Maurice Bishop. Combining his investigation of the a good deal of cynicism went into the process. that the case was opened only to be deliberately

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173 CHAPTER 5 The GCFA: Repeasantization and Food Sovereignty Cane can be central to an integrated small farm system where you intercrop and fertilize and have a strong reproductive cycle. Joseph Gill Former extension agent and GCFA official Overview In 1984, with the country reeling from the collapse of the People's Revolutionary Government, amid the sw eeping changes ushered in by USAID, a fledgling Grenada Cane Farmer Association (GCFA) began an organizing drive among the country's poorest farmers in the traditional sugar cane cent ers. Over the next fifteen years the organization grew to as many as 2,000 people. Its member s adapt ed various agricultural and communal labor practices of Grenada's small farmer inheritance to create a new basis for intercrop farming of sugarcane for subsistence production and local produce sales a model that members argue holds continuing promi se for establishment of FS in Grenada today. The methods adapted proved flexible and productive, helping to revive a moribund sugar cane sector and bringing new belief in the value of their efforts to many of the country's poorest farmers T he GCFA's creati ve renewal of older peasant practices mirrors in general outline projects of repeasantization now taking place around the world (Desmarais 2007:20; Edelman 2003:187; Van der Ploeg 2010 1, passim ; Da Vi 2012:231) 1 This chapter describes the development of the GCFA, its early organizing efforts, and the way that its farming methods and mission evolve d It details the blow that the GCFA suffered in 1998 when the government seized members' most productive lands o n the south shore for construction of a tourist hotel, curtailing national sugarcane production and sending the

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174 organization into a tailspin. It examines ways that decisions to run the organization as a profit making entity, shaped by neoliberal currents of the post revolutionary period, impac ted both organizational structure and including in its relationship with members how they continue d to constrain decision making in 2012 Among the biggest impediments to a revival of the sugarcane subsector the investiga tion finds, are public ignorance about cane farmer methods and national ambivalence about agriculture in general clear obstacles to the establishment of FS as well Beginnings Elliot Bishop was a 34 year old union worker living in Moscow, sent by Grena da's Commercial and Industrial Workers Union to study trade unionism and political economics, when he learned that Maurice Bishop had been killed. He set out for home immediately, traveling via London. As the invasion commenced his wife burned his PRA unif orm. Once back in the country, Bishop lay low. He wondered what he would do with the rest of his life. Many Grenadians would soon be out of work Mistrust arose as peoples' activities under the PRG were scrutinize d and the nation accommodated the new realities. It was in th is prevailing climate of uncertainty that Bishop's friend Joseph Gill a former extension officer and Agricultural Ministry official under the PRG approached him with the idea of trying to organize workers in the sugarcane in dustry, an effort that result ed in establishment of the G CFA Plantation sugar production had been in decline for the better part of a century in the Caribbean, a development precipitated by the rise of European sugar beet production in the early nineteen th century and augmented by growing cultivation in

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175 other tropical locales. With its comparatively more diverse export base, Grenada had all but ceased producing sugar on the estates by late in the nineteenth century, as Chapter 3 noted. But production had continued among small farmers (Cumberbatch 1977:3), and sugarcane according to former GCFA Secretary and General Manager Ferron Lowe 2 emerged as the main producers with the breakdow n 1986:3). According to Brierley land ar 254). 3 Sugarc coastal areas, and in particular the drier south and south shore areas that are the f ocus of this study (Lowe 1986:3 ). Farmers in both of these areas tended be among Grenada's poorest farmers and those who supplied the great part of Grenada's local food production. Acco rding to Brierley they were also of more purely Afrodescendant heritage than more export oriented middle belt farmers ( 1974: 176, 207 ). 4 In some real measure, then (if all but unnoticed in Grenada) sugar cane farming particularly on the island's north and s outh shores forms the heart of both received traditions in Afro Grenadian peasant farming and what we might identify as the nation's FS traditions, especially insofar as these involve the quest for food independence. Although it came before the FS idea gai ned currency, the GCFA offers an experiment in both the potential for local farmers groups to implement FS and the institutional and other limits they may face. on the south s hore, adjacent to Calivigny estate farm lands given to small farmers by Eric Gairy and the Woodlands Sugar Factory 5 which traditionally purcha se d cane

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176 Bishop sometimes missed school for weeks during sugarcane harvest, collecting cane tops friend Joseph Gill, who had also served as coordinator for the Productive Farmers Union (PFU) under the PR G. It was Gill who formed the idea that he and Bishop should advocate for the industry and for its farmers, who had long needed organizational representation (Brizan 1998: 262). e thing i Bishop told me seemed to me that it may have been better to go back to your roots. They would address the strenuous labor demands of cane in the way their elders had, with Gill h ad organized and taken part in many maroons during the revolution a s the PFU coordinator for his pari sh, St. David's organization labor would occupy both the social and productive core of GCFA efforts, with Gill's small farming knowledge supplying the technical basis for a w ider extension to small farmers something tha t they had lacked historically (Antoine 1990: n.p. ). Initial response in meetings wit h farmers cane fa rmer Frankie Lewis recalled it, five percent of farmers were of advanced age It was surprising to see that a lot of young people took he said, but t here was a certain romanticism in the endeavor in keeping with the times which saw First World hippies and Caribbean Rastafarians repairing to the land

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177 in what was a rejection of consumerist lifestyles. producing food Bishop said. The leadership was particularly encouraged by increased profits and growing sales in Grenada for rum, based partly in an increased processing capacity at the count ry's distilleries. At that point the distilleries were importing molasses because local cane growing was largely at a standstill. The Woodlands factory had stopped producing sugar in 1982 because too little cane was being grown to su stain operations (Antoi ne 1990: 5) and because the low price of sugar on the international market made production of what cane was grown uneconomical (Martin 2007: 105). GCFA farmers saw an opportunity to again supply rum's central component in the traditional form of cane syrup. 6 Indeed, supplying the central ingredient in Grenadian rum was and continued to remain the cane farmers' foremost goal many felt, since this would address the country's balanc e of payments issues and mean that Grenadian sugar once again supplyied the central ingredient in Grenadian rum Joined by a number of farmers, especially in the Marian area, Gill and Bishop set to work They were later joined by others including Lowe, who proved a consummate organizer In further transforming their predecessors' cane farming practices they transform ed one of the ugliest specters of the slave past into a promising grassroots initiative for Grenada's future. The initiative would bring them into the wider struggle of East Caribbean farmers to preserve t heir small farming heritage as members of the 15,000 farmer Windward Island Farmer Association (WINFA) which the GCFA joined in 1986, with Bishop in time becoming a board member and sometime WINFA chair, and into the earliest stages of L VC's global strugg le for FS.

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178 Sparking a Sugarcane Farming Revival sugar production had been in decline for much of the twentieth century reaching historic lows in the 1970s. A 1975 government report cited t ransport ation poor roads, a nd inadequate drainage as pr oblems that plagued the sector A third of all crops planted suffered pest damage. There were few credit facilities to help farmers secure loans and little help for farmers with pest control or in securing fertilizer. The report suggested that the industr y was in danger of disappearing and ears in finding an alternative also noted that farmers had failed to represent themselves as a body said, sugarcane farmers would have to ome form of organized existence (Grenada Ministry of Agriculture 1975:n.p.) The Grenada Sugar Factory, as the Woodlands mill was also called in which the government owned the controlling share, and which had become the biggest single source of sales for small farmers' canes had long paid extremely low prices which b oth the authors of the government 1975 report and a 1977 OAS report on Grenadian agriculture cited as unacceptably low. Nonetheless, the OAS report noted that the industry was im portant enough to the economic life of local communities to warrant resuscitation (1977: 13 14). The 1975 government report had offered the commercialization of cane as animal feed as one potential income source 7 A mong possibilities recommended by the OAS was production of high quality molasses for local consumption and export. M ost or all such products in a net food importing country had local components that would c ontinue to make them attractive, including in a FS and wider agro industrial context today.

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179 As the GCFA's Lowe wrote in 1986, particularly the south and eastern parts of the island. If the industry dies it would mean tearing apart an integ 2). Lowe estimated that 600 fa milies country's total popula tion) directly dependent Cane had in the past enabled small farmers to meet at least part of their cash according to Lowe. I n the places where cane died out cattle farming tended to disappear too, he said. He not within the trad itional small farmer cane zones the most functionally illiterate and exploited workers, and. among the poorest farmers in the country [,] w ith average incomes no greater than EC$1,500 $3,000 per a according to Lowe (1986: 3). Combined with the historical legacy of sugarcane, the image of the cane farmer as among Grenada's poorest people and of cane farming as cause of their problems rath er than s olution would prove difficult to overcome organizing initiative (1986: 4). A non profit NGO, the Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO), backed the organization financ ially assisting it in financing meetings, in setting up a secretariat, and in hiring a secretary and office manager. T he GCFA's activities included registering cane farmers; enumerating the size and growth of the industry; providing farmers with fertilize r; education and training in pest control, cultural practices, and record keeping; repr interests before government and buyers (including obtaining better prices for them); maintaining a board

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18 0 of directors and area branches; and organizing an annual general meeting (Lowe 1986) The GCFA also made small loans to cane farmers. Other goals, according to a document produced by the Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), included provision of extension services to farmers along with plo wing and transportation, development of better processing facilities, and help in obtaining credit, fertilizer and other inputs (1998:15). Prior to the GCFA several previous attempts to organize cane farmers iticized and the farmers soon lost authority over their come to dominate those organizations. 8 of cane farmers, not Mr. So and So. Every little village we went By 1989, a report to the Commonwealth Fund by Grenadian engineer Peter od from 1984 can be considered a period of revival for the sugarcane farmers. Apart from increasing demand, the introduction of new varieties 9 with better yields and above all more at Woodla nds had encouraged small farmers to expand or take up sugarcane cultivation tonnes) per acre in the 1970s to over 25T at present [1989] and cane prices have moved from EC$ 5 0 [US$18.72] per tonne in 1982 to EC$ 75 per tonne in 1986, 9 0$ in 1987 to $110 [US $41.19] Antoine 1990: 6). From 1984 to the late 199 0s the GCFA would continue to negotiate increases in the price per ton of cane for farmers,

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181 eventually reaching EC $120. The GCFA also provided extension services to local small farmers across all phases of their production, and contribut ed to development of the agricultural sector not just among cane farmers but by bringing new people in, expand ing production into places where it had traditionally thrived like the Conference as low as 1 2 acres, and the replanting of cane in areas that had been given up for cul Grenada map at the end of this chapter (Figure 2), from Antoine's Commonwealth Fund report, notes areas under sugarcane production as of 1989. At this point the size of the p opulation benefiting directly and indirectly from sugarcane had effectively doubled according to Lowe, with 1500 people farming sugarcane and some 10,000 people benefiting, roughly 10% of the populatio n (1986: 3). Crucially, the effects were con centrated in areas where many of Grenada's poorest people lived. The revival that Antoine and Lowe describe was based especially in two features of traditional Grenadian cane farming that the GCFA adapted for a newly emerging generation of cane farmers. Maroons proved a key component of the labor system the cultural backbone and a considerable part of the excitement around the revival. Revised planting and intercropping techniques, 10 combined with introduction of new crops, helped to place farmers on a bet ter technical and financial footing. Maroons and the GCFA Vision of a n Advanced Farm System with Cane means three things: Prepare inter croppi ng are key to the science and resilience of Grenadian agriculture, the maroon was the labor system used to carry out the most labor intensive phases of sugar cane farm ing work. Like the

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182 Saracca and other Grenadian institutions of collective support, the mar oons challenge common categorizations of peasants as s elfish or loners, a designation a number of farmers seemed aware of and eager to counter The affection with which cane farmers speak of maroons makes clear how much t hey contributed to the pleasure GCFA farmers took in their work, and unity within the quite a lot of gossip and 'old talk' [banter]. And it gets results! You find that productivity Along with maroons, sugarcane farmers' identity centered around sugar cane and its products GCFA members like Gill and North District Chairman Reginald Buddy believe d strongly that this system refined by them could be used to raise Grenadian agriculture and the rural sector and to stimulate local production for FS 11 Cane tied the system together economically and technologically to make small farming work. Buddy had taken u p production in 1986 not far from his own village, River Sallee, he told me Like the production of many area farmers his grandmother s canes had gone to the local Two Rivers rum disti llery at River Antoine, w here he remembered that she received $150EC (roughly $55 U S) for every gallon of juice a ton yielding rou ghly 25 gallons expressed from told me i t I was scared. When my gran dfather planted he used to dig a hole here and a hole here and a hole here, and he used to take two weeks to do a whole acre of cane, just But an agricultural ministry

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183 ping sugarc ane with other plants. The wider availability of plowing was one of the keys: When they showed me it's all machine once you clear the land, you plow, you furrow with the machine, you ditch the cane plant down in the drain [furrow] and you cover it there yo u could plant any other crop between in the first year. I did one plot, probably about three quarters of an acre. I intercropped it with sweet po tato. And there I got the kick because the money that I spent to put in the crop 12 I cover it about three times and a half just harvesting the sweet potato. Then I harvest the cane and I say cane is an amazing crop! From there I expand. Buddy saw this ability to quickly offset initial costs as a big part of the potential appeal of cane farming for prospective young people and other small farmers. T he opportunities presented at various stages of production were emphasized as Cane could be orchestrated to keep farmers working with products to eat and sell throughout the year with sugarcane is that it kept the id Bishop th M ost of them have very small plots an acre, two acres, sometimes less than an acre. What the farmer used to do, he puts down a plot of cane, then he interplants that with vegetables watermelon, sweet potatoes, whatever. He reaps that vegetable crop and he gets an income. After a period, he may renew a part of his field and do a similar thing. The cane farmer is mor e diversified. The nutmeg farmer only plants nutmeg. Maybe he does other things, but that's his main crop. Planting between rows reduced the need to weed and offered the part ial shade that many smaller plants thrive in, especially in the germination and se edling stage s (Mohammed and Ferdinand 1991: 5). cane only plantation, y ou have an 18 month wait for a first harvest With i ntercropping, the method could bring cash or contribute to the w ide r economy while the farmer eats 13

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184 Bishop, like several farmers I spoke to, distinguished between sugar cane farmers and people who produced just a single crop. The latter were but comparison was a e grew cane He had livestock cattle, sheep, goats, and sometimes poultry. After you cut th e y reported in 1974 tha ). A nd a 1991 joint report by the GCFA and Woodlands factory personnel suggested that the decline in Grenada's livestock industry was connected with t h e decline of sugarcane farming [1991:4] ) Pigs are often fed the juice directly while other animals feed on the stalks, which supply them energy and fiber. Here the metabolic cycle was complete : the plant stimulated livestock growth, the animals' manure en riched the cane and other plants, and the bagasse, or squeezed cane stalks, made high quality mulch. 14 Because the cane was harv ested during the dry season the stalks were available when other feed s w ere scarce. Today, various observers noted, Grenada is la rgely dependent on imported feed. A coordinated rise in the production and sale of tops for animal nutrition export ratio. In addition to livestock, the cane farmer produced vegetables and fruit for local consumption and sometimes expor t, including for trafficking to nearby islands Brierley traces the cane intercropping practice to the nineteenth century when planters, unable to pay farmers wages, began to giv e them a t hird of their canes and allow them to intercrop their sugar cane fields T hey also fed their cattle the bagasse or squeezed cane stalks. He says that the government began to discourage th ese

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185 practices in the 1960s and that the institution of a minimum wage for agricultural labor undermined the system. Antoine however, says that estate managers at the River Antoine Estate began intercropping sugarcane with beans and sweet potatoes in the 1920s an innovation they claimed as their own in and out of season ne 1984:18). Although s weet potato es w ere the traditional Grenadian intercrop with sugar cane other provision crops sometimes planted with them Gill had the idea to develop a new mix of cash and subsistence crops to grow with cane, with provis ion crops moved planted elsewhere. A t Mt Hartman, he began to advise farmers to plant the cane with cash crop s like melons The planting method was altered, too. k rows In t ime, their growth would become constricted by the intercropped plants, and it became hard to move through to weed. With melons or peppers, the task was not as arduous Similarly, when farmers intercropped in the traditional manner, they pl anted the rows four feet apart to ac commodate the additional crops. But GCFA members convinced farmers to plant the ir canes closer together, in regular rows, to make the plantation more stable during storms, to intercrop systematically to make weeding syst ematic, too. 15 Mean while despite the narrower rows losses of cane yield after the first year intercrop was harvested

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186 In fact, when farmers intercropped systematically in the new way they saw better yields t urning the soil around cash crops as they were removed h elped to mulch the canes Fields planted in other crops after cane also brought high yields. Between better cane varieties and planting methods y ields were far higher, according to Buddy, with one acre sometimes yielding 35 40 tons of cane, as much as farmers had previously grown on four acres. Canes proclaim shoots on their ratoons for about five years before yields drop. Each year, if possibl e, GCFA farmers planted a new cane stand and every five or so years pulled up an old one. According to Buddy, it was possible to keep healthy plants producing for as long as 15 years ones a long period of production for one c and it's there he told me. 16 The fact that cane was harvested in the dry off season brought another advantage income when small farmers tended to be poorest. Sugarcane became son Lindon he said. Out of Cane: GCFA Success, F ood S overeignty and New Obstacles I ntegrated production of sugar cane retains the potential to stimulate the local economy and increase food independence Beyond farmers and their families, cane impacted positive ly on employment, as cane farmers I talked to t ook pains to stress. T he sale of rums impact ed in hotels and restaurants. M illing provided employment for hundr eds of people. Distilling requires transportation and distribution, which meant more jobs. And the farmers saw steady cash income from sale of their canes. Bishop said of its potential impacts We u sed to invest a lot in terms of having experts come and speak

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187 about the by products. A lot was said about bagasse and the products you can make from it Many animal feeds contain molasses, a byproduct of the process that creates white sugar. 17 And there muscovado style sugar. (Among projects that cane workers were examining in 2008 was resuming production of such sugar which many Caribbean residents have turn ed back to because of its health foo d appeal.) U nfiltered sugarcane juice and syrup have a high nutritional content and are sometimes used as a sweetener by health food advocates B oth public officials and cane farmers had discussed but not followed through with plans to provide it to childr en in Grenada's schools. 18 now d Bishop, who had seen the products and benefits that sugar cane can yield on a visit to LVC small farmer organization ANAP in Cuba. 19 Bishop also lamented the under utilization of the Grenada Sugar Factory affirmed by factory engineer and longtime industry watcher Michael Kurtin, a member of the Sugar Cane Revival Committee formed in 2008 that could have been producing cardboard and paper from bagasse, sweeteners, other distillates and animal feeds 20 Unlike nutmeg, co coa, or banana grown for export, sugarcane profited the local economy first, stimulating a n array of activities, not least local farm community subsistence Sugarc ane also generate d foreign exchange cane juice or molasses didn't have to be imported from abroad. But although it addressed the balance of trade in favorable ways, it never received anything like the government al or professional attention that the did Bishop said of sugar cane. ed in 2008

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188 around Imports of molasses for rum making had increased. T hey have done their best to destroy this in dustry Bishop said. was not necessarily a paranoid sentiment, as I came to understand farmers were increasingly organized having a I n his view, the the n current NNP government desired neither a strong union presence in farming nor the promulgation of the GCFA model, which did not foster the development of commercial agriculture and stood in the way of local tourist development: cane farmers' traditional lands included a great deal of increasingly desirable north and south shore real estate. As early as 1991 the GCFA was holding meetings to identify lands from which cane farmers were being ousted, that were being lost to real estate sales or threatened by development, calling developments, as minutes from some of th e meetings held then show. 21 GCFA Membership: A Cane Farmer Profile I wouldn't say the cane farmer is a loner. Maybe he is isolated when it comes to attention from the top. But among themselves cane farmers were very organized and socialized a lot. If a farmer needs some assistance in housing repair, or in land preparation, some guys on the team will come f orward. Elliot Bishop W ho were the farmer members of the GCFA? A survey undertaken by the GCFA in 1992 to ascertain member needs carried out by agronomist and sociologist Dunstan Campbell provides the only direct data gathered about the cane farmer cad re The in 1992, almost a decade after the collapse of the Gre nada revolution and US invasion 22 One hundred

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189 sixty seven farmers in three of the country's six parishes (St. David, St. George, an d St. Andrew) participated in the survey, 92% of them GCFA members. The majority of members were over 55. J ust 20% were under 35, while 65% were over 45 confirming according to the author population of middle aged and old farme rs growing sugarcane in Grenada (Campbell 1992:4). Twenty two percent of respondents were women (Campbell 1992:4). Ninety percent of those interviewed had only finished primary school. Seven percent had no formal schooling. 23 Only 8% just seven of the farmers interviewed reported having a vehicle; one of the vehicles reported was a bicycle (15). An elevated number 69% said that they own ed their homes. Thirty two pe rcent had no electricity. Fifty one percent got water outdoors via a pipe to the house or standpipe and just 33% had a toilet in the house ( Campbell 1992: 9 12). number that suggests considerable subsistence consumption on the part of ma ny of the country's poorest people toward the c lose of the twentieth century. Food that they did purchase Campbell wrote, tended to be Campbell 1992: 16 19) The survey found that sugar cane was yield ing 55 % of members' income, food crops 14% A brought 35% of income. Average pay was between 15 and 20 EC dollars a day [US $5.60 and 7.50] Eighty percent reported annual farm income below $4,000 EC (just under $1500 US) dollars, a ll of which for the 10% of the population said to be benefiting from the industry in 19 86 suggests the

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190 very thin margins that many were operating on, the considerable loss to the country of sugarcane as source of income as the industry collapsed later. I n answer to a question designed to capture the growth and future promise of sugar cane farming, 13% of respondents said A majority listed upgrading and expansion of their farming as among the chief goals ( Campbell 1992: 4 1). Fully 90% were working plots in several places; t he second plot was 30% less likely to be flat than the first. surprisingly low 35% reported that they participated in some form of shared labor ( Campbell 1992: 27 28). ( A conversation with Elliot Bishop about this finding suggested or with harvest maroons but took the question to refer to things like where neighbors took turns helping one another during the course of the year ) Interestingly, given their poverty and lack of formal education, 48% ranked ; politician garnered 2% ( Campbell 1992: 55 56). sugarcane farmers saw their contribution as vital, believed in a future for cane farming, said that they would encourage a son to go into farming and 66%. would encourage a daughter to do so ( Campbell 1992: 54 55). One finding that stood out was how little cane farmers valued government extension services, with just 12% finding these relia ble, 14% finding them unreliable, an d 72% not bothering to respond, possibly indicating little contact with extension in the

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191 first place After pests and diseases, the biggest problem cane farmers faced was praedial larceny ( crop theft), with 14% reporting they struggled with the problem. Mt. Hartman and W H APCO The former Mt. Hartman estate is a 230 acre expanse of high ly fertile ground on Grenada's s outh s hore, one of the few places in Grenada where mechanized agriculture is possible. It features high qu ality grasses for grazing and its dry forest is a sanctuary for the Grenada Dove, the national bird, now threatened with extinction. It is also an oasis, with an ancient well and fresh water on site, where traces of Indian settlement sometimes tu rn up. Dur ing the revolution the Cubans dug two new wells there to facilitate agricultural expansion. In 1987, four years af ter the revolution imploded with the economy in bad shape in Grenada 24 a group of GCFA members including Bishop, Gill, and Lowe took up resid ence on the abandoned lands at Mt. Hartman, encouraged by the Herbert Blaize government as part of the Model Farms initiative then underway 25 The y wanted to start a cooperative, but Blaize's government with prodding from USAID was pushing people toward the private sector. So the partners had the lands surveyed and started a company the Wharf Agricultural Products Company, or W H APCO ( Pattullo 1996:43). Along with Gill, Bishop, and Lowe, Everington Smith a mason and Francis Alexis, current head of the Grenada Bar Association, were members In time, despite efforts at Mt. Hartman that attracted over 100 more farmers to the area they would lose the lands to a planned tourist complex a hotel and golf course that, despite their removal from the property, have nev er materialized. In early March 2008 I toured Mt. Hartman with Smith, Bishop, and Gill. Some of the scenes from Harry Belafonte's 1957 film Island in the Sun 26 were made here With

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192 its unfolding vistas of near shore islands and passing yachts there is a stirring beauty about the place In 1987, however, the la nd had been grown over W H APCO members I n time they clear ed 80. They planted cherry trees next to the peninsula's black sand beach; they are still there. At Mt. Hartman W H APCO farmers introduced cantaloupe and other musk melons, butternut squash, a new hardy okra, yellow flesh watermelons, red and yellow peppers, lettuce, endive, and escarole to Grenada. They also introduced winter squash, which has sin ce become a staple of Grenadian diets. They reopened another quite ancient well, reportedly dating to the first people and used it to water crops and livestock, raising cattle, sheep, and goats. Among the links members made were wit Pattullo during this period P attullo 1996:43). The W H APCO partners also sold produce to their neighbors, to local hotel s, and in the nearby capital And they fed and encouraged the community that grew up around them, many of whom ended up, without formal titles, on land nearby. Attrac ted by their energy, in fact, 75 to 95 small farmers about 40 with their families took up farming on the slopes around them. 27 under the provisions of the 1986 Agricultural Rehabilitation and C rop Diversification Project, providing extension services to surrounding farmers as part of their agreement.

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193 At Mt. Hartman GCFA members refined many of the cane farming techniques described in the previous sections of this chapter S ugarc ane became central to their vision of a sustainable agriculture for Grenada They held regular maroon s planting, felling, and feasting together to harvest and cement community ties, creating standing wor k teams for the community. A lmost immediately th e import of melons from Trinidad ceased, replaced by Mt. Hartman produce The young farmers were impacting Grenada's bottom line making the sort of contribution required for a revival of Grenadian agriculture from the ashes of the New Jewel nightmare, and largely on the invader's economic terms. Overrun though it has become, Mt. Hartman remains tranquil and beautiful nothing has happen ed there since the community left 28 As we toured the property the three men shook their heads, still shocked that they had lost the place. George Brizan, who had formed a new political party the N ational D emocratic C ongress (NDC) and became Agriculture Ministe r in 1992, promised to get W H APCO a lease for the property. But the two parties could n ot work out details. The government was willing to grant a short lease of five or six years, but nothing approaching the 33 or 66 years the men sought. They wanted a lon g term arrangement so that they could make long term plans and as important attain the kind of security that would enable them to obtain loans with which to implement them. So the W H APCO farmers held out for better terms. Later, Bishop worried that maybe they should have accepted Brizan's offer and re bargained, posses sion ( it is said) being 9/10 of the law, from a position of

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194 strength further down the road But banks had refused to deal with W H APCO because of its insecure tenure ( Pattullo 43, 1996) They had reason to be wary. In 1996 the government changed hands. Although t here had been talk that Mt. Hartman was being eyed for a hotel before during the 1996 campaign NNP candidate Keith Mitchell had run on a platform of reviving Grenadian agriculture an d promised to protect farmers' access to the lands farmer In 1997, however, the W H APCO farmers learned that the new Mitchell government had leased the land 240 acre s at Mt. Hartman and all of 80 acre Hog Island just offshore for what they viewed as the paltry sum of $325,000 EC dollars (ca. US$121,000) per year. 29 They heard it on the radio with the rest of the country. A Ritz Carlton luxury resort and g olf course were planned there. Two hundred to 300 people would be employed in the construction, the government and developers announced, 800 permanently employed at the resort (Grenadian Voice 1997:36). Later, the Ritz Carlton chain would issue a cease and desist order for use of its name which had apparently been borrowed by whoever sold the government on the increasingly tenuous sounding deal. But in 1997, Prime Minister Keith Mitchell was promising that with the hotel's 225 rooms airlines would see that Grenadian tourism had reached critical mass Mt. Hartman would be (Grenadian Voice 1997:36). A s details leaked out, the deal prompted outrage. An op editorial by Brizan's National Democratic Party, now out of office, noted that the government had leased

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195 com square foot; private lands in the area are sold at $4 $5 a square foot No feasibility study had been performed no debate held about use of the lands. The question of compensation for the farmers arose; Mitchell's government promised them a settlement. A December 3, 1997 press release from the GCFA without any background information of farmers' claims and accepted a 'compensation cheque' f rom the so The compensation question would divide the farmers working there, including WHAPCO farmers fr om the rest. The press release which shows the rhetorical earmarks of an FS approach to the issue (then an official part of WINFA policy for a year) if no mention of the term itself, demanded that Mt. icultural lands be preserved for agricultural purpose that Government should implement a national land policy that more emphasis be put into food security tal impact assessment of the project be GCFA authors ( GCFA 1997 ). The GCFA staged protests against the lease and imminent removal of farmers Bishop told me. In actions that hinted at a potential for future coalition between small

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196 farmers, environmental and o ther groups, the then still extant PFU, Friends of the Earth Grenada, and other organizations joined the fray. But although there was public sympathy, it would wane. The Prime Minister painted the conflict as one between many jobs and a few poor locals the country against the selfish interests of a small group of farmers. There was a split among the nation's unions over the hotel project. In former times, several of the country's big unions had backed cane farmer efforts. But Chester Humphrey, head of the T echnical and Allied Workers' Union and the country's most vocal and visible union leader, instead backed the resort project, on the premise according to Bishop that it would mean union jobs. Humphrey's position boded poorly for the kind of future alliance needed to create a national campaign for FS As parting blow the compensation offer came just before Christmas. A government representative, Bishop says, went around telling farmers that the check s about th e GCFA people Christmas came, everyone was poor, and there was a stampede for checks. 30 After they lost Mt. Hartman, many of the small farmers who had worked there quit Gill told me was to food production. According to public enterprise specialist Venkata Ramanadham, 12,000 metric tons of cane per year were harvested in Grenada in 1997 (1997: 211). A serious slide took place during the next thre e years, when production by GCFA members ceased at Mt. Hartman. By 2000 the national yield was d own to just 2800 tons (Titus 20 0 9 :4), a drop that coincided with the remaining farmers' removal from the area

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197 The Prime Minister at Mt. Hartman In the months before December 1997 when the controversy was at its height, the Prime Minister came to Mt. Hartman and encouraged the farmers to leave the area. He also suggested that they take some of the jobs at the planned new golf course. Mitchell told farmers his own father had been a farmer and that cane never got him anything. One farmer courageously pointed out that Mitchell's father had produced a Prime Minister B ut Mitchell was unmoved ; h e opined that he'd rather be a caddy. G ill told me industry Several of the older farmers h ad a hard time finding new work Smith told me. sugar cane farming and its possible disap culture. You see the farmer he gets up in the morning and he goes to his joupa. 31 He does his little from the garden little provision he can cook his food there. While his food is coo king he's doing his work on the land. He spends the whole day, you know? And at lunch time he will eat and relax, have a little sleep. And then he goes back and he has livestock he have about two or three cows. He would milk his cow and he has milk. Pe Public officials, according to Bishop and Gill, made repeated disparaging comments about cane farming, which GCFA members saw as part of a wider ef fort to undermine the industry Gregory Bowe n, the NNP's agricultural minister, had little regard for the farmers' efforts at Mt. Hartman and, like the Prime Minister, tied cane farming to slavery and hard labor The criticism str uck a chord with many people. Meanwhile, the government talked up

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198 degrade the farmer image or no, a lot of people start saying stupid things like 'cane kill Abel' or 'cane is slavery ,' negative statements that were coming out about this laborious As of 2012, no development had taken place at Mt. Hartman. No food ha d been p roduced there o n one of the island's few flat arable expanses. In its 1997 budget speech, the government had said construction would begin that year. Five years later another paper reported that t he deal which was signed with some Venezuelan nationals failed to materialize T he government was reportedly seeking new partners for the project. Nineteen million EC dollars had been guaranteed to those were drawn dow n [withdrawn]. since the deal was not laid before the Houses of ( Grenada Today 2002: 15). A lawyer quoted in the same article asserted that the government was in the process of re acquiring the lands from yet another party. Whatever the tru th of this, on three successive occasions as national elections neared fresh signs were put up and the roads made more passable, as if to suggest that construction on Mt. Hartman was imminent. At least three entities have been cited as developers. A ccusat ions of fraud and misuse of government monies for the site have been lodged repeatedly T he land sit s idle. In 2010 the government the government of NDC Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, who defeated Mitchell in 2008 floated the idea of financing a hotel on Mt. Hartman itself. The IMF objected to the idea of additional debt for a country whose

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199 of default or bankruptcy 32 F or Grenada, with a $140 million dollar EC food bill in a region suffering food crisis, it was hard to construct the Mt. Hartman saga as anything but a waste. Sale of the Grenada Sugar Factory Several years after the announced lease of Mt. Hartman, on March 8, 2001, Mitchell's NNP government sold the country's 81.4% share in the Grenada Sugar Factory at Woodlands along with its associated cane lands. The factory, which employed 120 people, w ent for what Gill, Bishop, and others saw as a scandalously low 4.8 million EC (US $1.9 million) dollars. 33 One hundred and fifty acres of prime agricultural land owned by the government at the Calivigny/Hope Vale estate we re sold in the same transaction to estate owner Leroy Neckles, a grower of sugarcane, nutmeg and other crops, already a part owner of the factory. At the time 100 small farmers were working at Calivigny, 50 to 75 farmers living at Hope Vale. About 35 acres then lay under pure stand cane there, according to Bishop; the rest was leased by farmers wh o grew cane and other crops. These were traditional cane lands but sat in the midst of a s outh s hore bursting with housing and tourism development. Neckles promised to keep the factory open and farmers employed. (He contractually agreed to keep the lands in cane, as would be revealed although he was not compelled to honor this promise .) Without the Mt. Hartman expulsion with a vital cane farming community still acting as propulsive nucleus for the GCFA inspiring renewed farming efforts around the country Bishop felt that the sale of the factory would not have been possible.

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200 Shortly, the factory stopped milling cane s to focus solely on distilling eventually returning to the practice of importing molasses for rum production Bishop told me Was there an unspoken decision by the NNP seph told me. In 2012, a former chairman of the Marketing and National Importing Board told me flatly that the Yes, Cain kill spoke of the Mt. Hartman deb GCFA Leadership and Goals As Bishop recalls it members of the GCFA's board of directors saw their biggest goals as four fold These included help ing GCFA farmers to obtain good prices for their crops; lower ing their transport ation costs; and obtain ing access to land for small farmers a nd agriculture in general. The f ourth goal was that farmers wo uld come to own their own mill, said Bishop who recall ed wide spread en thusiasm across the GCFA for this idea. L eadership had co me to believe that having mills might offer a real basis in self sufficiency for cane farmers, and conceived a plan to own and m aintain two of them 34 In 1996, they purchased an existing mill at Marian with assistance from The Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries ( HIVOS ) 35 a Dutch NGO, and began planning to build another on lands granted to them by the then N DC government (Williams 200 3 :400) at Poyntzfield near River Antoine. Among other things, the new mill would enable them to squeeze five more gallons of syrup out of every ton of cane (Antoine 1990:2). The GCFA was able to obtain funding for the new mill wi th a loan from

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201 the Grenada Development Bank and assistance from the Commonwealth Fellowship Program and GCFA members. Construction was completed in 1998. The feeling in the GCFA was that the [Grenada Woodlands] sugar factory was ripping off farmers. Bet ter we get into manufacturing ourselves Bishop told me in 2010 But we made errors. T he GCFA faced stiff challenges getting the mill running. The shaft was mounted backward and quickly broke. After that it was difficult to keep aligned and often broke down. People who had roles in the mill during the period struggled during interviews to contain their frustrati on over events of the period, when a great deal was at stake for the organization and its troubles mounted. A t first farmers were pa id more than the established rate for their canes. The mills were operated on a share system where the syrup extracted from each farmer's canes was measured: one third of payment was kept by the GCFA two thirds paid in cash to the farmer. Farmers also pai d a transport charge of 10%, which helped to build A ssociation revenues (Antoine 1990: 13). In a practice that had been established by the actually a deferred payment at Christmas. But when the Association ran into financial difficulties and had to lower per ton prices a perception developed that the board was squeezing farmers not just canes Wariness crept into relations between the board and its members Instead the board raised the per gallon price 36 back up to accommodate the complaints. ere saying, 'Dem want tief us! B ishop recalled. B oard members, in turn, came to feel antagonized, that farmers were only

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202 looking for monetary benefits. Meeting attendance and enthusiasm dwindled. The pennies per ton meant a great deal on both sides, to farmers one of whom told me and to the board, which would fall into deep arrears on loan repayments. The problems arising with the mill recalled early discussion about whether the grou p should form a union, a cooperative, o r register as a business entity, whic h latter they had done. In the neoliberal period poor people's organizations have been under pressure to a) provide economically, where possible, for members; b) to provide the kin ds of welfare services that governmen ts have abandoned; and c) to make money to support such increased responsibilities a nd offset lost revenu e from traditional benefactors (including NGOs), and from declining contributions and dues paying from members. In an interview in Santo Domingo in 2008, Va Campesina Caribe coordinator Juana Ferrer told me that the increasing amount of time her organization spen t devoted to the survival of members often prevent ed it from militating for the s ystematic change it believed was necessary to improve their lot. Marc Edelman writes of similar tensions in Costa Rican farmer organizations in the same period egotiations constituencies rather than on. building a. movement for (1999:157). 37 Here in Grenada, societal transformation was initially far down the lis t of GCFA goals the revolution having just been wiped out and survival paramount. The GCFA had its basis in accommodation of emerging neoliberal realities. Although the the organization had something of an activist orientation including th r ough its connect ions

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203 to WINFA it was in the main a service organization. Would creating a different kind of entity, operating as something other than a business, have been more useful? With hindsight, Joseph Gill said, diff ered sharply from seven NGO leaders and industry watchers whom I interviewed in 2012 seeking feedback on this chapter including former Grenada CARDI chief Ken Buckmire who criticized the failure the to take a more businesslike approach regar ding the mill and in many of its functions Both mills struggled. When HIVOS decided to stop working in the Caribbean toward the end of the decade, funding for the Marian mill ceased (The withdrawal of HIVOS led to a near st Caribbean operations.) caused mechanical failures and breakdowns for long periods, Bishop told me. 38 When the two mills were closed farmers had no choice but to take their canes elsewhere. As time wore on some farm ers began to lose interest in the GCFA or grumble d that the relationship had become exploitative. ( Only one GCFA officer the secretry/ general manager had ever dr awn a salary. ) Fa rmers started taking their cane s back to the Grenada Sugar Factory at Woodlands now the organization's direct competition. T he Woodlands mill was sold in 2001; it stopped grinding canes in 2003. In Decembe r 2004, after handing out relief checks of approximately 1 300 EC dollars (US $48 6) to cane farmers who had been hard hit by Hurricane Ivan Agricultural Minister Gregory Bowen, who had previously professed his distaste for sugarcane farming, told 39 Bo wen's failure to appreciate the basics of Grenadian sugarcane farming the diversity

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204 that it makes possible might be judged as something of a public relations failure of the GCFA, which had not managed to inform the country of how rooted their activities we re in a highly productive and agro diverse comment also betrayed a serious lack of awareness about those traditions on the part of the government's agricultural minister. The WI N FA and the GCFA Agriculture in the Windward Islands is undergoing rapid transformation, from a highly diversified. base to a more. specialised production. Rural people in their quest to amass wealth are forsaking communal ties. The evidence is pointing to the des truction of civil societies. The coup de main, 40 sou sou and other forms of cooperation are fast fading away. As such WINFA supports the notion of FS WINFA Food Security Policy statement In addition to its activities promoting the development of sugarca ne farming, the GCFA worked to improve the lot of small farmers across the island. In a n April 2008 email message to me GCFA General Secretary Elliot Bishop looked beyond the e Productive Farmers Union (PFU), some GCFA members had been members of the WINFA an org anization created in 1982 to advocate for East Caribbean farmers which came to include organizations in all the Windward Islands. 41 In 1986, GCFA members voted to join WINFA and it was through WINFA that the GCFA became a member of LVC. Today WINFA includes the National Farmers Union of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; the Dominica Farmers Union; Martinique's Organi z ation of Agricultural Producers; the GCFA, the River Sallee (Grenada) Women's Collective, and Grenada

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205 Beeke e pers' Association, and St. Lu cia's National Farmers Association, which it helped to establish. A brochure given to me by organization executives on a 2008 visit to its St. Vincent headquarters describes farmers and rural communities in the Caribbean. through programmes which address. food security, gender equity, sustainable development, and Its more specific goals included: helping to develop local farmer initiatives like the GCFA effort to revive sugarcane; developing alternative livelihood for farmers, including through fair trade (FT) and agro processing; building farmers' awareness of issues, including agriculture related developments in the WTO, the LOM trade and aid agreement and its aftermath, 42 FS, and food security; lobbying, and capacity building for farmers and their organizations; and mainstreaming gender issues in all its programs (WINFA 2000). As a member of LVC, WINFA supports the notion of FS which begins, by the organization's own definition, develop its own capacity to produce the people's basic food while respecting the (emphasis mine) WINFA opposes globalization of agricultural food systems which places the control of food in the hands of a few large multinationals T the brochure corporate dominance over food

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206 basis for food production sh ould be guaranteed and that other support systems should be created for the performance of their roles." In the 1990s, with HIVOS providing much of its funding, WINFA grew to as many as 10,000 farmers. W hen HIVOS pulled out of the Caribbean, however, much of WINFA's infrastructure collapsed and as noted in the case of the GCFA many of its projects suffered WINFA began again, opening membership to individual farmers, community groups, and other farm organizations. When an eight year WTO confrontation betwe en the US and Europe over bananas was resolve d in favor of US headquartered Latin America based banana companies like Chiquita and Dole, Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent strongly dependent on the banana trade faced disaster. Bananas are the quintessent ial small farmer export in those countries, traditionally providing a third of all jobs and half of export earnings (Myers 2004:2,158) exclusion some believed of wider or mor e transformational goals for the organization Hope came through development of a n FT model for banana exports that brought partnership with WINFRESH (formerly WIBDECO, the Windward Islands Banana Development and Exporting Company) 43 and trade agreements wi th several British supermarket chains, a model that is controversial within LVC and among Caribbean LVC organizations in part because it drew WINFA into a business relationship with those entities 44 Renegotiations of terms through the WTO in 2007 and 2009 saw banana farmers lose an increasing share of trade preferences previously allotted to them by importing countries 45

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207 Among WINFA initiatives were young farmer exchange s with Canadian, Caribbean, and Latin American organizations; regional lobbying and advocacy for land policies that supported small and poor farmers; and small farmer education and training. of Peasant Organizations for Community Development (ASOCODE), a Central American farmer organization that later became La Va Campesina Centroamericana), members of the GCFA had participated in exchanges with farmers from Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Ri ce. In Grenada, WINFA had provided funding to establish the River Sallee Women's Collective described in Chapter 7 with GCFA farmers supplying produce for and helping to sell several products that the collective developed for production. 46 When I asked fo r the GCFA's definition of FS in 2008 Elliot Bishop offered the following, employing the notion of a basic right to food expressed in WINFA's 2000 document: ability of a country to maintain and develop its own capacity to produce the People's Basic Fo od at the household, community, and national levels (FS Questionnaire 2008). The GCFA, Bishop wrote, was working to apply WINFA's vision of FS. The organization's basic complaint about Grenadian government policy was that iculture is designed for export continue to lobby governments for agricultural land policy, land reform, incentives for farmers farming, and to 'grow what you eat, ea sufficient in fo idea you h e noted how that right can run counter to the desire,

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208 instilled in people by advertis ing, for highly processed high fat content foods. Certainly, this was a perennial, long term battle for those seeking to assert FS in their countries. GCFA members kept their own counsel bout the FT model. It remained, in many ways, far from their own day to day concerns, which was in some ways a problem in itself. The GCFA never saw communications from LVC, for example, unless they came I came to believe prevented the GCFA from connecting more fully with LVC or its initiatives But Bishop acknowledged that WINFA's focus on bananas and FT had come to predominate in that organization, bent as it was on banana farmers' survival, sometimes to the exclusion of other activities including the pursuit of local food ind ependence The other WINFA countries were locked in their own historic patterns, trying to manage within the constraints that those patterns imposed on them. But i n many ways despite all of their struggles, and although the struggles of farmers in the vari ous EC countries are not fully commensura te with their own I came to feel that the cane farmers' approach to agriculture development for local consumption and development of the local ec onomy through intercropping and development of organic diversification, had strong advantages over the FT model that these had been thrown into greater relief by the banana struggle. Conclusion: Progressive Organization in a Neoliberal Straitjacket? Des pite difficulties, the GCFA gr ew for fifteen years before the organization was hit with the loss of Mt. Hartman, the sale of the sugar factory, and Hurricane Ivan. These nonetheless reve aled its strategic vulnerabilities. They demonstrated why the GCFA and sugarcane farmers required government support, and policies that supported agriculture and basic needs

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209 development over tourism, w hy beyond a doubt for this writer asic objectives, including provision and protection of land to small cultivators for farming. When I arrived in Grenada in 2008 the GCFA had laid off its small staff and was in the process of reconstituting as a national farmer organization, creating a new executive committee and amalgamating with the Gre nada Association of Beekeepers Grenada Fair Trade Farmers, and River Sallee Wo men's Cooperative (see Chapter 7 ). The hope was to create a genuine farmer movement. As it t urned out a new farmer umbrella gr oup the Grenada Federation of Agricultural and Fisheries Organizations (GFAFO) was already in the works ; the GCFA dropped its own organizing initiative to join it Over time however, it became apparent that GFAFO was a vehicle for the political aspirations of one farmer Grenada Senator Keith Clouden who was strongly affiliated with the then opposition NDC political party ere policies clearly not in keeping with FS subsistence legacy, including a push to create a more professionalized minimum wage cadre of agricultural workers to furnish labor to farmers described in the next chapter 47 The hurricanes, as the next chapter also shows woul d provide the occasion for a push to fully commercialize Grenadian small women, children, and the poorest people.

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210 Figure 5 1. Areas, largely on the north and south shore s, identified by Antoine in 1989 as under cane cultivation (marked by Xs).

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211 Figure 5 2. (above, right to left) GCFA principals and founders Joseph Gill and Eliot Bishop at Mt. Hartman in 2008 with partner Everington Smith, under a cherry tree that they planted. Figure 5 3. Cane farmer and GCFA member Frankie Lewis locking his joupa, located on the edge of traditional cane lands of Calivigny.

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212 Figure 5 4. A cane harvest maroon in Marian in May 2012 (see Appendix) Figure 5 6. Traditional meal of provision, saltfish souse, and bakes provided for maroon harvesters at a cane harvest maroon in Marian in May 2012 (see Appendix)

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213 1 Small farmer sugarcane cultivation takes place around the Caribbean (Mohammed and Ferdinand 1991: 6 7), including Jamaica, where various intercrop combinations have been investigated (see Thomas 1981), and in Cuba (Rivacoba and Morin 2002). It also hap pens India ( english.pdf accessed February 2, 2013), and South Africa Updates/INTERCROPPING%20OF%20SUGARCANE.pdf accessed February 2, 2013. But the approach in Grenada was unique in the manner in which it was initiated as a gr assroots effort by cane farmers themselves. 2 Lowe, who worked full time in the position from 1985 1990, is today an adviser to Grenada's Agricultural Ministry. Despite his repeated professions of willingness to talk, efforts to interview him across four t rips to Grenada proved unavailing. 3 According to agronomist Ken Buckmire at least some sugarcane was grown by almost every belt). Sugarcane, he said, w as traditionally the first crop farmers put in when they began to work new plots. Small plots still dot the country. 4 Farmers in the middle belt where cocoa predominated as well as growers of export crops generally tended to be of Indian or part Indian d escent, descendants of indentured laborers who arrived between 1857 and 1884 (Steele 2003:187 188). Although the GCFA attempted to organize in other parts of the country, it was poverty in the traditional cane belts that the leadership initially sought to address. Antagonism based around such racial and ethnic differences is referenced in Martin Felix's short history of the Grenada Labor movement: grenadalabormovement.htm accessed December 11, 2012. 5 Gairy had acquired some shares in the factory for the government, according to several observers I spoke to. But the PRG acquired a majority stake 85% and placed a worker on the board of directors. Wi th the stake it also acquired Hope Vale and Calivigny lands that were under cane. The PRG also raised the price paid to farmers per ton of cane (first one, then two EC dollars [2.67 = 1 US] per ton). 6 Farmers and GCFA officials called into question wheth er the rums could be rightly called Grenadian if (along with the aging process) the syrup, which gives rums their flavor, did not come from the island. Molasses imparts a different flavor to rum, those farmers insisted. 7 The feed is produced by two basic methods: feeding cane tops to animals, or chopping cane tops and nodes and mixing them with molasses and urea, which helps animals to metabolize the fodder, and sometimes also with protein supplements ( accessed December 11, 2012) 8 A cane association Cane Growers Limited run by estate owners who leased lands to small farmers, had (also) previously existed. The GCFA consisted solely of small farmers. 9 There are dozens of varieties of sugarcane ranging from kinds best suited to eating raw to those that yield high quantities of juice and/or which grow best in various conditions, as well as canes adapted for production of distillates like ethan ol. 10 One area for further inquiry is the impact that the Model Farms program and an IMF aided agricultural diversification project begun in 1986 (Brierley 2003:38) had on what was grown and sold, both for local consumption and export. 11 Such small farm er refinements in sugarcane production and production of other crops undoubtedly taking place in other countries are worth investigating in pursuit of a regional vision of FS by LVC Caribe. They suggest the need for a regional research facility for grassroots organizations and like minded researchers

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214 12 reca lled older farmers using. This likely refers to a breed introduced from the British West Indies Sugarcane Breeding Station in the 1950s: http://www.jama accessed September 21, 2012. 13 The best time to plant sugarcane, farmers told me, was around June. They would harvest a year later. 14 Bagasse cools and adds nutrients to farmer's fi elds, retains water but also admits it readily, inhibits weeds, is inexpensive and with its high sugar content breaks down quickly over time. It is often mixed with lime ( mulch guide sugarcane bagasse.html accessed December 11, 2012.) best soil builder at ow nutrient numbers make it safe for wide use (2011, accessed November 3, 2012). According to sugarcane farmer Frankie Lewis, the availability of a fertilizer called Barbados 50, introduced in the many farmers to stop composting, replacing pen manure to a great degree on the island. Stimulating the renewed use of animal manures and livestock production was and remains at the core o f GCFA hopes for revival of Grenada's small farm sector. of milk, cheese, eggs, but ter, and yoghurt largely wiped out as local products, especially by the import of long shelf life (UHT) milk, much of it from France loomed among the possibilities, along with production of other kinds of animals 15 According to Bishop, this innovation was Gill's, too, and grew out of what he had learned at Mirabeau and observed in his cane farmer work under the PRG. 16 ikes nitrogen, but it leaves potash. You would need nitrogen if you didn't intercrop. With intercropping you maximize production but also rejuvenate the soil. When you ecent research by Brazilian farmers, who have discovered that they can keep canes productive for 12 15 years by plowing cane trash (leaves) back into the soil (Osava 2011) http://ww accessed November 2, 2012. Clearly this suggests sugarcane can be very productive for small farmers. 17 According to Elliot Bishop, production of table sugar was not considered, although some members call ed for an initiative to produce it. 18 In Grenada school children had in former times been given cane juice before choir practice in the belief that it made their voices sweeter, according to former River Sallee school headmaster Elizardo Charles. In 2012, the school food program had a budget of 2,500,000 EC dollars (grbudget_statement_2012.pdf, Annex VI). 19 The Asociacon Nacional de Productores Peque os, or National Association of Small Farmers. 20 Rivacoba and Rafael B. Morn about sugarcane's possibilities. Thes infinite number of uses for its hundreds of by products, which in many cases are of greater. value and intercropping sugarcan e, moving away from the intensive monocrop production that dominated the first phases of its 1959 revolution. In many cases, intercropping has involved reviving small farmer tionally intercropped

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215 with sugarcane in Cuba are common beans, tomatoes, peanuts, and soybeans (Casanova, Hernndez, and Quintero 2001:145 146). Ethanol is another possibility, according to chemist and plant engineer Michael Kurtin. 21 Participants identif ied displacement of 25 farmers from lands at Beausejour and of 14 cane farmers and two herders at the settlement known as Golf Course, losses of lands there amounting to 40 acres. They also noted that lands at both Mt. Hartman and Levera (see Chapter 7) we re threatened (GCFA 1991). The minutes call for an alliance with eleven other women's, environmental, and farmer organizations to protest increasing expulsions of farmers and lands lost to development. 22 Grenada was then in an economic recession, initiatin g a structural adjustment in which 20% of government employees lost jobs, and struggling to replace nutmeg sales lost to former Soviet states after the USSR's breakup (Brierley 2003:38). 23 Possibly a legacy of efforts during the Grenada Revolution, liter acy remains near universal in Grenada despite the fact that 64% of citizens did not have formal education certification even in 2002 (Dottin undated [2007/8]:49). 24 In that year the New York based Committee For Human Rights in Grenada issued a press releas e protesting post invasion conditions in the country. With removal of price controls the cost of food and other essentials had skyrocketed, the committee said. Many people had been fired without notice, redress, or compensation. Unemployment was over 50%. Land and rent prices were climbing. Medical and dental care once free to all were no longer available. Use of drugs had risen. The Grenadian dollar had lost value. And occupying troops directed by US military officers, the committee alleged were abusing Gr enadians (1987:1 8). 25 According to Bishop and cane farmer, Frank Lewis, previous owner S.A. Francis had held share cropping arrangements with local farmers, who gave him one third of their crop (as described by Brierley). Gairy had seized the land from Fr ancis and sent local farmers to work it. A few farmers were still working at Mt. Hartman when the WHAPCO people, encouraged by the Blaize government, arrived. 26 The film helped to popularize Caribbean tourism after the Cuban revolution closed off travel to that island (Brierley 1974:16). 27 Here as well as on the Plains of Chambord near River Sallee (described in Chapter 7), farmers cultivated what were in many ways common lands, working out various ways to determine how much acreage each got. These arrange ments merit additional scrutiny. 28 cannot be over emphasized that the ecosystem of Mount Hartman is a very fragile co existence of plants and animals with whic Winston Thomas, head of policy and research for Friends of the Earth, Grenada (Bascombe 1997 ). Imposition of a golf course was arguably inappropriate not only to the environment but to the agricultural needs of the small island Golf courses require considerable pesticide and fertilizer use with attendant run off and other problems and require large volumes of water ( accessed February 13, 2013) 29 Sandra Ferguson of ART and the environmental justice organization Citizens In Defence of Grenada's Lands and Heritage work to chronicle the dizzying array of financi al manipulations involved in an opposition editorial that can be found here: &yr=2009&Cat=0000 accessed August 13, 2012. 30 Not all views of this story coincide. According to a 2012 interview with GCFA North Coast Chairman Reginald Buddy, an NNP supporter, at least some demonstrations to protect Mt. Hartman took I made several bus trips from here to support

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216 that it is just one period that it happened it started with the NDC government under the watch of Mr. Brizan. The NNP just carried on with what they perceived was a worthy project. It's both parties were at fault in getting rid of Grenada, insisting that they can boost agriculture. And he noted that Mt. Hartman farmers took the offered compensation from the NNP government. 31 A joupa, or ajoupa is a small hut or lean to traditionally built with thatched roof and mud walls, now often containing a galvanized roof. According to Martin they may be located in backyards or on lands where they are used as shelter during rainy weather, and in the hottest part of t he day, often for the farmer to nap or prepare lunch (2007:3). 32 accessed December 11, 2012. The sale had been underwa y in 1999, according to one source (Bernal and Leslie 1999, 11). One outside researcher pegs the government's prior share at 75% (Ramanadham 1997:211). 33 The incoming NDC government lent credence to Gill and Bishop's charges when it agreed to investigate t he sale after the fall 2008 election, according to the two men and Reginald Buddy, who attended meetings between cane farmers and the government. Nothing has come of this promise. In 2012, former MNIB board chairman Byron Campbell asserted flatly in an int something on the order of 30 million EC dollars (US $11 million). 34 During the nineteenth century Grenada had as many a s 100 local sugar mills (Antoine 1990:4), some of whose ruins still dot the landscape. Having mills close to their grounds was important to farmers since it meant they lost as little sap as possible from canes. Strategic placement of the second mill on the north shore, GCFA officials hoped, could help to further stimulate cane production on the island. 35 The Hague, Belgium based Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation. 36 Farmers were paid by ton weight for their canes at the sugar factory and for sy rup rendered from their canes at Pointzfield. At Grenada's other large remaining facility they are paid for juice extracted. 37 The poverty of many farm organizations was brought home to me forcibly in 2008 when I attended the first ever Congress of the N ational Articulation, organized by LVC member CONAMUCA near Santo Domingo. One person cried in a speech and elicited thunderous applause when she offered sche dule, various organization members and leaders around the country to organizing meetings. 38 Difficulty in meeting maintenance and overhead costs forced the GCFA to close the Marian mill in 1999. 39 5004&TC=1027&EP=965&yr=20 04&Cat=0000 accessed March 30, 2012. 40 Form of traditional cooperative organization sometimes still employed in St. Lucia ?q=node/100 accessed August 8, 2012). 41 In 2010 the 25 organizations of the Grenada Federation of Farming and Fisheries Organizations petitioned for admission to WINFA. 42 Developed in 1976, the Lom Convention was designed to establish a new framework for economic relations between the former colonial European countries and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) states they had previously held as colonies and with whom, in the period after many gained independence, Europe had retained preferential trade ties. Although in many cases the convention abolished such relationships, the accord was in part designed to ease the blow to the former colonial

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217 countries that this would create. Under the agreement Europe had continued to buy Caribbean bananas instead of the cheaper bananas being grown in Central America. In 1995, the United States asked the WTO to determine whether the convention violated its rules. In 1996, the WTO rule d in favor of the US, bringing an end to subsidies that had benefited ACP countries. The US pressed its case, insisting that all preferential trade agreements between the EU and ACP be abolished. The WTO again ruled in the US's favor. Finally, the EU negot iated with the US through WTO to reach an agreement, retaining some limited forms of preferential ties and aid to ACP countries 43 WIBDECO is owned by the Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada, and St. Vincent governments (Boote 2003, 123). 44 For more information see the FAO's primer on the trade: (8/8/2012). 45 e_farmers_in_the_windward_islands_likely_to_be_the_lose rs.aspx accessed August 8, 2012. 46 Elliot Bishop, email to the author August 2, 2012. 47 organizations into LVC but under the leadership of several known to support co mmercialization of farming in the country including Fitzroy James (see Chapter 6), was never entertained by WINFA.

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218 CHAPTER 6 CONTEMPORARY GRENADA: ISLAND VULNERABILITY AND AGRICULTURE Overview C hapt er 6 highlights rural and agricultural affairs in contemporary Grenada with an eye to the lessons that these offer for FS, starting in 2008 when I first began this study. At that time the island was still recover ing from two devastating 2004 and 2005 hurricanes and contending with that year's global oil and food price shocks portending the global recession that soon followed. The chapter begins by examining measures of Grenadian poverty, highlight ing the impacts of the hurricanes on Grenadians the lon g term environmental and social effects of the storms on housing patterns and the landscape. The pull of tourism and tourist culture on the island is considered along with the environmental and social impacts of recent tourist projects, which compete for s carce land with agriculture in a cycle of dependency that mimics the traditional plantation economic character of its economy The challenges in obtaining a clear view of the rural sector in a context where statistics about subsistence farming have never b een kept and no agricultural census performed since 1995 are evaluated, with special emphasis on what these challenges mean for women, whose roles in houseyard FS strategy in Grenada. A mong questions that the chapter seeks to answer are: what is t he role of the state in Grenada in the current period, and what is the shape of its influence over farmers? A Marketing and National Impor t Board reveals the shifting emphases of state policies on small farm production. The chapter concludes by considering the implications of policy changes

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219 introduced by a newly elected government in 2008, its actions toward the GCFA, and their consequences for FS. A Prick in the Atlas The ability to grow food has never been a problem in Grenada, where talk of agriculture conjures visions of abundance from islanders themselves, some of a mythical character. Many offer variations on a story about how a farme r, casually discarding a toothpick by the roadside, shortly returns to find that a tree has grown up in its place. As early as the Victorian era, Grenada was famous for its hig h yields, w ith novelist Anthony Trollope declar ing of the world (Grenada Handbook 1946:95) It is said to produce more spices per square kilometer than any other country ; it is also surrounded by abundant fishing grounds (Steele 2003:3,7). Such abundance and the perennial success of its small f armers raise s questions about why so many people in this island James Ferguson calls it (1997 :293) home to 107,000 people (NSAP 2012:28) should be so poor today The answer is that they have rarely received real help from government for their efforts. Grenada was ranked 66th of 177 countries in the UN Development Program's B ut this relative ranking is in some ways misleading, as UN researchers themselves caution. Rural Poverty Report on Grenada states with poverty and development measures masking how hard life is for the worst off as an interview with Gre nada Temporary Permanent Secretary of Finance Isaac Bhagwan also affirmed. 1 Official 2008 estimates put Grenada's poverty rate at 38%, with over half of the country consuming at nutritional levels below the country's established vulnerability line ( KAIRI

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220 2 009:xix, 36). 2 A detailed 2008 poverty report, follow up on one conducted a decade earlier, found that although the country had made strides in addressing the most acute h unger through welfare measures "there was no major improvement in the poverty situat ion in the country" (NSAP 2012:29). U nemployment statistics in adequately frame the issue of work in a place with a large subsistence economy. Still, official unemployment in Grenada was high estima ted at 25% in 2008 (Kairi 2009 :xvi) an d destined to rise 10% durin g the four years of this study, with some officials privately telling me that the rate was much higher The situation called into question why the country did not place more emphasis on agriculture, especially on measures that would create a local economy and address basic needs. Despite a t hree decade long attempt to develop a globally competitive economy following the 1984 US invasi on especially through tourism and a failed offshore banking initiative 3 the country has managed to create little paying work for its citizens especially those in rural areas young people and people the IFAD poverty report stated, observing that Grenada had failed to draw young people into agriculture. T he report sa id that 65% of the poor and 80% of the non poor engage in agriculture and agriculture related activities, suggesting that addressing the challenges faced by the agricultural sector is critical especially to bette rment of conditions for the poor Notably, the report also 4 Few conversations about the future of Grenadian or Caribbean agriculture go far without someone no ting the reluctance of young people to take up farming, which is often equated in the public mind with slavery.

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221 The IFAD statement raises an important question, therefore, about whether the lack of appeal that experts and others ascribe to agriculture migh t be addressed if land were easier to come by, if the historic denial of land to the Caribbean poor were addressed comprehensively, and if it were possible to make a living from agriculture, all things FS might mean bility about half the population of Grenada suggested ( Kairi 2009: 1 50). A report by Grenada's IICA office for the previous year noted that cost of living increases had pushed m ore rural dwellers into subsistence production on unsuitable land unfortunate when so much good land went unused and others to fishing, hunting, and charcoal production using forest trees (2007:11). By 2012, amid growing economic desperation, there would b e considerably more evidence that hard times including high food prices were pushing more Grenadians back to farming. Ivan Terrible, Emily Unbearable we stood in her houseya rd garden one morning in March 2008. With a sweep of her hand the River Sallee farmer and market vendor indicated ho w 2004's Hurricane Ivan had laid waste to much of the landscape between her tightly planted hillside garden and the sea, which now shimmerin g peacefully before us in the morning sunlight. Ivan was the most violent tropical storm to hit the region in 100 years. 5 It left 80 90% of housing stock d amaged or ruined, up to 60% of people displaced from their homes (Glencorse et al 2005: 1 2; Lee 2005; Barnes and Riverstone 2008:1). Much of the country's livestock as well as its wildlife perished ( Grenada Ministry of

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222 Agriculture 2009:22). The storm flattened trees through wide swaths of the country, including 80% of the country's forests an d mangroves. 6 Fifty percent of Grenada's beaches were damaged (Ba rnes and Riverstone 2008: 26). M ost or all of the country's 72 watersheds were harmed, with much topsoil consequently lost to runoff (World Bank 2005:3 27; Grenada Ministry of Agricult ure 2009:34; ARD 2007:49) Rural communities, environmental resources. A sizable portion of Grenada's agricultural production, as mentioned, takes place on mountain slopes where t raditional export crops like nutmeg, banana, and a very high quality cocoa 7 are intercropped. The blow to the forest was a blow to nutritional consumption as well as to livelihood. As often, the poorest households were hardest hit, with 95% of people su ffering damage to their dwellings (Wiltshire and Bourne 2005:6) tra dit ional wood frame houses suffering storm gender impact study noted. Resto ring livelihoods would consequently be harder for the poor. Where food would come from became an immediate issue once Ivan had passed Grenada is strongly dependent on imports and had little in reserve Nearly all of Grenada's standing crops were lost. Ac cording to Daniel Lewis, a ministry official, ( Grenada Ministry of Agriculture biggest supplier of nutmeg, with half of all farmers ha rv esting the seeds from which nutmeg and mace derive. 8 Between 70 and 85% of the island's nutmeg trees more than half a million trees were lost (Wor ld Bank 2005:27; OECS 2005 :29). Roughly 9% of Grenada's

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223 population are nutmeg farmers, sociologist Claude Do about 35,000 persons or one third of Grenada's population depend on nutmeg for their 2004: 27). The shallow rooted trees take five to seven years to establish, and Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association (GCNA) records showed that it had ta k en 21 years to return to pre hurricane production levels after 1955's Hurricane Janet (Barnes and Riverston e 2008:26). 9 A year after Ivan, average production had dropped from 2,000 pounds to 100 pounds per farmer. The loss was a particular blow to elderly tree owners, who have long looked on nutmeg income as a kind of retirement insurance It was an especial bl ow to women who rely on nutmeg income when their partners pass away and are sorted ( Kambon et al. 2005:ix) With many palm trees damaged, local coconut oil was also completely shut down, which wou ld raise dependence on imported cooking oil. 10 All of the country's banana crop was lost, and 60% of cocoa trees destroyed (Barnes and Riverstone 2008:3). 11 The national soil laboratory was demolished, and all of the government's agricultural installations d amage d ( Grenada Ministry of Agriculture 2009:22). The storm severely damaged the GCFA's sugarcane mills (Titus 2009:4), as noted, bringing organization activity to a halt. F ood pr ices jumped and with crops gone hunger loomed (Lee 2005; World Bank 2005:3). Shell shocked Grenadians demonstrated considerable resilience, calling on their traditions in response. They held maroons to rebuild houses; neighbors cooked and shared traditional one pot meals outdoors ( Kambon et al. 2005:vii). Grenada received consider able aid totaling US$150 million from Cuba, Venezuela, and the US, including the offer of 100 new houses from Venezuela. USAID led all contributors,

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224 offering US$40.3 million in grant funds with mixed consequences for farming, some of these described in the following pages. But Grenada was not prepared for another hurricane. Hurricane Emily struck ten months later, just as the island was stumbling to its feet, especially damaging the northern part of the island (Martin 2007:119). Whe re Ivan had been relativ ely dry Emily brought rain and floods, washing out roads and inflicting new damage on watersheds (World Bank 2005:2 3). Emily destroyed almost all of the new crops including cash crops like cucumbers, melons, peppers, tomatoes, string beans, okra, spring o nions, and pumpkins that farmers had hoped might begin to revive their fortunes. Four fifths of the new banana crop was lost (Barnes and Riverstone 2008:25). The second storm was more than some people could bear, bringing heart attacks, suicides people to ld me River Sallee farmers Bernadette Roberts S ome members of Grenada's agin g farmer cadre called it qui ts Encouraged by the government, many stopped growing bananas 12 which had too often proved vulnerable to storms. The abandonment of agricu lture, part of a long running saga, increased pressure on the capital, as well as on the nearby south shore, where most tourist venues are located and where many people especially women now sought work. The island's ubiquitous red minibuses pour in from all points of the compass each morning carrying people to 13 According to a UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) report issu ed after Hurricane Ivan,

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225 Grenad a of woman he aded households is among the highest in the OECS at 48% and Grenadian (Kambon et al. 2005:iv). It expected to increase. The situa tion of women in agriculture needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency it said (2005:ix). In fact, as I will show here, the measures taken which all but ignored both their cultural role in agriculture and unique needs lot considerably worse. Produce shortages caused by the hurricanes created demand for more imported food in Grenada, where dependence on foreign food had been rising for decades. 14 One question about this dependence that had long been asked by farmers whi ch I heard repeated often was what might happen if oil prices rose or, worse, remained at high levels, as had been predicted globally for some time. Transportation costs, especially to What if the ship lee host Reginald Buddy asked referring to the almost daily arrivals of food by freighter from New York, Miami, and Trinidad, where most of the can't afford the food that's on it ? quit or gone out of 15 Farmers weren't the only ones to see th e threat of energy costs to the island and food prices report about Grenada's post Ivan economy warned, it easy to envisage circumstances tha The same report suggested that (IMF 2005) 16

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226 Under such circumstances, t he message to Grenada might have been to move to begin to address its own Joseph Gill told me. A 1945 hurricane, Janet, had in fact b ecome the occasion for development of the local banana industry, which served as shade crop for the extensive replanting of island cocoa plants. An improved strain of cocoa was also introduced at the time (Brierley 1974:12). These were not necessarily FS m easures, but they helped to lift the economy and diversify planting. The question was whether a new government, which seemed likely with elections looming in August 2008 would embrace this need or could overcome the many constraints on i ts ability to do s o. Building Boom Impacts Agriculture and Environment Ivan and Emily spurred a building boom. Stimulated by a wave of factors storm destruction, financial speculation, replacement of wooden homes, and returning emigrants there was a boom across the Caribbe an (Wilkinson 2007). With a great deal of Grenada's national housing stock damaged or destroyed by the hurricanes, construction projects. The boom short lived though it proved to be, impacted agriculture in many ways, with strong conseque nces for the environment and the organization of rural living. 17 Most filled, which sometimes happened to be on agricultural land. The more luxurious homes signaled a continuing move away not just from tradi tional housing styles but from the subsistence

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227 culture and agriculture that once surrounded them, especially houseyard farming and small plot cultivation. Bigger houses had been springing up in the countryside for several decades, in fact facilitated by loosened restrictions that made it easier for foreigners to buy land. The relaxing of such restrictions a feature of neoliberal policies and structural adjustment impacted agriculture been subdivided and s David Omowale Franklyn, not ing that this has affected food production as well as of cocoa, nutmeg, and banana are being cleared to make way for residential estates for residents with a preference for imported food and ambivalence towards local thought should be zoned for sug arcane production the north shore house I lived in during my second 2008 visit sat on such land, as did lands around the GCFA's mill at agricultural Bhagwan told me in 2012. 18 Grenada needed agricultural and development zoning, a point of emphasis of GCFA officials members of the Agricultural Ministry, and people (Martin 2007:56 57) likely necessary to any program of FS in many countries 19 One benefit of the storm was that a good many Grenadians saw their housing upgraded. But the sand and gravel to pour concrete block and pads for them had to come from somewhere. Environmental activist and NGO leader Tyrone Buckmire told me in 2008 that Carriacou was estimated to be losing an estimated three feet of land

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228 around its circumference annually because of illegal sand mining and the erosion that resulted from it In the C aribbean beaches were being mined and shipped, sometimes from one country to another, to build houses, tourist facilities, and even skyscrapers (Coto 2008) Not only sand but the micro organisms in sand and the wider food chain are affected. In Grenada s and mining was contributing to the decline of four turtle species, including the leatherback turtle (Martin 2007:229). 20 The mining of beaches, rocks, and gravel has up and downstream impacts on farmers and fishermen as well as those who use the beaches. And it makes farmland, which often lies within sight of beac hes in Grenada, vulnerable to salinization, loss of groundwater, and flooding the kind of degradation of the landscape that might or might not be connected driven metabolic cycle or the housing boom, down the road. A Labor Shorta ge and 35% Unemployment I arrived in Grenada on a Sunday. 33,000 people stood deserted ; i n GCFA General Secretary Elliot Bishop's car we crossed it in minutes. As we headed into the mountains from the capital toward the north coast we came upon a crew of men perched over an earthworks at the road's edge, without protection from traffic, working on Grenada's day of rest. To a man they all bore Asian features Grenada had recently experienced an influx of mainland Chi nese workers. They had initially come to construct a new National Stadium for Grenada, rapidly replacing the one destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in time for the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Some had stayed behind to work in construction, on buildings and on roads i n the tiny country all

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229 a surge of Chinese workers into the East Caribbean to Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Antigua, and Grenada and there was tension over their inserti on in the island economies. 21 The larger pool of labor that they help ed to create was, unions complained driving down wages. In a nation of 100,000 like Grenada, where 25% of workers are unionized 22 and paying work scarce, the influx of such workers arouse d bitterness against what they see as a systematic invasion of lower paid Chinese labourers The offi The charge that Grenadians were lazy or unwilling to work had been lodged in the past It had been used to justify the introduction of East Indian and other indentured labor in the islands after e productivity of. Caribbean workers is low. What they are failing to say is that the Caribbean workers wi of the Barbados Association of Contractors (Wilkinson 2007 ). The charge of laziness was lodged against both agricult ural workers and small farmers, these groups lumped together in many mind s but in fact groups with quite different class and historical characteristics. The need to obtain greater production from Grenadian workers was a regular refrain of people like the director of the nation's Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB), Fi tzroy James who is interviewed later in this chapter. Nowhere was the attitude and its historic nature more evident than in the story

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230 recounted by a former Chamber of Commerce official over dinner to me one Sunday in St. George's: A peasant plants a nutm eg tree then goes to sleep beneath it. As he sleeps the tree grows. Nutmegs appear and ripen. When a nutmeg falls from the tree, it hits him on the head and wakes him; he takes it off to sell it. Then he goes back to sleep. 23 Such views reflect a tendency, see subsistence farming as mere indolence 24 a view that persists in Grenada, internalized by many people there It is inferred regarding subsistence producers throughout Brierley' s 1974 study of Grenada farmers and was asserted to me by better off Grenadians, including a Carri acou agricultural official who on h ear ing I was interested in small farmers The charge that poor people needed to work harder was also accept ed by many small farmers. But as farmer and former agricultural official Joseph Gill (who had his against a man who sleeps in company provided housing, has no rent or bills to pa y or rs' personal commitments might in fact be extensive. But their low overheads were part of their economic advantage to capital, and over poor Grenadians. 25 Except at La Sagesse on Grenada's south shore where the Re public of China's agricultural station was located, I never saw Asian workers in Grenada's fields. Most were destined for semi skilled jobs in construction and on highways. But some of the g Haitian and Guyanese labor into Grenada for agricultural work. T he business leader who told me the story of the sleeping nutmeg farmer confessed that he would gladly import more

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231 foreign labor specifically agricultural labor from Haiti and Guyana, could figure out he said Grenada suffered from a labor shortage. Conventional economists and employers often talk without blinking about labor shortages in countries where unemployment is rife S ometimes this means a need for employees with rare, sought after professional training. But what they usually mean is a shortage of low wage labor of the kind that assures profits in ranges that investors insist on, which can make them competitive in globa l markets. Poor farmers also complained about being short handed at planting and harvest, as well as about obtaining dependable labor. At various points in their planting and harvest cycles they needed more hands for their work. T his problem was describe d as a as transmitted in reports in post independence Grenada going back as far as 1977 (Cumberbatch 1977 :3). To view the problem this way tends to shape it around t he frame of national economics, even if such a view is so widespread as to go unquestioned. But such a view also raises the question of the potential value of class based analysis for agriculture and in planning any campaign of FS including the tensions between laborers (many or most of who m were in their posit ion because of their landlessness) and farmers, a key to understanding conditions in the countryside likely in m any parts of the Caribbean. L abor shortages had been identifie d as a problem in Grenada from e mancipation in the Anglo labour scarcity. This problem was partially solved by the importation of. labour predominantly from Africa and

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232 (Mendes et al. 2001:147). T his manner of encapsulating a long and painful history of dispossession and the problems that went with it obscures more than it exposes. It adopt it, too. Talk of s hortages today point s up the ongoing failure to escape plantation economic dominance in the rural sector, which preserves the need for unskilled labor (and the dispossession that remains central to the system) rather than offering poor laborers a ccess to the mix of skills and decision making that would come with being landed farmers, integrated in a successful small farmer economy and culture in pursuit of FS D espite the fact that it was agricultural workers through rural agitation in the 1950s and early 1960s who had once posed the greatest historical challenge mounted to the system (see Chapter 4 ), they had ceased to act as a class or to be seen as such by those who might have been their natural allies, including small farmers and other Grenadian progres sives. small farmers to see the problem from the same point of view that the ruling class did. When I asked one prominent labor leader if small farmers couldn't organize with such She did not see them as a natural a lly or constituency of small farmers. This was ironic, considering how poor some small farmers were, how they needed access to land, too. (In fa ct, GCFA change the fact that at certain points of the year farmers needed help. Their frustration in obtaining it under the almost impossible terms that the current economic climate

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233 posed even caused a certain resentment among farmers toward those mostly landless people whom they sometimes hired, and I heard comments about their laziness or unwillingness to work, or to wor k hard. And what they said was in some ways true $23US) for a six hour day. According to a 2007 report their economic conditions had 26 M any people were reluctant to work long hard hours for a wage that failed to cover their minimum living requirements. That there was a labor shortage was the po sition of various government officials I spoke to and the leader of the Grenada Federation of Agricultural and Fisheries Organizations (GFAFO), the umbrella farmer organization established in 2008 in Grenada (Agricultural Report 2008:36), a prospective mem ber of WINFA and therefore program, 27 a farmer himself, saying that if a new minimum wage agricultural work g in labor from other countries. This raised the prospect of a spreading regional class system in which people of the poorest countries occupied ever more firmly the lowest tiers. ( If that for organizing in Grenada, one labor leader told me. ) The complaint t first translate for me in class terms, especially since it often came couched in complaints about the decline of collective labor practices like maroons, a subject I tried to pursue in interviews It was only when I went to St. Vincent in July 2008 that the divide between agricultural worker s and small and medium farmers or its pot ential for further articulation

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234 became apparent. The re I met several WINFA farmers who employed agricultural labor and was confronted with the ultimately unsurprising fact that LVC organizations might not always represent the very poorest people, that some members might be hiring other landless target members, seeking to exploit them rather than ope rating in solidarity with them. 28 Such class divisions exist around the world. And LVC, of course, addresses the problems of the landless, makes obtaining secure access to land, along with supporting reforms, a priority in pursuit of FS. In Brazil and in th e Dominican Republic, as I had myself seen, the organization has found the most fertile ground for recruiting among landless people. But clearly, such class differences would pose a challenge to LVC organizations on the ground in uniting farmers and landle ss laborers in FS campaigns. Grenadian Politics and Outside Influences on It In Grenada as throughout the region there was jockeying for influence between Taiwan and the People's Republ ic of China (PRC) as well as neighboring Venezuela, in implicit competition with the US. 29 This affected agriculture in various ways. In 2005 Grenada abruptly announced that it would cease to officially recognize Taiwan, into whose sphere of influence Grenada had been drawn after the 1983 US invasion, and instead recogn ize the People's Republic. 30 According to a report prepared for the US State Department, the then which insists there is j ust one China, the PRC. Taiwan had over time established a fine Caribbean agricultural research station on the island's south shore, supplying lo cal farmers with seeds, plants extension advice, and sometimes equipment 31 Joseph Gill told me,

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235 In 2008, the Keith Mitchell led right wing populist NNP government had been in power for 12 years and had come to be the object of anger among many farmers I spoke with, including a number who originally voted for the party, w hich ran for office with promises of aid to the rural sector. 32 It spent the last years of its tenure mired in accusations of financial scandal, 33 with Mitchell's autocratic style earning comparisons to first Grenada Prime Minister Eric Gairy (Douglas 2010:5 7), including in charges of corruption leveled at him as well as of the growing violence of the police force toward the populace. In 2001 the Special Services paramilitary branch of Grenada police severely beat Nutmeg Association members during a strike in which the workers demanded a rise in th eir below poverty level wages. Mitchell held the Minister of Security portfolio; there was no doubt that he had authorized the use of force (Douglas 2004:28 ) The violence by the Special Forces Unit, established afte r the 1983 US invasion of the country (Ferguson 1990:44), hinted broadly at the kind of force that could be m ustered to counter demands for change in Grenada. In the run up to 2008's July elections the NNP's primary opposition, the National Democratic Con gress (NDC), 34 which included rehabilitated former members of the 80s era People's Revolutionary Government (PRG), played up its greater presumptive efficiency and propriety rather than any defiance of the neoliberal straits. Apart from a rhetori c often laced with Bible references each party formed after the invasion was a creature of the neoliberal period in which it had been formed, including in the tangle of contradictions in which the country found itself. The NNP had eagerly accepted C uba's help after Hurricane Ivan even as the country bowed to the debt and loan driven demands of the IMF and wider logic of neoliberal ism this offered,

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236 among other things, an opportunity to suggest independence from US dictates. Under the NNP Grenada ( like much of the island Caribbean) had in 2007 joined Venezuela's PetroCaribe energy alliance, 35 availing of the cheap gasoline prices offered to members, and establish ing observer status in the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA). 36 While policy differences between the parties sometimes seemed narrow the (as discourse portrayed them) were bitterly antagonistic to one another. The hurricane recovery process had been repeatedly slowed as party members fought over spoils or engaged in procedural wrangles (Barnes and Riverstone 2008:5). Often in the tiny country, enmity between party leaders threatened to engulf their poor followers in what were territorial rather than ideological battles. As in Jamaica Grenada politics wer e increasingly characterized by big spending campai gns that included mass rallies, free concerts, and giveaways of things like t sh irts and bandannas. 37 The issues that haunted Grenada the land question, the legacy of the 1983 US invasion, the powerful limi tations on Grenadian sovereignty imposed by IMF and WTO strictures, or the precedence that tourism maintained over agriculture remained unaddressed. Grenada n eeded a farmer movement that ignored the narrow context s in which mainstream political debate was carried out, that addressed the pressing need for work and food import dependence in Grenada that could bring comprehensive agricultural reform and a push for FS to Grenada None of these were, at present, on the docket. The Nature of Tourism Tourism is Grenada's biggest revenue earning sector (New Today 2012b) and its biggest source of foreign exchange. In the minds of many farmers it exists in explicit competition with agriculture for land and government attention. Tourism provides 25% of the country's GDP, 9% of revenue, and 15% of employment (Martin 2007:247). Its

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237 development carries numerous a ttractions for officials. B ig initia l outlays stimulate the economy and the construction industry benefits T he effects, starting with better paying jobs than those in agriculture and a wash of money through the economy ( if short lived), are widely seen and felt. The fine buildings and wealthy visitor s that tourist venues attract are markers of a kind of modern d evelopment. They even engender pride among those who cannot afford their attractions menial resort jobs may generate more respect than is received by farmers. Gleaming t ourist projects may have more allure than the hard work link by link, of outfitting the country with a prosperous local economy. And p oliticians happy to show their polish may find more gratification in working with international business figures than with poor farmers. But tou rism carries high risks, risks that even institutions like the IMF and World Bank warn of. It has negative effects from the perspective of basic needs development, the wider development on which FS must rest. Many of these were noted by members of the Peop le's Revolutionary Government and researchers going back to the 1970s 38 Tourist ventures require considerable space, often in beautiful settings from which poor locals are barred, a particularly insulting denial in countries with histories of slavery. Tour ism competes with agriculture for land (Pa t tullo 2004:42 43, passim), including in places as I saw on Grenada's north and south shores where various extractive practices have long contributed to subsistence food maintenance The outlays and continuing cost s required draws tourists to a poor country in the first place that make them feel safe there are sizable. This results in tourist areas receiving infrastructure and a security presence that oth er parts of poor countries don t, raising questions of fairness in resource allocation

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238 (Pattullo 2005:40). The Caribbean had in recent years been forced to come to grips with the continual renovation and reinvention of facilities indu st ry requires to compete for ever more demanding customers and t he tourism industry which had made the region a vacation destination was growing more slowly in the Caribbean than elsewhere (Myers 2008:15). A study published while I was in Grenada found th at of twelve regions examined the Caribbean was most dependent on travel and tourism, where it accounted for 13% of employment ( Grenadian Voice 2008). Tourism, in other words, was a kind of dependency that left Grenada vulnerable with parallels to plantati on agriculture to the ups and downs of the world economy. Ironically, the World estination, suggesting that in viciously cycl ical style emphasis on tourism was hurting tourism (Myers 2008: 15). 39 In Grenada over the past decade most of the large tourism projects the government entered had become clouded by accusations of misdealing; in some cases local politicians had been ta ken in by international con men (Douglas 2010:17). In both of the chief cases cited in this dissertation affecting agriculture at Mt. Hartman and at Levera on the north shore (see Ch apter 7 ) local farmers had been displaced to make way for tourism. In each case agriculture for local production was affected, with lack of secure tenure proving a key factor in their removal. Political opposition had failed to stop both projects. Grenada had recently buil t a US $35 million 300 meter cruise ship pier and termina l in St. George's. 40 Like every major investment this affected the rural sector, not just economically with the enormous outlay going to tourism rather than agriculture or

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239 projects of economic betterment but culturally. A large shopping mall lay at the pier end, and with its fast food emporia quickly became the most popular gathering place for Grenada's teenagers. 41 go beyond economic impacts to changes in consumption patterns and growing materi saying. The official regrets the way local people are forced to hustle among tourists and up of community and family. People smal l percentage benefit. Unless tourism is tied to aspirations of political development, 107). The High Cost of Food Imports: Crisis and Opportunities Ignored pered a customer in one of River Sallee's two small shops. A sense of worry about food prices prevailed among people I talked to during the week of the 2008 Saracca, the town's annual thanksgiving and harvest festival. The price of bread had just risen aga in according to my hosts it had doubled in the previous year. 42 Prices had begun to shoot up in the third quarter of 2007, when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food went up 5%. D uring the same period t he cost of fuel and electricity, which affected ever ything from food transportation to the cost of propane for cooking, had gone up 6.7% (Barnacle 2008a:47 ). The 2008 Agriculture Review bluntly termed this a period of Grenada Ministry of Agriculture 2009:63).

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240 At emergency 2008 CARICOM meetings talk centered on further lowering barriers to imported food the opposite of an FS focus on protecting crops a nd developing local production, a stark illus projects: the problem wa s big the response should be big too The most eye catching proposal involved a Caribbean wide effort to turn Guyana's interior into one vast farmland f or the region (Prensa Latina 2008 ), a move that c ould strongly harm region wide subsistence production if carried through But getting the combined member countries behind such an effort in a politic al climate where big public initiatives are frowned up on remained a tall order for an often toothless CARICOM. The crisis left an opening for the development of local and grassroots campaigns for FS if countries or grassroots organizations like LVC could s eize it. A 2008 World Bank report to the OECS, meanwhile, had reportedly advised that called Barnacle 2008:12 ). Getting out of agriculture had also been the 2005 recommendation for Grenada and other Caribbean economies made by researchers Kendall and Petracco of the Caribbean Development Bank, in pursuit of what they described as a food secu rity strategy V ulnerability to storms was a reason to abandon agriculture the authors argued, and to let first world suppliers take care of their needs ( Pemberton 2005:20 ). 43 Although such recommendations were not consistent with traditional development p olicy or with the

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241 countries, they were consistent with food policy recommendations now being made by the neoliberal multi lateral institutions to poor countries (McMichael 2009:151). A UNICEF report on surging pric es and their effects on Grenada, on the other hand, pointed to declining local and subsistence production as a contributor to higher prices, singling out long term declines in small agricultural produce resulted from reduct ion in traditional backyard gardening and developments were combining with changing consumption patterns and higher levels of imports to augment the crisis, the report st ated (Scott Joseph 2009:8). 44 The present crisis was fanned by several other trends, including the 1994 commitment the government had made in ratifying the WTO agreement to reduce protection of Grenadian agriculture, which gave poor countries ten years to end the Grenadian IICA officials framed the matter that is, through distinctly First World eyes (1997:23). The measures required, inter alia reduction of all tariff s by 24%; reduction in support to agriculture by 13% by 2004; and reductions in value of export subsidies by 21% (1997:20) leaving Grenada less room for maneuver in protecting or boosting selected crops in the wake of the storms. Despite this the crisi s might have served as a prompt for Grenada to prioritize its own historically neglected food needs over tourism or exports, to make a push for FS which crisis, finally, would? Ferguson

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242 Agriculture Today Agriculture in 2008 accounted for a third of official employment, with construction and tourism the other main contributors. 45 But agriculture's share of Grenada's g ross domestic product (GDP) had been dropping, to just 9% in 2003 from as much as 26% in 1977 (Barnes and Riverstone 2008:27) ; by 2008 it was down to just 6% ( Grenada Ministry of Agriculture 2009:6). A great deal of the country's predicament perhaps that o f many poor countries could be viewed from the perspective of these numbers. It was extremely difficult to make corporate or export oriented agriculture pay for poor countries or poor farmers. 46 The country and its elites had been disciplined to see the pro blem from a commercial perspective how t o make agriculture make money, This pushed agriculture ever further from its first purpose, feeding people. It was the rationale behind a perennial push for commercia l country where traditional small farm production was extremely diverse as already shown 47 P oor countries had a responsibility to first ensure they could feed their citizens But a c ommitment to commercialization and the pursuit of international markets would continue to guide policy after August 2008, when a government more dedicated to the betterment of the agricultural sector entered power. Despite declines in agriculture's contr ibution to GDP, the volume of 2008 agricultural exports w as higher than at any time since 1996. 48 The domestic market, it was reported, had returned to pre Ivan levels according to the director of the country's Marketing and National Import Board (MNIB) Fitzroy James ( Barnacle 2008 b) The notion that the country was feeding itself was curious when food imports had been rising for decades; when all but 10% of chicken,

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243 Grenada's leading meat source was n ow imported (Food & Farm Newsletter 2007 :4 ; Informer 200 8 :4); and when public officials could speak of seasonal hunger even in places where subsistence culture remained strongest, like River Sallee (see Chapter 7) In fact, although Grenada was clearly ca pable of far more food independence, it was simply not true. A ssessment of agriculture was generally clouded by the fact that few statistics were kept. GCFA's Bishop said of offi cials in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. 49 No agricultural census had been carried out between 1995 and 2008, the period in power of the then current Keith Mitchell led NNP government. The 1995 census had complained of the agricultural ministry's lack of hard data or qualified personnel or resources with which to collect or analyze them, as did World Bank and other documents I encountered ( Grenada Ministry of Agriculture 1996:3; World Bank 2005:27; ARD 2007). 50 Statistics about productio n for local interna l consumption had for the most part never been kept. 51 In 1974 Curtis McIntosh and T. O. on the production and consumption of agricultural products in Grenada are generally unavailable. When available, they are susp emphasise the preoccupation with export crops and neglect. livestock. and crops for local consumption (1974:100). N ational economies don't measure subsistence production, and Grenada had remained strongly subsistence based. Planning Lennox Andrews told me in a 2012 interview. This absence was powerful evidence of the lack of state support for

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244 institute FS. Clearly there was recovery in 2008 from the hurricane battered production levels of 2005 2006. But despite claims of renewed self sufficiency almost everyone the press farmers, opponents and supporters of the government took it for granted that Grenadian agriculture was in bad shape. During a late March radio program described in one newspaper imported into Grenada. These are things we can produce. We are a rural and (Grenada Today 2008) At least nominally whatever other criticisms might be leveled at their policies both the NNP government and 2008 NDC government that f ollowed continued to encourage subsistence production in the degree that public officials sometimes invoked by the socialist 1979 1983 PRG government locally seen as a kind of Grenadian FS declaration a nd encouraged local gardening. 52 While this might amount to little more than lip service, with a push for commercialization the larger emphasis, it constituted recognition that Grenada needed to grow its own food. Farm Size, Land Use and Tenure Patterns The shape, size, and distribution of land along with its uses in Grenada are fraught with contradictions for agriculture and FS. The evidence shows a dwindling and fragmented amount of land in small farmers' hands amid a landscape of spreading suburban sty le home construction where agricultural land is not protected, and an

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245 accompanying loss of many of the country's best lands to tourism. But worse it shows a great deal of Grenadian land unused or under utilized amid high unemployment; amid reluctance to ta ke up farming (Martin 2007:3; ARD 2007:26); amid rising imported food prices; and amid produce gluts during some parts of the year. Apart from the accelerating loss of land due to home construction, none of these conditions are new. sloping nature of the land, the lack of industrialization or mineral wealth to exploit or t o base other economic activity on combine to make what land there is particularly precious, its careful use critical. The 1995 Agricultural Census found that 75% of arable land was already under agriculture, with permanent crops mostly fruit trees holding the lion's share ( Grenada Ministry of Agriculture 1996: 23 24 ) But acreage classified as 1961 to 1995, according to Martin (2007:3), suggesting that there was still less re maining room for error in determining the best use for what land remained. A 1992 study found that the average Grenadian smallholding consisted of 2.72 parcels or fragments and averaged roughly five acres; this had barely changed since a 1982 study by th e same researcher (Brierley 2003:40). Following the pattern established before the end of slavery described in Chapter 3 the first parcel that author said typically included the family dwelling and houseyard garden and contained the greatest variety of cr ops, including f ood trees (banana, cashew, coconut, breadfruit and breadnut, citrus, mango, avocado and golden apple among these) As in Jamaica,

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246 poultry and small livestock are often raised in houseyards, too, as in and around n 2002:197). A second parcel, often tended by male family members, tended to contain export crops, often fruit trees many times with bananas grown to shade immature cocoa and nutmeg plants, with the bananas (a source of nutrition) later phased out. Subsequ ent parcels tended to be found at higher elevations and often also held cocoa and nutmeg, with nutmeg most ubiquitous (Brierley 2003:46 quarters of farms in both surveys consisted of two, three, or four. par Grenadian smallholdings is typical of many places in the Caribbean, according to Brierley, 53 and owes partly to the terrain, which is mountainous in many island countries. It is also due to historical patterns in wh ich estates retained the best land and former slaves were left to occupy or purchase marginal land in small quantities when and where they could as has been discussed A land utilization survey undertaken by the Agency for Reconstruction and Development (ARD) after Hurricane Ivan found that almost 3/4 of Grenada farms were less than five acres, with more than half of farmers working a half acre or less (2007:37) This suggests a high number of precarious small and subsistence farmers in need of policies that would boost their landholdings, subsistence, and subsistence and cash crop production, and extension and other programs devoted to their needs Writing in 2008, Barnes and Riverstone noted that Grenada did not have a cohesive policy for protection or administration of land (2008:14) 54 T he authors quoted GRENCODA's Judy Williams as saying that the government remained Grenada's biggest landowner. I n theory this meant that the government or any new

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247 administration remained in a position to address Grenada 's agricultural problems, including carrying out a program of comprehensive land reform and framing some real redistributive role in pursuit of food independence and small farmer livelihood. T his was affirmed in 2012 by IICA's Cosmos Joseph, who informed m e that the government held some 560 acres on four former estates around the country. With the loss of farmers' customary lands in or around national park land s at Levera and Mt. Hartman and the growth of housing in the countryside, there was little doubt th at the amount of land planted as well as land available for agriculture was diminishing, or that production for local consumption was not affected by the changes. Williams linked a decrease in land used for agriculture with growing poverty generally (Barne s and Riverstone 2008:14). A good deal of the land at the north and south shore sites and at another site Chambord had been squatted on or informal ly held by farmers. Squatting forms part of the narrative of Grenadian and regional history, tied especiall y to attempts to prevent emancipated former slaves from obtaining land. As I have underlined, continuing dispossession was a key to the maintenance of the plantation economies after slavery and to the lack of organic development of the emerging Caribbean countries It is partly because of such historic dispossession, however, that squatting has been tolerated engaged i n without shame by many farmers The negative connotations that accompany the word's use do not so strongly inhere in countries where the historic dispossession of so many so strongly informs the landscape. Indeed, Besson who has investigated its role in Jamaican communities identifies squatting as part of a process of peasantization including among Jamaica's maroons, free villagers, and other people (200 2:15). But although many peopl e have an established de facto or

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248 tenure over places where their homes lie that goes unc ha llenged, the lands they farm may remain vulnerable to official expropriation as experiences at Mt. Hartman and Calivigny, described here show. A 2005 USAID report about Grenada's land situation minimizes squatting as an issue, noting that much of such a ctivity in the country takes place on government held l Crown Land. suggests that, qua ntitativ ely, it 2005:3). 55 But squatting clearly is a problem where f ood and small farmers are concer ned. In 1987 in an address to WINFA Elliot Bishop and Joseph Gill connected squatting and the wider problem of historical d ispossession as concerns for an emerging post e mancipation peasantry and a cont inuing problem of insecure tenure for Grenadian and regional farmers (1987) A number of farmers whom I interviewed had been thrown off of, removed from, or threatened with remo val from lands they worked, and an even greater number worked land that was insecurely held squatted on or loaned to them This continued to be the case both with customary sugar cane lands at Calivigny and other places on the south shore where farmers were being harassed or expelled, and at Chambord, where 1 00 or more farmers were squattingnd, as Chapter 7 describes. Since it was the poorest people who had long produced most of Grenada's food supply (while better off people dominated exports) the insecurit y of tenure that underlay such production was perhaps inevitable. As previously noted, coasts cultivated on the shifting

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249 principle ( 1946:10). T he fact that producers of local foo d have continually almost inevitably been the most vulnerable, both in the past and today, must be reckoned as unrecognized. The odds are good that the descendant s of many such people condemned to grow on the shifting principle in former times make up many of the landless poor today, including people of whom it is so often noted perhaps too conveniently that they interested in agriculture or are worse lazy 56 This s uggests the kind of wholesale reorientation of policies and resource allocation that are necessary to the establishment of FS. In Grenada, as in much of the Caribbean, it must mean addressing the historical dispossession of the great mass of the poor. Acc ording to the 1995 Agricultural Census, the average age of landless farmers Ministry of Ag riculture 1996:35). This might have been a strong reason to get land into contributin sense observation, noted earlier in this chapter, that young people are reluctant to enter farming without secure access to land with the long history of tenure insecurity suffered by the poor est people want to farm looks like an easy excuse not to engage in real land reform, to place long denied access to the means with which to successfully enter agriculture, in their hands. At the very lea

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250 anyone getting rich. Although statistics regarding farmers were scarce and sometimes contradictory, they revealed a good deal both about the neglect of farming in Grenada and of ten about who was being neglected. Often, this tended to mean women and young people. Small Farmers: Demographics and Subsistence Farming The typical farmer in Grenada tends to be an older female cultivating a small plot of land for subsistence purposes. International Fund for Agricultural Development Report, 2000 The counting of farmers is an exercise with consequences for governments, aid agencies, and not least farmers. Assessing such statistics requires the adoption of multiple perspectives by the researcher. Questions of landholding and landlessness, subsistence and commercial production as well as gender tend to mingle in such assessments of who is and is not a farmer. For example while George Brizan could (1998:251 252) out of a population of 77,000 people, a 1995 IFAD report on gender and age issues in Grenadian farming reports that in 1961 ten years later 67,100 Grenadians were farmers, all but a handful of whom would necessarily have been 57 The question of who was and who was not a farmer assumes im portance for the PRG period, as well. T h at government maintained that 8,000 Grenadians were farmers, employ (EPICA 1982:78). By 1995 the same IFAD report maintains the number of farmers had decreased to 43,400 from the 67,100 reported in 1961, 58 a figure that would have included close to half of the people in a country where in 2008 I was still being told that almost everyone The 1995 IFAD figures differ markedly from the 1995

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251 agricultural census by Grenada's Ministry of Agriculture which recorded 11,807 farmers ( 1996: 37). 59 To o ffer a few more examples of such disparities: a long term overview of Grenadian agriculture by the IICA Grenada office in 1997 said that the number of farmers had fallen from 12,600 in 1970 to an estimated 6,000 in 1990 (1997:4). Yet in 2008 the government 's Agri culture R eview, working from extension office records, 2009: 8). The point is not to question the accuracy of such counting, but to emphasize some of the tensions that inform it. 60 The nu partly a question of how the term is defined. Since the numbers help to determine both policy and resource allocation the question is also political, especially for FS and subsistence farming. Among crucial issues are whether the statistics consider the role of other family members (as the lower figures above may not) or only enumerate single they record tho se who farm full time for commerc ial, subsistence, or cash and subsistence purposes, the basis on w hich many farm families operate As critical as any other question is whether women (married, widowed, single, or sole heads of households) are recorded or seen as farmers and whether houseyard production is seen as farming. How we define farmer goes to the question of how much respect and policy support smaller and non c ommercial farmers are accorded i nc luding from extension services and whether current poli cies encourage or dissuade them from farming. Ultimately, some of those questions were critical not just for small farmers but for the whole country : Does Grenada or its government want more Grenadians to enter farming? (Despite the payment of lip service to this idea, current policy in many ways suggest s otherwise.) What do the government and Grenadians

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252 themselves assume that they should do with their lives in a country with no mineral resources and a rich but threatened agricultural tradition to which mu ch of its culture is historically tied? In a period where the limitations on the growth o f other economic sectors are starkly apparent? Should Grenadians only provide for their basic needs through a cash economy? Farmers' Ages As in other countries, the question of farmers' ages in Grenada is a perennial preoccupation of planners, who worry about the increasingly advanced average age of farmers surveyed and at the lack of younger people entering farming 61 But hand wringing about an aging farmer cadre may ignore both sector i al problems and cultural strengths, especially where subsistence is concerned. In 2008 farmers' mean age was said to be 55 five years older than a 1995 study had suggested and a possible cause for alarm (Agricultur al Census 1996:35; ARD 2007:37). But the definition of farmer again carries importance for discussion of farmers' ages, including whether landless farmers are counted the average age of landless farmers as noted earlier, was 20 years younger than for medium farmers in in the sa me census ( Agricultural Census 1996:35) The average age of women farmers, meanwhile, was six years older than that of men ( Agricultural Census 1996: 35). Although landholding patterns are different, the finding that women farmers tend to be older conforms with findings by Deere and Len for Latin America that the mean authors attr ibute this to the fact that women must often wait to inherit land from their husbands if they come by it at all. The age disparity may also owe to the fact that researchers (census takers and society itself) are more inclined to see men as

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253 farmers that wom en's farming labor may be invisible to officials unless they have American conte [2003:930].) The undercounting of women or failure to honor or reward their labor, the more crucial underlying issue s could take place in Grenada for other reasons. Growing cash or export crops is likely to carry more value for canvassers than growing for domestic or local consumption. Women themselves may discount their farming activity, especially if their agricultural labor serves subsistence purposes and their partners on the other han d, make money from their labors. Although women play strong roles in traditional Grenadian agriculture there is still reason to believe that both statistics and perception downplay their roles. On the other hand whether or not they are counted it is also likely that women enter farming later and remain ed in farming longer, given the emerging patterns of recent decades in which more women increasingly entered the official work force, as well as women's greater longevity. 62 Retired women who keep houseyards m ay again go unremarked as farmers, as may those who cul (as some Grenadians call them ), which tend to hold tomatoes, o nions, chives, and peppers, and may be kept by working women who thus keep the basic elements of many nd Farms, and Subsistence According to the 1995 census 33 % of Grenadian farmers were women ( Grenada Ministry of Agriculture 1996:37); the foregoing discussion suggest s that their number

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254 may be higher. The number of households headed by women 45% could also suggest that women farmers remain undercounted, along with the fact that in a six to one ratio over men women tended to be engaged in subsistence farming, as the 1995 IFAD report also notes. Althoug h they have clearly undergone a transformation, as Brierley reported in 1991 houseyards the (2003:54) remained the core of many families' production in River Sallee in 2008, when I lived the re for three mo nths (see Chapter 7). Houseyards, where women traditiona lly performed the leading roles, remained almost entirely neglected, as in iscussion about subsistence. 63 Since a far more varied product ion to ok place in houseyards than on farmer s other lands, Grenadian women were the traditional keepers of much of the critical knowledge about the kind of farming that is most relevant to food security and sovereignty in Grenada. As Pulsipher records for neighboring Montserrat, houseyards that included components of child rearing and education, courting, and upbringing of young women all of which wer e endangered with loss due to their decline (1993:50 64). Janet Momsen notes that houseyards make it possible for often also maintaining other job s (Momsen 1993:8). 64 The decline of houseyards was therefore likely affecting women in general disproportionately along with those who benefited nutritionally and culturally from their labors as would agricultural policies that denied them help or prioritized other production.

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255 One 1995 statistic helps to underline the interrelationship between women, houseyards, and subsistence: 40% of all food grown, according to that year's agricultural census, was not grown for sale (I FAD 1995). Although dated, the 40% figure offers a star ting point for investigation of subsistence production in Grenada. But further the 40% figure was derived from farmers surveyed ; 4,482 census characterized them, were not counted because of their small size (they were below the study's 1/8 th however, precisely those where small farmers most likely grew for subsistence (1996:41). A very large proportion of production in Grenada, therefore a number above 40% was until recently dev oted to subsistence production, tradi tionally centered in houseyards where women played a predominant role. These observations lead to one of the chief conclusions of this study: subsistence production, so central to Grenadian farming, history, and its peo ple's needs, must be placed back at the center of policy making, made a first priority for government efforts in agriculture, and further The Marketing and National Impo rting Board and Farmers The MNIB is Grenada's state owned agricultural trading organization, officially part of the Finance Ministry, an entity that was deeply controversial among people I the national [commercially sold] families were dependent on sales to the organization for part of their livelihoods. MNIB purchased fruit and produce from Grenada's farmers at stores in St. Ge orge's and Saute urs on the island's north coast as well as marketing them overseas. It also imported rice and flour, whose costs (with milk and bread) were controlled by the

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256 government (FINTRAC 1997:16) MNIB also sold products from Grenada's various cottage industries, from cassava and plantain chips to nuts, sauces, soaps, and hand products. Over 35 years the MNIB's mission and aims had changed several times, as noted in Chapter 4 Under the PRG as noted, the organization had been charged with buyin g at least some produce from all farmers, something many farmers I spoke with former Prime Minister George Brizan, GCFA officials, and extension officials included thought it should still be doing. MNIB was a fascinating omnibus institution. It was also something of a Rorschach Test of attitudes to agriculture in Grenada Farmers I spoke to on the north told me. Many farmers had had their produce turned down by the organization, part or all of their golden apple. When you go for bitter experience for farmers, who might be dependent on such sales to pay a child's school fees or buy medicine (expenses often cited in my inte rviews) with the earnings. make money selling flour and sugar, roti 65 sandwich. They should sell plants and fertilizer said one farmer. Some complained that the MNIB had become a source of competition for them in selling produce to hotels and resorts. But in fact the organization had long sought to make money, including under the PRG It was definitely in competition with farmers insofar as it imported produce they

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257 g rew like sweet potatoes ( provisionary subsistence product), a fact disapproved of by officials of several agencies I spoke to which triggered a sense of betrayal among some farmers The board had been founded, Director Fitzroy James told me, by a 1973 act of parliament as a government marketing agency, with a mandate to identify new agricultural products for export institutional framework for their growth and sale. 66 According to James, the mainly root diet had until then been surplus production he new organization struggled, possibly because subsistence production was so widespre ad. Export production remained minimal and the organization operated at a loss. When the PRG took over in 1979 James said, MNIB was re conceived as an organization tha creating home grown products that Grenadians needed (measures of import that became a trading organization, i mporting and distributing basic food stuffs the profits from which it was hoped could be used to develop the agricultural sector and create rural employment. 67 tra but flourished only briefly. 68 This led government s that followed to downplay the export emphasis to Here the implicit potential for

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258 competition wi th farmers emerges more fully, and the ways that a push to accommodate consumerism comes into conflict with the need of poor farmers for fair prices for their produce. This is a truncated version of a complex story But we shoul d note the different kinds of demands being addressed, even under the PRG: seeking to meet an international market and develo p a local commercial one in the early 1980s while also helping to control consumer costs by limiting import prices; to greater emp hasis on consumer demand in whic h, among other activities, subsistence staples are marketed for farmers. As it sought to increase profit MNIB was also a natural focus for an emphasis on identifyin g niche markets and competition at t he expense of production of staple foods that remained central to many diets and FS or wider food independence The notion of a culture of subsistence or promotion of a national subsistence inherent in the historical efforts of small farmers, was likely to run counter to such schemes. 69 It is also not hard to see why small farmers thought that MNIB should be committed to just such ends. As MNIB entered into the dynamic of an increasingly liberalized global market pursuant to the 1994 WTO agreement, for example it became necessary to pressure suppliers (farmers) to obtain good prices for buyers and customers, to whom James whether in its stores or to importers; and to meet various requirements of quality and size of export products including phyto sanitary measures that the new regulations required 70 Picking up or sorting t he meager output from some small producer's houseyard is not efficient from such a point of view. From here, however i n a climate where government agencies faced growing pressure

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259 i t was not hard to see how such efforts led to ever more straightforward profit seeking by MNIB, by the Grenadian government, with a real cost to s mall farmers and the increasing press for lower prices that local farmers comp lained to me about The same pressures that influenced MNIB's action s tended to foster, or play into, a kind of consumer caste system, where fancier new supermarkets (Grenada has several small chai ns) directed their efforts toward wealthier and returning immigrant Grenadians or tourist s and MNIB was pushed into an ambiguous role as a low or middle tier grocery, which couldn't offer the breadth of products supermarkets could. Spot and seasonal short ages of produce at the MNIB's Sauteurs and St. George's facilities were viewed as a problem by customers used to the fully stocked shelves in north shore, a Trinidadian native who owned a house in Grenada and spent part of each year there. This was my initial middle class reaction, too: that the empty shelves signaled dysfunction when often they just reflected seasonal availability. But these views also suggest what MNIB and any government were up against: a culture of consumerism against which the pursuit of FS would be judged, especially by the middle and upper classes who might comprise an increasingly thin stratum of the electorate but held disproportionate economic clout MNIB was trying to meet middle class expectations as well as bowing to global pressures, cultivating and being c onditioned by them at the same time. It was not surprising, then, that the emphas es by MNIB toward small farmers, and inevitab ly by the Agricultural Ministry,

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260 his writings and interviews suggested was a matter of adopting these goals, including better record ke eping by farmers adian farming to revolutionize its level of technology, achieve quantum leaps in quality, strengthen its man agement capacity, reduce costs and institute measure s to transform. small Food and Farm Newsletter 2007: 2). T his was the language of the brave new world of global farming, with all its conc omitant pressures, a kind of discipline being demanded of farmers a boilerplate rhetoric employed to demand it that James was himself rehearsing and puttin g into play. Often such rhetoric cowed farmers, as I myself had witnessed, and as officials I talked to about it confirmed. There was no mention of protecting home grown products or guaranteeing prices or sales to farmers I t was assumed by officials I spoke to like James, former permanent finance minister Lennox Andrews, Campbe Cosmos Joseph each in his own way sympathetic to farmers, that these were not possible. The end goals of agriculture food and nutrition moved further down the list of priorities. And food security assumed a place in this pecking order as a kind of charitable endeavor: after satisfying the demand that agriculture first be used for profit how do we take care of the losers? Fitzroy James on Food Security and Small Farmers considerable power. For a time, in fact, he would beco me head of GAFAFO, the new farmer umbrella group, which had applied for WINFA membership and through it would thus have become an LVC organization. When I interviewed James in 2008,

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261 MNIB was looking forward to the advent of a n ew government and the policy changes that would come with it. When I asked what changes he would like to make his answers bore a stamp of authority and imminent possibility : they focused on questions of ef ficiency and competitiveness. James surprise d me, h owever, when he said that many relationships of dependency with the board, unable to deliver high quality produce ut resources in backyard (the somewhat deprecating word often used for houseyards) but concentrate on training and developing a professional cadre of farmers for whom markets would be more or less guaranteed, assuming they met certain market standards of product size and quality. James nodded as I described what I felt were key features of the fight for FS, previous interview ( Barnacle 2008d:4 5). He pointed out what he local,' but what are you going to target? Which of the [imported] items that people really Although at the time of our inter view I was still struggling to derive a basic idea of what FS might consist of in the Grenada, it was my assumption that an unwillingness to house yard farming and pro vision were Grenada's agricultural heritage the basis of subsistence production, then failure to promote them in broad terms was inimical to that heritage and FS, including its community orientation. If the decline in house yard gardening was linked to ris ing prices

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262 (Scott Joseph 2009:8), such a policy would court greater hunger or poverty. I was strongly biased toward poor and subsistence farmers. But it was notable that even the more successful north and south shore small farmers I spoke to ( along with fo rmer Prime Minister George Brizan in my interview with him ) disagreed with James's stance about not helping smaller farmers partly out of a sense of fairness, partly because they thought that buying even the smallest growers' produce could stimulate the l ocal economy. But more than this as Chapter 7 shows a great dea l of production begins serious quantities in them As MNIB director James ran an import and export board with evolving, historically overlapping ob jectives. Increasingly, his concern was developing commercial agriculture along profitable lines. But he was not a crusading free marketeer. Like a number of professionals I interviewed in Grenada he was playing with the hand that Grenada had been dealt. J ames supported government efforts to create protected agricultural zones yam, tan n ia, dasheen, and sweet potato were products he mentioned that might be grown in the name of food security. 71 import dependency. He was interested in attempts to standardize island wide use of pen manure as fertilizer and was knowledgeable about Cuban farming. Frus tration with MNIB which extended to nearly every farmer I spoke to stemmed from the fact that it was so obviously an institution that could but did not aid them, that could but did not bridge the gap between their subsistence production and supplying the l ocal economy or exports, helping them to meet their pressing cash needs. These twin goals, I would come to believe, should be developed as explicit

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263 policy in pursuit of FS in Grenada. Without abandoning trade or niche or other markets that Grenadian farmer s had long excelled in meeting the MNIB could protect local farmers from aspects of the global economy that left them most vulnerable collectively rather than expose each individually Grenada and the MNIB, I came to believe early on, were half way in and half way out, between a system designed to help protect farmers, to help them gain income and one increasingly pushed to turn a profit if necessary, at their expense. Post Hurricane Policy Making Although I would not learn about it until 2010 and alth ough many Grenadians remained completely unaware after Hurricane Ivan the sitting N NP government based on an agricultural policy report prep ared by unnamed outside sources, made a policy decision to push toward complete commercialization of agriculture in Grenada. It adopted the recommendations in a report prepared for the Agency for Reconstruction Development (ARD) that the government privatize many Agriculture Ministry functions; prioritize aid to farmers who held the most promise as commercial farmers; and create a cadre of minimum wage workers to supply labor in the agricultural sector. In adopting the report it also placed its stamp of approval on the authors' recommendation that scale planta tion production. No small farmer, extension agent or public official mentioned this change in direction to me over the course of four visits to Grenada from 2008 to 2012 ; most, I was able to verify, did not know about it. The lack of awareness on the part of so many people about the changes, I came to believe, reflected both the undemocratic character of decision making about agriculture in Grenada and the extent to which it was driven

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264 by interests outside the country Amo ng t he recommendations of the 76 page ARD document from the point of view of this project and FS were five central goals : the in Grenada (2007:7) Distribution of its limited resources to farmers with the greatest commercial promise 72 (2007:25). P rivati as agricultural estates rather than as sub D evelopment of a government of better training for agricultural workers, higher minimum wages at a high benefits for such workers ( 2007: 67 69). Evidence of the adoption of the report as policy is confirmed by a 2008 OAS report : e government in Grenada has. agreed to implement a new agricultural policy based upon su bmissions made by the Canadian funded Agency for Reconstruction and Development Inc. in March, 2007 (54). 73 Because I did not uncover the ARD document until 2010, I only absorbed in retrospect the degree to which m ost of the policy decisions and much of t he rhetoric that I heard from both parties in government followed its contours Its implementation and adoption admittedly, took place in a manner that may have been more surreptitious estate lands might have le d to a public outcry. Although i t s authors saw the policy as a strong break from existing practices it was more consonant with previous policy than they understood, preserving the essential plantation character o f Grenada's economy further articulating the class system in the rural sector and perpetuating the continued

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265 denial of land and resources to small farmers. Harms or potential impacts on women farmers, traditionally more devoted to subsistence production, we re nowhere discussed. In retrospect, it was clear to me that the language that Fitzroy James employed in print and in our interview and would employ in public interventions I witne ssed or read about was in keeping with the new policy and the rhetoric of neoliberal structural adjustment in the countryside. The degree to which the report both disregarded and parted from proven long standing practices in the countryside and from the cooperative practices and practices of sharing of local farmers, includin g cane farmers in the GCFA was striking farming inheritance Disorganization and distress had prevailed in the ru ral sector after the hurricanes. T o the extent that the proposed changes sought to take advantage of the opportunity this presented for reorganization and for a push to commercialization the adoption of the policy can legitimately be described as an 74 There was little question in my mind that a push for commercialization without subsistence protections prioritization of larger and more commercially promising farmers, continued emphasis on plantation exports over small farming, and sale of estate lands for continued plantation production rather than their distribution all ran counter to FS objectives. But the degree to which the very comprehensive new policy ran counter to other Grenada government policies and commitments deserved investigation C ertainly local organizations looking to challenge the p olicy would want to do so. Policy provisions of the country's assistance agreement with the FAO for example buttressed by place emphasis

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266 ernment policy to encourage. establishment of a sufficient acreage of vegetables and fruit to meet local h vegetables and fruits (short term) and nutmegs and cocoa trees (medium and long term) to spread their careful language while avoiding mention of subsistence, nonetheless suggests something like the long established model(s) of peasant farming in Grenada. Obviously the se were far short of the kind of protections that might have been supplied through adoption of real FS protections for small farmers or Grenadian citizens. B ut in exchange for continued technical and ot her assistance and policy advice from the UN organization the Grenadian government had agreed to through increased domestic estic :5). Whether these objectives could be attained through a policy of complete commercialization was doubtful. 75 But as t any direct meeting of Grenadians' basic food needs w as pushed way down the list of report objectives. GCFA Cheers 2008 Elections GCFA members grew hopeful after the NNP lost the 2008 elections, when new NDC Agriculture Minist er Dennis Lett expressed willingness to help the organization get the Pointzfield mill running again. Prime Ministerial candidate Tillman Thomas and the NDC had spoke n repeatedly during the campaign about deploying agriculture to feed G renadians (Roberts 2 manifesto carried a number of elements that might have accompanied at least on first glance an FS campaign. It promised to

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267 campaign and a ogram of incentives to achieve greater self sufficiency in vegetables, implicitly promis ing a more nuanced approach to large and sma ller scale, local and export based farming. P romisingly, the NDC said it manifesto promised that the NDC would develop a land use policy and merge the inefficient nutmeg an d cocoa associations; create a local fruit and fruit juice program for schools; and promote agro processing with a n ew plant in St. Andrew's parish The in agriculture (which sugge sted some further push toward commercialization), and The NDC aimed to make Grenada more attractive to foreign investment and to move the private sector to the fore economically. Alth ough it mentioned the need for greater where food was concerned, the manifesto made no mention of Grenada's small farming traditions, their value, or preservation (NDC 2008:27 28). The Grenada Advocate reported (Titus 2009:4 ) after GCFA officials met with Lett A Sugarcane Resuscitation Committee had been established, and plans were to be drawn up by cane officials and the government to carry such a plan out The GCFA had proposed establishment of several new mills and called on the government to return r cane in

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268 Advocate food security, sustainable farming. Sugar cane is the best crop you can use for that approach. There are two distilleries in the country and most of the ra w materials are Bishop used the interview to look beyond sugarcane to establishment of a wide a well planned ked the government to instruct the Grenadian Development Bank to forgive an outstanding loan for the Pointzfield Mill, and Lett had promised to look into this (Titus 2009:4). An editorial in the same paper lauded the promise of such efforts to revive cane, noting the cane farmers were demanding investigation of the sale of the sugar factory for four million $EC ( Grenada Advocate 2009:8). The new government, Bishop told me, was undertaking an inventory of lands. None of the above described hoped for developments in agriculture were to take place. If committed to greater transparency than its predecessor, the new government would prove as wedded to the commercialization of agriculture and small farming as the preceded it. How or why it balked in helping the GCFA was still not clear in 2012

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269 whether there some policy about face took place in the chambers of the new government or it never planned to. One explanation was that a cash strapped government had run out of money for new initiatives by 2010 (former Permanent Secretary of Finance Lennox Andrews interview, June 2010). But a commitment to the GCFA was a commitment to a kind of traditional cash and subsistence agriculture, and meant nurturing an organization of the poorest farmers. Small cane plots were set up on the north and south shores with plant material from the Agricultural Ministry. But in a withering drought, nothing came of either crop. This proved to be the exten t of the new demanding to be repaid for their labor by the government. One clear signal of the Elliot Bishop told me in 2010, sorely disappointed. In 2012 I learned from several well placed sources that a new hospital was planned on the sugarcane lands given to farmers by former Prime Minister Eric Gairy at Calivigny, in the heart of what was quickly becoming the center of wealth and privilege on the island. Conclusion The foregoing review shows a Grenadian economy based firmly in the continuing dispossession of Grenadians especially food producers with recent governments doubling down on plantation export strategies for any hoped Grenada. The aftermath of the hurricanes brought an increasing imposition of Western consumerism and mid dle class models on Grenadians, one that marked the rural landscape and threatened their future ability to act to create FS, as it threatened the pristine environment that island tourism is based on. Tourism and recent tourism

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270 initiatives stand as direct c ompetitors with farmers and farming in Grenada, not just for land but for the energy and attention of officials, changes in party and a professed desire to aid the rural sector notwithstanding. Despite living in a period when its failures were increasingly manifest, politicians and public officials including some of progressive sentiment had all but conceded defeat to the neoliberal models imposed on Grenada, suggesting that the kind of change required to enact FS was unlikely to be delivered through mainst ream political activity. Clearly, post hurricane developments in Grenada posed many new impediments to small farmers and subsistence agriculture and suggested the need for a rural movement for FS. 1 Comparisons across several measures suggest that the country is clustered among a tier of the third poorest Caribbean basin countries after Haiti and Suriname (the very poorest), and Jamaica (second poorest), with poverty paralleling that in Belize, Domini ca, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines countries with poverty rates of between 30% and 40%. This parallel was affirmed in a 2012 interview with temporary Permanent Secretary of Finance Isaac Bhagwan (see above), who has helped carry out two studies of Grenadian poverty. Statistics are continually updated. 2 o the social forces and institutions Such a focus helps to move people and their basic needs to the center of analyses increasingly dominated by economic rhetoric, across many disciplines Indigence indicates possession of to o little money to obtain an adequate daily diet ironic in a fertile country with considerable unused land, and the region's most diverse and successful small farmer culture. Vulnerability in the context indicates risk of falling below the established pover ty line. Among notable measures of need in Grenada in 2008: 36% of people still used pit latrines; 10% lacked electricity; and 62% of household heads had no more than a primary education : accessed October 25, 2012. 3 Under the then ruling NNP, Grenada sought to establish itself as an offshore banking center. According to Grenada s oc it offshore banking industry accessed December 1, 2012. Grenada was blacklisted by the Paris based Financial Task Force for failing to stem money laundering (Douglas 2010:40). 4 was either non e, but for housing construction, sometimes to attract tourist visitors. But the family land idea remains important, both as an alternative structure that

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271 emphasizes collective rather than individual well being, and one that places landholding power in the hands of women, who tend to have far less access to land. 5 accessed August 8, 2011; accessed October 24, 2011. 6 more than 500 acres of the plants. These ecosystems, teeming with plants and aquati c life, have assumed new importance as their role in maintaining coastal stability, reefs, nutrition, and livelihood becomes better recognized (Martin 2007:151). In areas like Grenada's south shore, they are threatened by development. According to environm ental activist Tyrone Buckmire, whom I interviewed in 2008 and 2012, regional mangroves are the hatcheries for as much as 70% of East Caribbean commercial fish. Rising sea levels, result of climate change, pose a threat to mangroves worldwide, and they are strongly affected by effluent fresh water after increasingly violent tropical storms ( accessed November 18, 2012). 7 accessed November 21, 2012. 8 Mace, the lacy wax carapace of the nutmeg seed, is grated into baked goods, i mparting a strong aromatic flavor (Vanderhoof 2004:146,148). Nutmeg oil has hundreds of industrial applications, almost all carried out in the First World after export, stark example of unequal trade ( accessed November 30, 2012; Douglas 2004 :52). The nutmeg industry suffered a powerful blow when world nutmeg prices collapsed in 1991, the a result of IMF led deregulation of the Indonesian economy (NSAP 2012:28). 9 Soon cocoa would come to replace it as Grenada's number one export. The industry which observers like former Prime Minister George Brizan believed held great potential for Grenada was notoriousl y disordered (Douglas 2004: passim ). By 2010 the industry would be in free fall due to (among many issues) disorganization, nepotism, financial incompetence, and the spread of nutmeg wilt disease. 10 In the past coconut milk and oil have played a strong ro le in Grenadian cooking (Vanderhoof 2004:209). 11 12 Bananas were intercropped with various edible plants for local consumption as well as with cocoa and nutmeg. Grenada began ex porting them in the 1930s and exports boosted in the 1950s, when the Geest company became sole marketing agent for Grenada. They began to decline as export in the 1990s and production all but ceased by 1997 as a result of bans due to low quality (Martin 20 07:15). Bananas remain important as a plant nutritionally, including as element of provision. 13 rural drift, manifested in the many 14 From 1970 FAO statistics show a jump in value of agricultural imports from US $578,500 to $1,558,400 (1980) to $2,890,200 (1990) to $3,554,700 (2000), estimated at $3,687,800 in 2003 before Hurricane Ivan (Grenada Ministry of Agriculture 1996:17). By 2012 Grenada was estimated to be importing 70% of its food ition_security_dev eloped.html accessed January 22. 2012. 15 Five companies controlled 85% of food imports into Grenada (FINTRAC 1997:10). Florida wholesalers are estimated to account for one half to two thirds of US food exports to the Caribbean in gen eral. The degree to which the firms control island food policy or its wider politics wants investigation accessed December 1, 2012.

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272 16 832208.html accessed January 27, 2009. 17 Ministry of Finance sources show construction peaking at almost 16% of GDP in 2005 after the hurricanes, falling to 8% in 2008, 5% in 2011 (NSAP 2012:39). 18 The homes were being built and hurricane damage repaired with loans at high rates of interest of as much as 12.5%, justified in part by the fact that few Grenadians held insurance or titles to collateralize loans. Land and house sales were listed by realtors in a foreign currency US dollars which 18 The boom was, as Agenc y for Rural driven on the country's land tenure situation 19 growing ne 20 Resulting turbidity affects fish and other aquatic organisms, while animals from field mice to crabs to microorganisms they depend on lose habitat with sand and dune loss. The substrate may become damaged as it suffers growing exposure. The course of river s and streams is altered by dune and river mining and bridges and roads can be undermined as water finds new patterns of movement. h ttp:// mining access ed November 7, 2012. 21 There were also reports that the companies were abusing Chinese workers, and that some of them had been brought to the region against their will accessed December 21, 2012). 22 Martin Felix, http://www.bigdrumn accessed October 25, 2012. 23 James Ferguson affirmed the importance of this theme to prevailing discourse (and the ates an entire family can live from the proceeds of a single nutmeg tree simply by picking up and selling the gain a living clearly annoys some upp er class Grenadians, begging larger questions about Western attitudes to work. The rhythms of small farmers' work day in a hot climate may not lend themselves to clock punching discipline. 24 http://www.macmillan 00f4 4200 94d7 f83f140abacf_Pages%20from%20UNESCO%204.pdf accessed September24, 2012. 25 Millions of peasants have recently been driven off of their own traditional lands, often by corrupt Communist Party officials, as China embraced industrial capitalism. The wave of change that had washed over China triggered in part by the movement of US and European manufacturing to that country was creating a new great wave of Chinese emigrants, l accessed November 18, 2012 26 Setting rates to attract agricultural labor was complicated by the fact that the government road maintenance program, which drew from the same pool of persons, paid EC$45 ($16US) for a three hour day (ARD 2007:67). 27 You Decide with Brian Pitt, Channel 6, June 18, 2010.

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273 28 I was treated to an impromptu labor protest when a Black C arib worker on a hillside in the north of St. Vincent began to shout across the valley through which I was traveled with a WINFA official whose lands they were in a high song like, agonized voice. The official explained that he had recently informed the ma n that he might have to let him and the two women he worked with go because funding under the government program he used to pay them was ending. 29 This competition extends to Trinidad and Tobago, since that country produces oil. Venezuela's cheap sales, s ome say, undermine solidarity and integration between Caribbean basin partners. 30 Between 1997 and 2007 Taiwan lost official recognition from the Bahamas, Grenada, and Dominica in what amounted to a bidding war for influence between the countries, holding on to Haiti, Belize, St. Kitts, and St. Vincent, and winning over St. Lucia. ac cessed October 15, 2012. 31 A report on the country's plant genetic resources expresses concern that although both Chinas have introduced various hardy and prolific fruit, tomato, and carrot varieties a number of indigenous plant genetic resources have been replaced by them ( Dottin 2008:4.1,4.3). Control over such introductions, in line with a wider FS based policy, is critical. 32 The NNP had been helped to power by the US, eager to forestall a return to power by Gairy or the Maurice Bishop Patriotic Moveme nt (named for the assassinated former prime minister) after the 1983 invasion of the country (Martin 2007:175). It received funding from The Council for National Policy, a right wing US group that included notorious Baptist minister Jerry Falwell, beer mag nate Joseph Coors, and Jesse Helms as well as from the US government (Ferguson 1990:48; Martin 2007:175). In 1999 the NNP won roughly 62% of votes and all 15 parliamentary seats in Grenada's national elections; in 2003 it was returned to power with an eight to seven seat majority (Martin 2007:175). 33 In May 2010 former Grenada Attorney General and Bar Association president Jimmy Bristol said t (New Today 2010 ). 34 hese same members would be ejected in 2012, having fallen out with the Prime Minister over his refusal to join ALBA or to establish a gambling casino in St. George's. http://www.grenadabr accessed January 15, 2012. 35 accessed Novem ber 16, 2012. 36 rather than private ownership, domestic rather th FS for members. Under ALBA's auspices Venezuela and Cuba trade oil for doctors and medical expertise and have joint soy, rice, poultry and da iry projects (Hart Landsberg 2009:5). 37 38 Brierley noted in 1974 that a 1966 economic survey had recommended tourism investment, crops has been minimal, and that. hoteliers have relied on imported produc e to serve their guests, a

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274 39 north and south navigation easier. Princess Cruises was pulling two ships from the Caribbean to accommodate Iceland, Norwegian fjord, and British Isles itineraries. The number of Caribbean cruises was expected to fall in 20 09 ( Spice Isle Review 2008). 40 accessed October 11, 2012. The spread of junk food and shifting diets present various challen ges to FS. 41 Polly Pattullo recounts some of the problems with the ships: They are highly polluting and contribute to global warming, thus harming the ocean environment, including reefs and fisheries around islands. They stock little or no local produce. In one case, Pattullo noted that barges filled with Venezuelan produce, including bananas, were restocking ships in St. Lucia, whose main export is bananas (1996:162). Nor do they bring on board jobs, since home ports lie elsewhere.. Countries invest milli ons deepening ports and creating amenities to lure ships, neglecting areas like agriculture (Pattullo 1996:161 184); efforts to tax cruise liners on entry to island ports have failed due to regional in fighting Short lived though their visits are, often la sting just a few hours, cruise ships carry most of Grenada's s/Strep3DRtoHaiti2010.pdf accessed November 18, 2012. 42 The cost of bread and rice are controlled by the Grenadian government, as are gas, diesel, and kerosene. 43 a function of long emphasis on export agriculture is not problematic if matched by income growth. Food security strategy, it advocates, should be based in development of adequate food reserves (Pemberton 2005:20). 44 The report notes that higher food prices can push people away from protein and nutrient rich foods to cheaper staples, leading to undernutrition and low birth weight babies (Scott Joseph 2009 :19). It says rising prices bring rises in everything from infant and maternal mortality to illiteracy and drop out rates. Child labor increases as families struggle to make up adult earners' lost buying power, pushing younger members into the workforce. F inancial pressure increases domestic abuse; HIV and AIDs rise. An ailing economy flattens tax revenues, limiting governments' ability to respond (Scott Joseph 2009:4). 45 accessed December 1, 2012. 46 Kendall and Petracco affirm this in the previously noted 2003 study, citing a continual, often dramatic decline in income from agriculture across the region. They also note the paucity of data available about regional domestic agriculture (3). 47 agencies on poor countries with offers of funding aid, were underway beginning in the 1990s (199 6:17). Grenada received a loan for diversification as early as 1985, which strengthens the case for the island as laboratory for neoliberal efforts: uPK=228424&Projectid=P007176 accessed October 25, 2012. agricultural export (NTAE) imperat through such initiatives. On the ground in countries like Grenada, diversification has come to signify a perennial and sometimes desperate search for something new to sell which makes hustlers out of farmers and poor country governments even as the knowledge of how to feed themselves lies at farmers' fingertips One official told me abo ut attending meetings in a WINFA country where local officials wracked fun ded diversification

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275 whether they wish to diversify, in what manner, at 48 Exports included melons, limes, lettuce, pumpkin, pigeon (or gungo) peas, sweet corn, avocados, cucumber, cabbage, tomatoes, and shallots. Fruit crops include mangoes, papaws (papaya), soursop, mammy (mamey) apples, sugar apples, star apples, and carambola (star) fruit, 70% of these according to the MNIB going to the US and Euro pe ( accessed February 13, 2013). 49 optimal use of limited resour Hurricane policy report on agriculture carried out by the Agency for Reconstruction and Development (ARD 2007:6). 50 According to the same ARD report, there was one extension officer for every 1,000 farmers and the government possessed a single plow (2007:17). 51 Sugarcane is one exception because sugar was used internally for rum production. But sugarcane farmers' additional domestic production has also gone unrecorded. 52 Some protectionist sentiment persisted. In 2008, then Prime Minis ter Keith Mitchell argued against removal of the Common External Tariff protecting some agricultural products by CARICOM, but the measure was effected despite his vote (Spice Isle Review 2008a ). 53 accessed December 1, 2012. 54 In 2007, Grenada's post hurricane Agency for Reconstruction Development devised a new Human Settlement Policy, recommending an initiative to regularize la ndholding and resolve the country's squatting situation ( accessed December 1, 2012. Th e new 2008 government promised to create a new land policy, but did not do so. 55 ays (Gomez 2005:3). 56 the continual loss of land for agriculture by the poorest farmers undermined the sometimes convenient argument that the problem was all a matter of tastes. 57 Brizan worked from Grenada's colonial Blue Books, which show a growth of almost 20% in the peasant population between 1939 and 19 49 Grenada's peasant population was still growing in the middle of last century. But 96% of them owned just 28% of cultivable land (1998:252). The 1960 population was 90,000 people (UN World Population Prospects 2006:248). 58 These numbers are drawn from a n IFAD background report, issued in 2000, for a rural poverty alleviation project. Although the methodology is not available, the text pays particular attention to women and subsistence farmers and to farming. accessed December 2, 2012. 59 were counted. While the census counted 16,756 farms it only counted 11,807 farmers (1996:6,8,37). It is possible that the latter is the number of persons who completed the project's long form survey, or that lies who held several. 60 A long delayed agricultural census was being carried out in 2012.

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276 61 See for example this discussion of the advancing age of US farmers: ct/ag101/demographics.html accessed February 5, 2012). 62 Women lived an average six years longer than men in Grenada in 1998 (World Population Profile A 51): : Seeking updated figures. 63 Among the only references I found anywhere was in a 2001 WTO trade policy review that noted, 64 A host of activities take place there under the watchful eye and supervision of mature women, including courtship of their daughters and childcare by their male friends (1993:50 65). Traditional Caribbean villages cannot simply be assumed to reflect dominant Western cultural or suburban practices, 65 Unleavened Indian wheat bread popular in the region. 66 Cocoa, nutmeg, an d banana producers already had marketing organizations. 67 St. Vincent and Dominica had similar projects at the time, according to James. Comparison with the St. Vincent and Dominica experiences could also be highly informative. 68 Mangoes, golden apples for export, according to James. But instead of developing new stock growers scavenged stock from existing trees which were reduced by the heavy harvests which resulted in a drop in yield s, disease and he said long term decline. 69 As often here, it is worth noting that this is in a country of 107,000 people, more or less the size of a small town. 70 Phytosanitary measures govern the health of plants grown and sold including avoidance of pests and disease. Protecting plants may force growers into monoculture production, as I found with WINFA bananas in St. Vincent. And meeting such standards, I glimpse d in Grenada, can be a powerful way to discipline farmers to enter the wider epistemic field of commercial farming. In October 2012, five boats laden with produce from Grenada were turned away by Tobago customs officers because their produce did not meet s uch standards, the first they had heard today3/new today 2012/may 2012/367 new today nov 2012/week ending nov 3rd 2012/1837 grenadian traffickers unable to offload goods accessed November 10, 2012 (no longer ava ilable). 71 approach to food security, which impl ies monocrop production, confor m s with convent ional food security initiatives and implies a further degree of commercialization. Its Grenadian a 08&TC=402&EP=20 &yr=2009&Cat=0000 accessed October 11, 2012. 72 discriminatory in relation to the commercial status of each producer. But it should now prioritize enterprises with commercial viabi mostly in cooperation with community led orga receiving funding to effect changes in the structure of Grenadian agriculture that undermine food security and FS, and which most importantly have not been agreed by the Grenadian people. The study laments the lack of trust between the then current government and community organizations and recommends a greater foreign NGO presence to administer commercialization programs (57).

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277 73 http://www.ccst accessed November 21, 2012. A 2007 WTO trade policy report the policy paper: G190GRD_e.doc SICE accessed November 21, 2012. The policy direction was indirectly acknowledged by former GCFA official F erron Lowe in a 2010 television interview where he 74 catastrophic events to further neoliberal economic principles is argua bly another kind of primitive accumulation. Naomi Klein's 2007 The Shock Doctrine, which documents various instances, also borrows shocked into conforming to s uch principles through rapid dismantling of welfare state protections, with a certain degree of necessary suffering by their populations to discipline them in the ways of the new global economy. 75 The ARD document gestures toward food security in a sing le comment, acknowledging Grenada's commitment to the Millenium Development targets of th e 1996 World Food Summit (2007:6 ).

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278 CHAPTER 7 RIVER SALLEE: SMALL FARMER CULTURE AND FOOD SOVEREIGNTY FOUNDATIONS Nation is the community that is brought into being (and held together) in. acts of creative collaboration undertaken by individuals on the basis of their ties of blood and/or other real or i magined bonds. Caldwell Taylor Nation Food and Nationhood Overview C hapter 7 makes clear the vital but threatened hold of s mall farmer culture on the north shore of Grenada, the continuing relationship between subsistence food production and many poor being 1 It investigates the area in and around the village of River Sallee in poorest parish a place nonetheless came to hold strong sway It seeks to determine what inherited small farming and cultural practices in the village held to be progressive mean for the establishment of FS today The chapter introduces Reginald Buddy and Bernadette Roberts, a farming couple w ho took up sugarcane farming in the early 1990s helping to spur a revival of cane growing in the area. In the 1990s cane growing brought them to the GCFA and WINFA, connecting them to other farmers and a wider global struggle. The chapter considers local foodways including local subsistence extraction, and the threat to these and FS as the natural base is altered and access to wilderness spaces is diminished. The contested nearby Plains of Chambord where Buddy and Roberts are common property landholders, is one of the few large spaces in Grenada given to local food production an arrangement that holds promise as a model for assertion of FS throughout Grenada Chapter 7 also describes the Saracca, 2 an a nnual River Sallee harvest celebration based in West African custom s and considers

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279 the role of the feast and its ceremonies in bu ilding community and nation connect ing participants to a wider diaspora and struggle, not just in its folkloric but its widest material dimensions visional. But it is clear that post slavery culture has made an imprint on River Sallee, one not easily ignored by its inhabitants. In addition to producing people, the village is a site for the reproduction of ideas, highly suggestive for future developme nt, including for the assertion of FS. Situating River Sallee P art of River Sallee (from the French Rive Sall for the salt river that flows near the town) was once the setting for a plantation called the River Sallee Estate, which according to Martin d ated to the mid 1700s. 3 On a hillside overlooking some of Grenada's most fertile expanses, the town in 2007 held roughly 3,000 people. A River the north, with sugar cane grow n on all four. A huge waterwheel, powered by the river, once ground cane here (Martin 2007:210). Land for the town was taken as part of a second phas e of the land settlement scheme, described in Chapter 3, initiated at the end of the nineteenth century. Th e 290 acre River Sallee estate was appropriated by my River Sallee host Bernadette Roberts' great grandmother among the purchsers In 1831 a hurricane damaged provision grounds of the La Taste estate just outside what is present day River Sallee. Anger about the resulting lack of land for their own food growing led to a slowdown by enslaved workers, what Marshall describes as a perhaps Grenad a's first and forced the plantation manager to procure additional land for them (1991:216 217). Here in 1848, a decade after e mancipation, Grenadian agricultural workers also staged what may have been

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280 Grenada's first strike: when St. Patrick's planters tri ed to get them to accept lower wages, several hundred of them stormed a magistrates' meeting and attacked police. In the following decades, Martin notes, African workers imported in post slavery immigration schemes from Sierra Leone, St. Helena and the Kr oo Coast settled in Martin 2007:142). 4 Eric Gairy's career was launched here in 1950 when workers were evicted from an estate that had exchanged hands and he succeeded in gaining compensation for them (Franklyn 1999:48). The settlement Gairy's General Ma nual and Mental Workers Union, former River Sallee school headmaster nearby estates. 5 According to Roberts the neighboring Mount Rose Estate (where her grandmother and step father worked), Plains Estate (where her mother worked for a time), and Poyntzfield Estate were appropriated and parceled out under Gairy's Land for the Landless progra m. Much of the cultural dynamism that River Sallee embodies derives from this foundation in rural agitation, according to Charles and politician Dorothy Payne Banfield, a former leader of Gairy's Grenada United Labour Pa rty, whom I interviewed in 2010. Riv progressive villages Payne Banfi e ld told me In addition to sugarcane local production once included cotton, coconut (with a copra factory at River Antoine and growing at nearby Levera), and limes, according to

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281 Reginald Buddy, who told me that the town once held a creamery too. Although space is increasingly limited, livestock keeping and herding remain, especially along the seaside bluffs at the town's edge and beside the lower north going beach road out of town. From its brightly colored houses overlooking the north coast (under which you might still spot residents washing beside stand pipes in the morning) to its nearby beaches, River Sallee resembles many pr etty villages in the Caribbean, down to its poverty, patterns of migration, and emerging problems with drugs and gangs. On the day of my first 2008 visit a group of men stood talking in the Catholic cemetery opposite Buddy and Roberts's house amid its tomb s twined with pink vines. Goats grazed in the grounds of the River Sallee School, one of Grenada's first such public institutions where the Saracca would shortly take place (Martin 2007:210) known to be sympathetic in providing loans to farmers. A short way off lay the meande ring salt river and its famous boi ling springs, which feed the river from potholes in the sulfurous rocks a round them. Melted candle wax can be spied beside these p ots where Shango Baptist practitioners militant mainstays of Eric Gairy's rural success (Franklyn 1999:41) whose dancing is a feature of Saraccas still hold services and baptize participants. 6 Come on a bright March day in a year with no long drought spend a day hitting the high spots, including nearby Levera, the beach and you will find River Sallee very pleasant. But when I told Buddy early on that it was difficult to imagine that life could be too hard here he said 7 St. Patrick's, the parish in which River

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282 Sallee is found, is Grenada's poorest, with a 56.7% poverty rate in 2007 2008 ( Kairi Consultants 2009:xix). Here the highest percentage of women in Grenada 6 0% go without prenatal care (Wilts hire and Bourne 2005:28). In an unpublished study carried out for GRENCODA in 2007, Buddy and village officials concluded that 15% of the population went hungry during some part of the year, 8 a finding that some local middle class people with homes outside of town that I spoke with struggled to accept York City told me. 9 There might be problems with malnutrition she and several people I spoke to insisted, but no one here went w ithout food if they did they must be lazy. In truth the notion that people should go hungry in a place like River Sallee would seem more jarring and contradictory to me as time wore on. As elsewhere in Grenada larger houses had long been going up outside town, many built by returning emigrants who had toiled in Britain or Canada before retiring or returning home. These more luxurious homes and the people who live in them, including the house where I rented an apartment outside River Sallee in 2008, exist in uncertain relationship to the village and have contributed to a fraying relationship be tween the farm community and the traditional life that came with the i ally, Houseyard and Provision Ground Despite th e suburban style housing filling rural spaces

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283 Jamaica 10 The is still often the nucleus of many people 's growing, even as some farmers are reduced by the loss of surrounding land or poverty to working in the yard alone, and may have ceased to grow provision altogether. Brierley was noting a decline in houseyard production in 1984, confirmed by senior agric u ltural officers and senior Agricultural Ministry extension officers. They stated unequivocally that kitchen gardens were being worked less extensively and intensively than had been the case during the PRG regime, and certainly considerably less. than during their childhood days in the 1940s and 1950s. Their explanations. included factors such as the increased dietary preference for and the replacement of food plants with ornamental shrubs and flowers. As reported Brierley sa w the d ecline of houseyards as likely to adversely affect domestic food production (1991:53 54). Roberts and Buddy's half acre houseyard was every bit the working farm, the center of their production operation s 11 Here over the years the family had grown sweet peppers, yams, cabbage, okra, watermelon, beans, lettuces, cantaloupe, cucumber, and various spices commercially and for their own consumption; various kinds of fruit tree s shaded the ground. Here Roberts kep t six or seven sows and several dozen pigs in various stages of maturation, which the couple butchered for local sale a long with chickens and rabbits. Buddy told me that 400 to 450 families were farming in River Sallee. At a rough estimate this might mean two thirds of the town engaged in growing according to him. In drier coastal areas like River Sallee, according to Brierley, common traditional staples included pigeon peas, corn, cassava, and sweet potatoes (1974:169) P eas and corn,

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284 agronomist and form er Grenada CARDI head Ken Buckmire told me, were traditionally interplanted with sugarcane. 12 Edible produce on a list I compiled in and around River Sallee in 2008, informally and in interviews with several dozen area farmers, included a range of fruit tre es and fruit (coconut, breadfruit, pimento, papaya, citrus, sweetsop, golden apple, mango, cherry, avocado, plantain and banana, star fruit, pineapple, water and other melons); sugarcane and corn; root and tuberous root crops (beets, carrots, cocoyam, tan nia, callaloo dasheen, Irish and sweet potatoes, cassava, yams, squash, christophene, melongene [eggplant], and pumpkin); okra and pigeon peas; vegetables, including leafy ones (tomatoes, onions, capsicum, celery, scallions, peppers, bhodi beans, bok choy cabbage, and lettuces, cucumber, cauliflower, and broccoli); and a variety of herbs, spices, and exotics (sorrel, peppermint, oregano, and [ Eryngium Foetidum ] 13 ) (chive), often sold bundled with thyme and shadow ben ny in local markets. All these might be grown for household or extended family use, shared with family, friends neighbors, or (hopefully) sale to the MNIB, and sometimes even as the Grenada market for things like provision is crowded by products from St. Vincent be trafficked to Trinidad or C arriacou. Outside of some gardens, produce is sold from tables or farm stands; you might get juice or prepared food there as well. The precedin g does not constitute a scientific survey. But this array of produce suggests that the finding of the 1995 Agricultural Census that four fifths of farms were growing more than 40 kinds of temporary and permanent crops remains may remain accurate (1996:31). Almost all of the produce on the above list can be found in Besson's

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285 description of offerings grown in Jamaica houseyards, again suggesting that there is a common regional basis in small farming that can be used for organizing by LVC for FS. The list suggests a continuing strong degree of agricultural diversity in the area, one that may be diminished by further efforts at commercialization (especially exclusively at commercialization) and which could be diversified further, emphasizing nutrition and a groecological methods on the other hand by efforts to stimulate houseyard production for FS. belied the fact that the 56 year old Buddy had worked in many fields, including Trinidad's oil fields, in construction, as a landscaper and as a disc jockey, that he had been tabbed as lead man for various NGO initiatives in River Sallee and was widely traveled, having led LVC farmer delegations and shared his agricultural expertise in several countries His was a strong example is sometimes sighte d as a necessary feature of life for Caribbean small farmers (Besson 2002:214 215), and of a certain resilient adaptability that seemed a trait of many farmers that I interviewed. Although he grew a significant variety of favorite crops were yams, sweet potatoes, cane, and pigeon peas. Like many Grenada farmers he had struggled to grow bananas mainstay of WINFA farmers on other nearby islands pigeon pea staple crops, with importation of both threatening Grenadian growers.) Other crops also

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286 they don't say no to me. Buddy also delighted in keeping livestock, with he and Roberts sometimes salting the meat of the animals they raised to preserve it one of a number of simple methods of preserving food through time honored microprocessing techniques along with canning m eat and vegetables that I also came to believe could serve as cornerstones for the assertion of local and community food independence in pursuit of FS. It was through WINFA that Buddy had become more aware of the importance of animal rearing in seminars t hat both he and Roberts attended. He said that he wished aspect of farming 20 years before. 14 He and Roberts had one four acre piece on a bluff overlooking the ocean that t he y where Buddy kept his joupa; here they also kept cattle. They also held land in nearby contested Chambord (see below), and in the interior of St. Patricks, where t he y grew cocoa and nutmeg in mixed cropping with mangoes, fig plantain, and bloggo, but t he y had not returned to this l atter land since the 2004 hurricanes They had 17 acres total in 2008, an estimated 95% of it under cultivation. 15 They had come by their land s in the way many Caribbean farmers do 16 by emigrating, wor king, saving, and returning home to buy them. Like many farmers I met in Grenada and St. Vincent, Buddy had al so travelled for the GCFA, as WINFA and LVC member s to Cuba twice, to Honduras and Barbados as well as Trinidad, and in more recent times as a ro ving ambassador for the organization. 17 He and Roberts had also hosted several Cuban farmers on a two month

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287 use of space for growing learned from Cuba's inner city organoponicos (organic gardens) that he applied in his houseyard. The travel had contributed to material success. In Honduras on one WINFA trip a farmer g a ve Buddy a sweet pota to v ine that he smuggled back he told me; in time it yielded the biggest sweet potato r ecorded in Grenada a whopping thirteen and a half en registered by the agricultural ministry and adopted by many Grenadian farmers. 18 first met him, getting some eight pounders because rain fall had been g in 2008 Buddy had a satisfactory arrangement with the MNIB, delivering six to seven hundred pounds of sweet potatoes through the height of a twelve week har vest for Tuesday and Thursday pickup. In Buddy's view having the MNIB pick up the family's produce was better than having Roberts take it to market (where most vendors are women) given the expenditure of her time. 19 ( F rom what I gathered Roberts agreed wit h the analysis but would have liked to participate in the market.) Although she might get 50% more per pound of produce in the market than MNIB paid, hauling produce back and forth was costly, and there was no guarantee that she would sell all of it. It was Buddy who first told me that during the revolution the MNIB had been committed to buying every farmers' production H e still thought that the organization number two a

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288 anxiety farmers felt about the organization. To motivate production, in Buddy's opinion, 100% beh in cautiously when I first met him Later, when we discussed the fact that MNIB was importing crops like sweet potatoes he became openly critical, and regrett is the bond Buddy had taken up sugarcane production in 1986 as reported in Chapter 5. He had also encouraged a number of River Sallee farmers (eleven, by his count) to do so, and to join the GCFA He remained enthusiastic about sugarcane and its possibilities, including about the maroons that made harvest and other shared work possible express ing n to maroons, farmers in River Sallee had once one another in sequence, working in pairs, to take care of various tasks that required more hands owing seasons, but it had been ten years, he told me, since these had been a regular feature of life there I knew that Buddy continued to believe that maroons could be the best way to various w ays to address the issue, many people as it turned out saw it this way. That included two River Sallee extension officers whom I spoke to. One even thought that the Agricultural Ministry and extension services should be in charge of organizing and scheduli ng them, as had been the case during the PRG period, and expressed a willingness to do this in his area. Clearly, this was one way along with pointing extension services more

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289 directly at the needs of subsistence and cash and subsistence farmers that the Gr enada government could contribute to FS. Bernadette Roberts: Now Everything You Buy It was the morning of the Saracca River Sallee's thanksgiving holiday and we were in Buddy and Bernadette Roberts's kitchen. Since Saracca tends to coincide with windy Mar ch weather, kite flying is a feature of the holiday the air was filled with hand made kites, most made from twigs and plastic bags. There were bicycle races underway, too, with cyclists flying down the hilly narrow local streets at breakneck speed. Buddy h the pig pens which required doing, holiday or not Roberts had slaughtered ten chickens to stew and was harvesting the eggs that lay half formed inside them blue, white, and grey ovoids o f varying sizes that she sa id we w ould eat. As she worked, Roberts told me she had grown up here and in neighboring Mt. Rose, just above River Sallee, with six brothers. The eldest, Bernadette had taken care of her brothers while her mother worked. She fin ished school at 15 and at 21 went to the US Virgin Islands to do domestic work missing the revolution entirely We all of us grew up together Aware that recovery from the hurricanes was fa r from complete, I asked how A lthough it was a hard time for cane farmers then but Roberts had for years kept her own can e piece, with all of the proceeds 20

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290 Amid he r other activities that morning which s he would serve with bonito steaks purchased fresh from a truck that came through that morning, announcing passage with the blowing of a conch shell. The bakes, a popular Caribbean biscuit that is often dad) are one of the region's favorite comfort foods. Roberts's contained saltfish, dasheen leaves, and minced scallion, and were served with cocoa tea. The cooking and my expressions of interest in cooking and local food got us to talking about the declin e of local ed that the turn to a more cash based economy remained recent enough to merit comment. And in fact, Roberts' answers to m y questions showed that she bought very little food now. 21 Rice, flour, oil these imported items were the household's only regular food purchases. Nor, in hard times, was the door likely to close on subsistence production, I would come to see. A great deal of what people ate in River Sallee came from friends, neighbors, barter exchange, one's own production, and foraged food, as well as from trips to the Grenville or Sauteurs open air markets. t she had made lately outs in many Caribbean kitchens.) A burlap sack of flour had just been purchased, quite poss ibly to make my breakfast. 22 Roberts complained that the flour was expensive. It came from the US and had the logo of US

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291 stamped on its side. Like many Grenadians Bu ddy and Roberts do some of their cooking outside over a wood fire that sits beneath a small overhang beside their house. (The indoor kitchen contains a propane fueled stove.) For the rest of that morning of the Saracca we divided our time between the outd oor kitchen, where various dishes were frying or on the boil and the small factory belonging to the Ri ver Sallee Women's Cooperative of wh ich Roberts is Vice President that adjoins the house, where the cooperative's three products are processed, cooked, a nd vacuum sealed in jars. (Like the GCFA, the collective had joined WINFA, thus also becoming part of the V a Campesina.) The Spice Collective, as members of the group also call it, 23 produces three products a wet seasoning like the Spanish adobo used for and a hot pepper sauce. Like Buddy, Roberts had traveled considerably as a member of the Cane Farmers Association to WINFA and LVC events T hese travels had prompted creation of the co Dominica, St. Lucia twice. We meet a lot of women in the organization, learn about pig farming, how to manage your business, how okay, we'll get into the seasoning business had River Sa knuckle early

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292 morning drive across the island to St. George's for work if they can find it, careening around the wet mountain curves in one of Grenada's jam packed minibuses paying $2 EC dol lars (about 75 US cents) each way, a cost steep enough t o dissuade some people from attempting it T Roberts and Buddy told me this more than once (I also heard this theme sounded by V a Campesin a members in the Dominican Republic). The factory, it was hoped, could help keep eight River Sallee women near their children and families, and possibly keep them from having to emigrate. An accomplished cook, Roberts was official taster for Riversaw Produ cts, as the line was called E ach time they manufactured a new batch of sauces the women scoured the island for sales. But such projects had limits for income generat ion Many such sauces had come on the market in Grenada I had seen them in the DR, Jama ica, and Barbados. (There had recently been an explosion of such sauces in the US.) In the MNIB's grocery stores there were a number of kinds, suggesting th at th e market might be saturated. Googling s in 2012 and suggested that such production might be a kind of fad that was sweeping the NGO community. 24 Roberts had also participated in another income generation project, sponsored by the Grenada Community Development Agency (GRENCODA), begun in 2004. Each participant was given a chicken coop, 25 birds, and six bags of feed enough to bring the birds to maturity. Each participant was later required to give back 10 chicks or $150 EC, a requirement with which Roberts soon complied; at one time her st ock had grown to 1, 500 birds. According to GRENCODA General Secretary Judy Williams, interviewed in 2012, the project was a success twenty women were still producing chickens. A

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293 similar project existed for pigs, in which tw o piglets from the first litter ( or farrow ) were given to the next farmer on a waiting list. It wasn't hard to imagine how such projects, mixed with or based in subsistence production, could become features of a Grenadian push for FS. They were notable because although they required an in itial investment they were based in reciprocity, what might be termed an economics of natural increase, in which participants created a healthy environment for reproduction to take place and then shared the results N ot everyone would succeed, but you made a commitment to others by taking part. The Saracca The sara c ca nation turns on reciprocity and food is its highest sacrament. The food especially the items extracted from the belly of the earth yams, sweet potatoes, manioc (cassava/yucca) propitiate a ve ritable congregation of gods and ancestor spirits. Okra and corn (maize) are not hauled out of the living earth but they. find themselves in the upper tier of ritual significance, surpassed only by yam, the most sacred item in the foodways of the sarac ca world. Caldwell Taylor Nation Food and Nationhood agriculture and other cultural practices are inextricable in Grenada, and both must be understood as foundational to FS In River Sallee the Saracca, which culminates annually o n the first Friday after Easter and celebrates the local harvest after dry season, helps to demonstrate such connections 25 Taylor describes the Saracca as an of donating food to needy people toward the end of Ramadan. In Grenada it is typically erved on banana l eaves laid out on the ground the eating. usually accompanied wit h singing, drumming and dancing

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294 s imilar practices are followed in the Georgia Sea Islands and Brazil (Diouf 1998:65). 26 While River Sallee holds an annual Saracca, they ma y also be called and take place at other times, including as part of Shango practice (Martin 2007:232). Other Grenada villages, including nearby Hermitage and La Poterie, have held regular Saraccas too. Sociologist Claude Douglas says th at th e Saracca wa s once widespread in Grenada, blood of the slaughtered animals must be Sometimes a priest blesses the animals. 27 Rum is sprinkled on the ground for the spirits where the food is collectively prepared. Each participating family sends a tray of food and rum to the venue of the Saraca. The food is placed in rows on banana leaves for the village's children to eat. Before eating their hands were washed by adult participants. This act of hand washing added a personal touch to the feast. At the end of the Saraca, the Nation Dance com mences. (Douglas 2003:86) The leftover food, Douglas notes, is taken to the Nation Dance, which lasts until dawn, rising and falling in intensity, and includes both drumming and singing. According to Ann Marie Edwards, Grenada's Acting Senior Community Development Officer for St. Patricks, St. Andrew, and St. Marks, the Saracca was for Development which she helped to found. But if the origins of the celebration are di fficult to pinpoint, it goes a good way back. According to Buddy, the Saracca had been Edwards told me, giving an idea of how the Saracca is handed down, a lso of its on going reinvention. She said the event had long been connected to the local Catholic church

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295 sed to make a feast, she said, and to g ive thanks for a good year. The event was called by a Saracca, 28 The Nation D exercise in Black nationalism. In River Sallee, according to daughter Lindy Roberts, its purpose is unifying i Ac cording to another analyst, i reaching, wide ranging confraternit 2001:1). In Paule Marshall's Praisesong for the Widow (1983 ), set on Carriacou, participation in the dance is a key to the protagonist's reconciliation with her African heritage. The d ance was traditionally opened with a hoe, spade, and fork, according to Edwards. Participants would ceremonially kick a mound of soil that had been gathered by participants, and throw corn and peas communi ty had performed the Tillingo, a kind of game as Lindy Roberts described it, in which several hundred villagers t ook part, lining both sides of the street, partner ing and forming arch es with their hands for participants to pass under singing as they progress wh ere the dance will be held, in this case the River Sallee community center. 29 Dancing is performed to traditional rhythms and movement, a cultural possession of the residents and people throughout the diaspora, that Edwards told me her organization was working to pass on, especi ally to community children. According to Buddy many of the same rhythms are used in Carriacou (which has its own quite different Saracca)

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296 The drummers form a River Sallee fraternity ( other groups may also come from nearby Tivoli and La Poterie) and are ac complished in various rhythms, all said to be African in origin. As the afternoon wears on a large group of revelers and commentators gather in the outdoor kitchen behind Buddy and Roberts's house, many drinking white rum, sharing in and comment ing on th e preparations. 30 When the moment comes to carry the tray of food that Roberts has prepared to the field of the River Sallee school for the event, Roberts cover s it in a lace cloth Buddy is tipsy enough that he must ask a friend to carry it. The children si t down to eat first, and the food is spread out beneath them on banana leaves. I n an affecting gesture as I watched in 2008 their parents p lace the first fingerfull s of food into their mouths with their bare hands The holiday is a lot of work for those who provide food. And there is real expense in feeding and providing rum to so many people agricultural diversity that underlies th eir farming inheritance I n 2008 this included chicken, mutton, pork, and beef; cou cou (coocoo); rice and peas; and provision yam, bloggo, fig In many ways the tray was a testament, therefore, to their subsistence production, the FS that Grenada does and can enjoy Thirty or forty people have gathered at Buddy and Roberts's and several hundred more have taken part in the feast M any more will participate in the Nation D ance which will continue until dawn, the drummers playing the sun up in a frenzied finale to the event. The next day villagers moved from house to house, visiting one another Ev eryone's home is supposed to be open, Buddy told me, and food offered to every

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297 person who comes to the door. In this and various ways the Saracca translates wh a t is perhaps the most vital often tense biological ne cessity, eating, into an act of shared community. It is exemplary of the kind of ceremonies that Eric Wolf sa ys /sm all farmer belongs (1966:7). T wo researchers conducting marine research at nearby Levera attended the Saracca as I did in 2008 ; several emigrants were back home for visit s from the US. But like the Carnival events I witnessed in July, River Sallee's Saracc a was in no way a tourist event; there was nothing to buy there. 31 In a community that was lthough she noted that the local Pentecostal church did not participate. 32 the Saracca I felt is clearly in keeping with FS principles and could form one cultural centerpiece of a Grenadian movement for FS and project of national repeas antization. Pigeon Peas and the Plains of Chambord: Local Production in a Common Property Arrangement In June 2008 I brought my family to spend three months in River Sallee. One evening early in our stay Roberts asked us over to shell pigeon peas. Pigeon peas, popular throughout the Caribbean, are hardy, easy to grow, and with sweet potatoes Grenada's most widely planted crop (Gr enada Agricultural Ministry 1996 :29). They are a subsistence staple A ccording to former Grenada CARDI head Ken Buckmire, who m I interviewed in 2012, as many as 57 cultivars of the pea have been grown in Grenada. A perennial, pigeon peas are traditionally planted in July in Grenada (Martin 2007:191). Like other legumes, the pea enriches soil by fixing atmospheric nitrogen, converti ng it into ammonia for plant growth. It i s a high protein food that can be eaten fresh or stored

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298 for long periods dry. The peas can be sprouted and eaten that way, boiled, even ground into flour. In some places the shoots and leaves are eaten; with the flo wers and seeds this softer growth makes good animal fodder. The plant's purple flowers attract bees. You can prune pigeon peas for mulch, and pruning releases nitrogen around the plants' root nodes. Growing on average from four to five feet high, the plant s offer shade and shelter to smaller intercrops their open architecture admits a dappled light. They are particularly good around young fru it trees. Pigeon peas self seed and multiply quickly ; th eir deep tap roots penetrate hard ground and improve the soil. They can even be used as trellises for other plants 33 They are a highly beneficial, productive plant. I had not participated in this kind of pleasurable, once common activity since childhood, when I shelled sweet peas from my grandparents' garden on their back porch; it was the kind of shared undertaking where no one feels required to talk. Roberts was faster than we were, but we lightened her work I admired her technique, and observed that I thought she could do it in her sleep. She said she had sometimes found herself doing it while she dozed before the TV. Later I helped to plant some of the peas with Roberts on common lands sh e and Buddy worked on the Chambord plain Lying just east of River Sallee, the plains of Chambord are huge by Grenadia n standards 750 to 800 acres according to a 1994 GRENCODA report. 34 A large portion of the estate on which the land lay 419 acres, originally owned by two local families had been sold in 1964 by the government to a Canadian expatriate group 35 for housing dev planned for the site.

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299 At the time of the sale about 100 tenant farmers were working the Chambord lands growing a number of cash and provision crops sugarcane and cocoa intercropped with b luggo were also grown there. According to the GRENCODA report the farmers were allowed to continue working at Chambord on a provisional basis, paying a nominal annual rent of EC $10 keeping no animals except in a designated pasture and accepting that they must vacate if given notice. They were warned they would receive no compensation for any trees planted if forced to leave. A crisis developed during 1993 94 when the Toronto base d owners found a new buyer, a group of developers who according to an article co authored by GRENCODA General Secretary Judy Williams rism and commercial development (Vermeulen, Williams, and Phi 2005:6). At this poin t 103 people were working about 240 acres at Chambord pumpkin, watermelon, cassava, sorrel, sweet potatoes, some yams, cabbage, authors noted that farmers were reluctant to invest in improvements to the land or their operations while they remained uncertain if they could stay (GRENCODA 1994:3 4), a longtime problem one with ecological and economic consequences in places where farmers work witho ut secure tenure. The contribution to local food consumption was food crops available in the Grenville, authors observed e alienation of 100 125 acres of Agricultural lands from Agriculture and its use for Housing and Residential Development will be a loss of

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300 considerable magnitude T he loss of the area's prime a g ricultural lands especially was a tragedy for sustainable de [S]ale of the entire. area FOR DEVELOPMENT was only possible because of the absence of any Government Land Use Policy. This Committee strongly recommends that Government. take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the liv elihood of well over 100 people now, and the The Chambord farmers sought help from GRENCODA and the organization began working with them to secure long term use of the land. The stra tegy developed was threefold, according to Williams: to build evidence with the farmers that they were using d to draw attention to their battle to retain the lands among the public and with the government (Vermeulen, Williams, and Phi 2005:6) Among the strategies employed was expanding the number of crops that farmers rops because as long as we are doing that, a meeting in 2003. The NGO paid boundaries, to report oral histories of local l and title for GRENCODA staff to record, and for agriculture and which could go to o affect these and other options (Vermeulen, Williams, and Phi 2005:7). and conc

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301 Several farmers including Buddy and Roberts, vol unteered to participate in the p good, nationa lly important, agricultural land for food production (Vermeulen, Williams, and Phi 2005:7). The farmers also made their struggle for secure access to Chambord spell o ut their vision for use of the land (Vermeulen, Williams, and Phi 2005:7). Their local par liament member failed to attend and was not re elected. Among plans by Chambord farmers when I first visited in 2008 were a cassava growing project, overseen by the Grenada Rural Enterprise Programme (GREP) with funding from the UN Development Program (UNDP). 36 Buddy was on a committee that had identified 21 cassava products that would be created. The project's developers, including Buddy, had secured a commitment from Grenada's Food Fair and Foodland grocery stores to sell a number of the products. It was a promising project with potential for long term growth and livelihood at several levels of th e economy. Twelve women had been trained to process the cassava and t here was excitement about having the project in River Sallee The farmers had also held a farmers' market at Chambord for a time, and were discussing reviving it in 2012. Chambord, like Levera and Mt. Hartman, represented an impressive if insecure common property arrangement, reached by the local community, that enabled members to share and manage a precious resource. Certainly, Buddy and Roberts viewed the collective handling of the Cha mbord land as a success. The working out of arrangements for historic common properties at Chambord, Mt. Hartman, and other places in Grenada including local customs and innovations invo lved in these

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302 practices deserve more study. The three sites and their history as shared arrangements should be examined for commonalities as well as for clues about how Grenadians might divide remaining Crown and other lands to benefit agriculture, the country, and future Grenadians. In their case study of land issues in Gre nada in the aftermath of the hurricanes, Barnes and Riverstone suggest consideration of a laddered approach in which tenants develop additional rights (including collective rights) to lands over time, leading to full title or secure tenure. This might begi n with certification of a right to make use of the land in question, they say (2008:41). 37 Levera We are chanting earth's homage, oh father, All over and back home. Yoruba song recorded by Alan Lomax at Levera, 1962 On the day after the Saracca Buddy dec ided that I should have a swim. We stopped in front of a rum shop with the Wheelbarrow to pick up his buddy Selwyn 38 Buddy shouted out the window River Sallee's local beach, Bathway, sees few tourists but is popular with Grenadia ns During Saracca week it was thronged with local families sharing picnics, youths playing soccer, elderly people taking sand baths, and bulls stalking the margins and sending beachgoers flying as (every now and then) they stampeded. Three nearshore islan ds Sugarloaf, Green Island, and Sandy Island help to keep the offshore waters tranquil as do the ancient coral reefs, worn down to grey stone, that stand just offshore and slow the Atlantic waves. Nearby Buddy kept several cows and was growing sweet potat oes. But in times past the Levera lands had been far more productive. The beach and bluffs behind us, which stretched across a partly bulldozed planned resort, were part of

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303 a 450 acre Levera Bathway National Park that included the offshore islands, opened in 1994 (Martin 2007:141). Much of the park had once been grazing land and forest used by the surrounding villages, some of it farmed. Now most of it was being developed as a resort, after losing its national park pro tection from the government in 2008. Rumors circulated while I was living there that TV personality Oprah Winfrey (also popular in Grenada) had Levera was the most beautiful place, it was reported, she had ever seen. Certainly, the views from the empty administration office, where Buddy and I sometimes repaired to talk agriculture were stunning. My edition of the Lonely Planet Eastern Caribbean Guide, written when all 450 acres were protected parkla nd, calls the park much of which is rare dry forest mangrove stand edges one of the island's unique volcanic ponds, 20 acres wide and just yards from the Atlantic shore, providing habitat for many species 39 including waterfowl (Anglin 2001:244). Herons, black necked Stilts, wild duck, and snipe (the se latter two game birds) can be found there (Martin 2007:141). With its s heltered beaches, the area had long been a nesting place for the endangered gi ant leatherback turtle prized for both its meat and eggs and subject of a sophisticated local effort to protect them and develop eco tourism at the same time 40 Grenada's tourism website notes that area reefs and sea grass beds shelter lobster and beautifu l reef fishes. 41 Former Grenada Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, then Tourism Minister, extolled the benefits of the site for eco tourism when Levera was made a public park in 1992 ( Pattullo 1996:119).

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304 The area had du ring the colonial period held a group of estates (the Levera Estate grew coconuts ); Fdon aide de camp Charles Nogues had raised cotton there [Martin 2007:177]) a reported 200 acres had been seized by Eric Gairy as part of the Land for the Landless program Farmers from ne arby villages had shared the land and grazed animals there. But in 2003 243 acres of Levera were appropriated for the resort, its protected status revoked by the NNP in the same parliamentary coup that to ok Mt. Hartman a move that involved no public debate conservationist Tyrone Buckmire told me in 2008 Farmers who refused to sell their lands to the developer had them taken by eminent domain under Grenada's Compulsory Purchase of Land Act ( Pattullo 2005:42 43). The f irst resort venture, planned to feature a golf course ecological nightmare in the dry forest setting ultimately failed According to one source the developers (or those who posed as developers) disappeared with US $5.9 million dollars that the government had advanced them for the project. 42 But according to Malachy Dottin, Dotti n 2007 /8 :20). 43 Despite the failed project the land was now primed for development. Buddy had become foreman of the landscaping crew for the reshaped venture, the Levera Bay Project, 44 which developers promised would be ecologically sound. But there was no getting around the fact that Levera had once held farm, forest, and grazing land, and a national park shared by all Grenadians. S urrounding communities had all made use of the area, not just for farming but for fishing 45 Extractive activit ies (fishing, hunting, crab catching) had been halted inside the area

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305 Pattullo wro te in 2005 ( 43). 46 It is not clear which community Pattullo alludes to Rose Hill, a very poor North Shore community, was hardest hit according to Roberts. Attempts to compensate displaced farmers, including Rose Hill residents, were large ly unsuccessful because farmers there could demonstrate no legal claim to the land. According to Buddy, the area had not been farmed intensively for 60 70 years which suggests that there was room for debate about the matter (Buddy also noted that many local lands were going unplanted, including at Chambord.) But the re was no public debate on the matter ; local farmers never had a say. status had been revoked. A host of contradictions, wrapped up in questions of secure tenure and the failure of government to insure that farmers could make a living from planting were wrapped up here. But the displacement of farmers f rom Levera is not just a matter of what was lost to current farmers but what was lost to Grenadian agriculture, and the manner in which it was carried out part of a wider pattern of land grabbing that is ongoing in Grenada (here carried out by the governme nt on behalf of shadowy interests), a country plagued with failed tourist projects. And the long period of inactivity the continued exclusion of farmers from the area as the process dragged out seemed difficult to defend. Thinking t hrough the Food Jab Jab don't eat Kentucky Fry! Spit it out! Spit it out! That don't belong in your mout'! Jab Jab will help you To cook some nice saltfish!

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306 Synnah Ten Jab Commandments, Grenada Carnival song, 2008 47 he intensification of commercial agricult ure has meant a narrowing of the number of foods people eat a fact that health experts across the world have noted. Globalization and agricultural have diminished the varieties traditionally used, with only 30% of the available crop varieties dominating global agriculture. These, together with only 14 animal species, provide an estimated 48 An extended stay in River Sallee showed that food had many constituents beyond farm and field the roadside margins where animals grazed, for example, and the grasses that passersby gathered for the m to graze on Could food remain available when one productive natural space af ter another was enclosed, bulldozed, or built upon? Take the blue land crabs (cardisoma guanhumi) that emerged everywhere in early June, washed out of their holes by the onset of rainy season, scuttling over the roads, which in some parts of the Caribbea n and Florida are now seen as invasive 49 Suddenly children were selling them, alive or cooked, sometimes on skewers. The tasty crustaceans traditionally hunted at night with torches (Martin 2007:59), had formed a symbiotic relationship with Grenadians, e specially sugarcane growers, centuries ago the cane fields made a fine habitat for them. For Elliot Bishop they offered a reminder of the heyday of the GCFA, of wonderful meals that followed maroons and cane harvests, as well as of his youth the welcome be

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307 year in Grenada was once punctuat ed with such pleasurable times of surfeit not all forgotten melicoccus bijugatus) time, and the feasting that went with them. The loss of cane lands, especially in the south of Grenada, meant diminut ion of crab habitat. Further celebration of these times, appreciating their place in the turn of the yearly wheel, the role of this bounteous side of nature rather than the scarcity model imposed by commercial resource competition, could be made part of ef forts to build FS. The crabs remained part of the commons. The hundreds of conch whose shells adorned our driveway (called lambie here, lamb in the DR, often cooked in brown be included in the incomplete but growing list I began to compile. A query to Buddy pi neapples, and sweet gospo ( sour orange, with medicinal value, used for improving appetite). People also collected fig leaves and water grass weed to fee d their pigs (for whom imported feed is very expensive) and various vines to feed their rabbits. When I began to pore over the long list of plants in Groome's A Natural History of Grenada I saw that every plant listed had some use as a foodstuff, spice, or for industry like furniture making or house building. Various medicinal plants could be used to promo te FS and improve health. Many like the swizzle stick (which comes from a ma plant, and tonka bean (1970: 69, 70, 87) have fascinating histories of use by Grenadians and their island predecessors,

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308 waiting to be told in an FS context. New uses for many undoubtedly await discovery. 50 Such a pursuit of the value in Grenada's rich bio wide campaign for FS, count erpoint to the exploitation by genetic manipulation and hunt by biotech and medical companies to exploit the Third World's forest and biota it could help to spur conservation efforts and preservation of remaining common areas. Hundreds of sea plants, shell fish, and mollusks are also edible. Investigation would reveal that Grenadians have eaten many of these through the years. A useful way to form connection among Via Campesina Caribe groups might lie in probing such relationships, broadening the plant ba se in pursuit of regional agrodiversity (such a pursuit could start with Maroon groups). The incredible diversity available, of plants and fruits of every color, answered lingering questions about whether if you were going to plump for FS the Grenadian die t was healthy. What Grenadians actually consume, of course, is a related and complex issue. But the assertion that members of Nutrition Council made to me in a June 2012 meeting that food inheritance rivaled any i n terms of its healthy potential was undoubtedly true, especially sin ce most anything can grow here. ( George Brizan wr ote [ 1998 :346] ) The plentiful variety of foods available w as an important counter to the temptation to se e Grenada solely in terms of privation. It was the right to the local diet, to produce it and preserve it in its diverse scope that FS advocates must argue for, I realized T his went beyond what farmers plant ed to the broader resource base.

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309 Pigeon Peas II: Planting Peas and Corn One day toward the end of my 2008 stay I found myself at Chambord planting the ancient Caribbean staple of pigeon peas and corn with Roberts, Selwyn, and like fog, everyone agreeing it was perfect planting weather. There was plenty of gossip and high spirits. There was also rueful analys is of the election, just passed, in which the party that Roberts favored, the NNP, had l ost The three GCFA farmer who owned one of the few tractors on the island, a man who had come to assume folkloric proportion for me as I encountered him again and again on Grenada's w aits mak e a difference in yields; lack of plows is a big problem in Grenada). Now we moved along the hillocks turned up by Spree's plow where Selwyn and Posse had already spent hours opening holes, dropping 9 10 pigeon peas from plastic bags the peas we had shelle d with Roberts several months before with four kernels of the corn into each hole. At first Roberts and I worked opposite sides of each hill she with peas, I with corn opening each with our hands as we moved forward, dragging dirt over the hole with our feet to close it as we pas sed Then I worked with Posse, going between hills and dropping seed s to left and right, Roberts coming behind to close the holes, adeptly, again with her bare feet. The wet black soil stuck thickly to my shoes. Later, Buddy would spray the field with herbicide and fertilize by hand. (He had a spreader, but felt it wasted fertilizer.)

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310 As we worked I thought about the question of efficiency, focus not only of agronomists working for big agriculture but of investigators who sought to help small farmers. My companions seemed pleased with my progress but Roberts worked much more rapidly than I did. The rows were uneven and sometimes failed to spread to the edges of the plot. There was efficiency here, especially of movement. The most strenuous task, the plowing, had been done by a machine. But it was low tech farming, a reminder that across the world most farmers work with just a few tools, most even without the tractor drawn plow with animal traction or by hand in a manner not so di fferent from the ways they worked 100 years ago (Mazoyer and Roudart 2006:12). the pressing issue here, I wondered? What would greater efficiency mean in the context? When every farmer I met lamented how much of their prod uction was not consumed? FAO official Dunstan Campbell, who had worked with the GCFA, said in 2004 that an estimated 20% of Grenadian produce was wasted annually. 51 Would figuring out how to plant this field with fewer people in fewer hours (paid hours?) be a priority when nearby villages were filled with unemployed and (often) unoccupied young people? E fficiency is defined in many ways, predetermined by our values. Buddy a man who could expatiate at length on soil chemistry was continually refining his me thods. B ut certain kinds of scientific or managerial efficiency (doing the job more quickly introducing machines to plant or harvest) seemed less pertinent issues to small farmers I talked to than getting secure land to work, being able to sell the ir prod uc e protecting crop s from price pressures that no amount of efficiency could make competitive all of which might go to adequa tely compensating them for the work of feeding people. If

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311 efficie ncy were pursued only in terms of profit if it meant just growing one crop or farmer knowledge. 52 There might often be higher orders of need than efficiency in a FS a word routin ely employed might be something of red herring in a place Grenada, where even FS advocates might be placed in a defensive posture trying to convince officials that small farmers were productive, or could be, when they had more p ressing immediate concerns Here FS mean the right to farm, and to do it on your own terms. These observations o nly skim the service of a large conversation about efficiency ( ), and about the use of such words in FS versus commercial or food securi ty contexts. It is easy to see how small farmers could be ruled out entirely in pursuit of certain kinds of efficiency. P rofitary efficiency is different from the pursuit of sustainability or human needs. Contexts vary: Grenada needed resources, agronomists, agriculture in the school curriculum. My look into farmer practices had suggested that the use of manures and compost was too limited in Grenada something that a revitalization of island animal production, and cane farming, could help to address. 53 Surely, Grenadian farmers could be more efficient, more productive, too. But I was convinced that small farmers were at present in greater need of people to fight with them than outsiders to tell them how to do it bett er. River Sallee in 2010 I spent just one day with Buddy when I came in 2010; the Wheelbarrow stood up on blocks in his side yard. I got to watch him pull up in the new used Toyota truck that

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312 as I admired it. Bernadette Roberts was in New Jersey, visiting relatives and trying to earn some money. We drove out to Levera where the view was as phenomenal as ever, even if it seemed a lonely place. 54 Buddy's plantings h ad matured beautifully, but no new construction was evident I asked how the Saraca had gone this year? Well enough, he said, although he complained that there were now deejays in everyone's yard; the sound systems were competing for attention. Everyone sh ould have drummers, he said. rward, as conversation revealed; i t was River Sallee that was strugglin g. A lot had happened in a year and three quarters. He was reconfiguring his planting, moving the watermelon and pigeon peas out of his houseyard, planning to do only provision and fruit trees there and to grow vegetables on employed in the fields and was sometimes employing five; this was a source of pride to him. Bernadette had gotten into goats and had 17 in the yard had reached as many as 30 at one point. And he had con tinued to proselytize for sugarcane. When I told him of my doubts about the thrust of the 2008 NDC government policy, the emphasis on commercialism and farmer competitiveness, Buddy saw the mercial, you should be stated goal of agricultural policy took hold, and it undermined the 600 families that were

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313 in the contradictions the places of mutual incomprehensibility between the demands of a thrust toward commercial farming and a subsistence or mixed farming approach. 55 In some ways this was my problem people like Buddy had neg otiated the contradictions all their lives. But there had never been the explicit intent to make small farmers move away for the subsistence portion of their production that full and cash crop s largely based in local markets, were more crippling to small farming than their accommodation with export crops had been? I asked about River Antoine, the distillery and lands. So much of the life of the villages still revol ved around the estates, yet I had heard little or nothing about the place with water press ure insufficient to turn its ancient water wheel the distillery had not been able to grind cane during the drought. The low water pressure should be additional impetus to get the Pointzfield mill going, Buddy felt. I asked him about the C ane F armers A sso ciation They had one more project He had been excited to be named to the advisory board for cane, but little had come of it. At the last meeting they had met with the Prime Minister only to find that he knew nothing about the project to revive the mill, showed little awareness of the issues surrounding sugarcane, and clearly had not been briefed for the meeting. Neither former GCFA official Ferron Lowe nor Agriculture Minister Denni s Lett had shown up to the meeting. When board members complained about the way that Clarke's Court and Sugar Factory

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314 owner Leroy Neckles were trying to push Calivigny farmers like Joseph Gill and Frankie Lewis off of their land, the PM protested that he k new nothing about it. And they didn't pay Buddy's expenses or gas to travel to St. George's for meetings no small issue. But Buddy didn't seem to be giving up on sugarcane altogether: farmers in River Sallee were still producing cane, he said. Many more would be happy to jump in. I tried out the pigeon pea story on Buddy, describing the turns the story had taken in my head beginning with shelling the peas at his house and planting by hand on his lands at Chambord. I had seen a can of canned pigeon peas in a market in St. Georges and become convinced that Grenada farmers could never compete with pigeon peas produced by Green agriculture methods by agro industrial giants. Then I had begun to wonder if my analysis might be wrong headed: perhaps food would b ecome so expensive, or people so poor, that they would be driven back to planting. either way He shook his head and said countries f rom protecting their agricultural products, he said, even as they protected and commerci alization meetings they say yes to the conditions demanded by the wealthy countries and IMF, I posed the pigeon pea question in terms of food security versus FS: you can import enough pigeon peas to feed everyone in an emergency, I observed. leading

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315 if the price of oil goes up or there is a disaster and the boat cannot come to Grenada for four or five months? We are in tr We talked about an accusation of bribery that had been lodged by the London Sunday Times against Agricultural Minister in the case of Japan and the Whaling Commission (2010) 56 Whaling, and sovereignty over its own waters, were FS issues for Grenada too. Until now my view of the matter had been wholly negative. An NDC government that had made its reputation on fiscal probity was caught with its pants down, I felt; given that Buddy identified with the opposition NNP I expected him to be cr itical too. But the irony of the situation was not lost on him. Instead he noted that the Japanese government was helping Grenada to start a fish processing operation. That r to obtain a loan that is not The cassava project planned for Chambord had fallen through. Initial plans had for the project Buddy had backed off that it c ould create jealousy among local farmers. The participants had been offered a nearby piece of land and, with difficulty, saved the money to buy it. But the government never surveyed the land as promised, according to Buddy. Eventually, the landowner obtained another offer and sold it. B y then the processing equipment $32,000 EC worth had shipped from Trinidad. (In 2008 they had learned it would ship in May, then never learned what had happened to it.) Buddy understood that the equipment had ended up at the agriculture school at Mirabeau in St. Andrew Parish, and sat there unopened for two years UNDP the primary funder, had ultimately

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316 withdrawn support for the project according to him. Not only did this make people cynical about future projects, he said, but it would make it harder to obtain backing for future projects. Twelve women had been trained to process the cassava; there had been excitement about keeping the p roject in River Sallee. We talked about the St. Lucia company, Baron Foods, and its agro processing a ll of your 57 Buddy hadn't voted for the new government and therefore expressed no surprise at the fact that small farmers were being giv en no say in policy direction under it. But his gloom went beyond party politics. me. We talked about the rising water bills, about having to pay for water. He used the issue to demonstrate how hard it was for the average River Sallee family to get by. The bills were issued on the 15 th of every month arrived on the 20th and were due the 30th. d the money to pay for the 30 th in such a short time? He said that men with families in River Sallee might work three days a week and make $50 a day 58 We were heading for his car, and Buddy turned to tell me that 3,000 students 59 he wondered. This provided a segue for me to ask about the status Levera and whether

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317 the jobs promised there would materialize. Fifteen hundred jobs Levera was supposed to offer in the constru ction phase, Buddy told me, 900 permanent jobs when done. He said that government was withholding a tax concession that the company needed to proceed with work. You didn't need to be an economist to see how tantalizing the lure of even half as many jobs could be to local people or the government As we gazed out on the landscape of the moribund project Buddy's landscape I asked if farmers could graze their animals at Levera. No, he said; unfortunately, it would ruin the plantings. The resort development plan did include a n organic farm though L ast year he had begun plant ing with several local people. giving food to a home for the elderly, an institution for the disabled, and another for juvenile delinquents. People were thankful for the food, he said. Charity was different from growing for yourself, from holding secure tenure over your own land from making such plans with the community or by yourself, I thought approaches that would be much closer to FS But Buddy knew that. As we drove out he noticed two long fishing lines, invisible to me, hovering over the pond near the resort entrance a pond that Buddy had himself helped to stock with fish not long before my first visit. No one was in sight; they were hiding back up in the bushes above the pond, That rove me to the road, we said our goodbyes, and he sped off to catch the poacher . The day before I left I had a call from Buddy. I had been making the argument that so produ ctive, that looking at them as unprofessional

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318 it, or worse not as farmers was a mistake. 60 If women tended to perform most of the labor in houseyard gardens, as was traditionally the case, and you failed to help them, I reasoned as (again) James argued should be the case women would be most affected. My evidence remained anecdotal. But adding up increasing post hurricane female poverty, testimony about the number of women seeking work in St. George's, the falling numbe r of people doing farming generally and the decline of houseyard culture, it seemed likely that it was women who were being most strongly affected by the thrust of an agricultural policy, pushed on Grenada from just after the US invasion, that recommended adaptation of commercialization and false diversification measures. When you hurt women you tended to hurt families, children, and the dependent elderly because women spread their incomes more widely. 61 meant commercializing th e social relations of production. Widening class distinctions and the further impoverishment of those who already struggled would be the outgrowth in a place whose inherited culture had been constructed, in demonstrable degree, to overcome these. I had tr ied these ideas out on Buddy, unsure of what his take on them might be. But like Buddy agreed that refusing to boost backyard farming was a mistake. His response had less to do with gender than with the knowledge that houseyards were of the envelope calculation of how much he and Roberts produced in theirs, I asked, curious? He could do better than that, he said they kept careful tabs on their production. Now he had calle now.

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319 Various fruits, vegetables, and spices not featured in the table below are grown for family consumption in Buddy and Roberts's houseyard. But items on the list portray commercial production wha t was taken to be sold (as noted, various kinds of livestock are also in production there, and would swell these numbers considerably).

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320 Table 7 .1. Bernadette Roberts & Reginald Buddy's 2009 2010 Half Acre Houseyard Production, In Pounds. Watermelon 7000 Sweet potato 13000 Yam 4500 Cabbage 11000 Okra 220 Sweet pepper 5035 Lettuce 420 Beans 681 Canteloupe 4500 Cucumber 700 Total 47,056 pounds me. One houseyard's statistics constitute a sample. But within a half mile of Buddy and Roberts I could point to four or five houseyards that were more or less as intensively planted as theirs. Much more research remains to be done about houseyards and their role in economy. But Buddy's production, the continuing role of houseyards in small farmers' efforts, and the powerful historical role that they have played in the country's economy and culture suggest that rather than being downgraded or ignore d they are the place to begin work in establishing a wider FS on the island. Conclusion While it has been eroded by commercial and imported food and the patterns of consumer culture, a still vital small farmer culture and real degree of subsistence

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321 production continue to inhere in River Sallee. In the Saracca and other cultural manifestations the village demonstrates the kind of popular spirit that made it a bastion of support for the early rural labor activism of Eric Gairy, and that could infuse a contemporary national campaign for FS. As with the many traditional and modern foods tray suggests the extent to which su bsistence production a real degree of the kind of food independence on which FS must be predicated remains within reach. The many foods that local North Shore residents gather for themselves and their animals, whether from the nearby sea and rivers or in moving through the bush, suggests the degree of extraction fr om nature that has long prevailed on the north shore, the critical importance of its maintenance for FS FS, River Sallee makes clear, means preservation of t hreatened and dimin ishing public and common spaces, and access to them. A push to investigate the value and utility of neglected or ignored native and endemic plants for FS could extend to plant medicine and building materials. It could form the basis for a p rogram of research by regional LVC advocates for a new kind of science in the public interest, based not in the desires of development officials or outsiders, but of regional FS campaigns. Projects like the several animal projects developed by local NGO GRENCODA point to ways that local grassroots organizations directly focused on promotion of FS could contribute to development of Grenadian food independence, building on the economics of increase inherent in nature and by adding sub sistence, food security, and micro or local processing components to income generation projects Facilities like the

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322 that micro processing and food production even developm ent of local food banks could reduce local seasonal hunger and malnutrition. As at Mt. Hartman, where GCFA members worked out ways to share local resources and critical knowledge, the common property arrangement on the Chambord lands outside River Sally s uggests another way in which contemporary innovations, building c ould contribute to FS in Grenada efforts to retain the l ands in local food production, an idea that could help furnish a model for other efforts in Grenada As Chapter 6 also suggested, t he growth of suburban development around River Sallee, includ ing on good agricultural lands shows that the stamp of consumer culture extends beyond food and other imported products to the built environment, T he loss of lands at Levera, of access by local people to su bsistence activities there, shows th at the achievement of secure tenure small farmers would be critical to the establishment of national FS. In the same way, evidence suggests pressure to commercialize agricultural pr oduction is displacing women from houseyards not just from their traditional roles in them (and knowledge about them) but from a wider sphere of cultural autonomy and future possibilities in Grenadian agriculture An effort to influence in them could powerfully impact Grenadians and well being.

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323 Figure 7 dumplings for the Saracca in 2008. Figure 7 2. The Saracca is held on the grounds of River Sallee primary school.

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324 Figure 7 3. Roberts and Buddy make a point of including a little bit of everything they raise on their Saracca tray, a testimonial to their subsistence production.

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325 Figure 7 4. River Sallee farmer John Philbert at Chambord, where farmers have worked to maintain hold on prime agricultural lands by devoting their production to meeting local food needs. 1 Despite initial plans I did not live in River Sallee but about half a mile outside it, in a tiny enclave of newer houses called La Taste While different insights flowed from this physical location (I found myself close to the Chambord lands, for example), an intimacy with details of River Sall ee town life that I had hoped to develop was limited because of it. 2 Spellings vary and include Saraka, Saraca, and Salaca. 3 According to Patrick Antoine's history of the nearby River Antoine sugarcane mill and rum distillery, however, there was no Rive r Sallee Estate listed among those in 1824 records. By 1920 there were 22 estates, a River Sallee Estate listed among these (1984:10 12). 4 One thousand Yoruba were brought to Grenada as indentured servants in 1849 (EPICA 1982:23; Steele 2003:186). The 200 7 obituary of local teacher/storyteller Crofton McGuire says that his research showed many River Salleeans were descendants of Yoruba as well as Ashanti African people accessed September 18, 2012). 5 Charles, considered an authority on local history, told me flatly that River Sallee had been established by Gairy research may reveal that new land s were added to the town or that it received some formal designation during Gairy's tenure. Although local agitation had its immediate cause in demands for better wages and conditions, Charles saw it as intrinsically related to land demands met in unsatisf

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326 6 does not contain elem from Catholic, Baptist, or Spiritual Baptist traditions. Shango gatherings are held at crossroads and the banks of rivers or other water bodies, including the sea (Franklyn 1999:40). According to Martin, a Sa gatherings (2007:232). 7 Although River Sallee has various amenities, pointed to with pride, like most Grenada villages it is under served. The closest police station is twelve miles away in Sauteurs where the nearest health clinic also lies. For serious problems one must travel many miles along mountain roads to a poorly equipped hospital in Grenville. On the other hand River Sallee is wired, with internet and cable television service featuring 99 channels (all but th ree foreign), and a USAID financed computer training center that Buddy helped the town obtain. 8 GRENCODA Secretary General Judy Williams affirmed the finding in a 2008 interview. In 2010 Isaac Bhagwan, then Permanent Secretary of Agriculture in the Minist ry of Health, also affirmed that the finding accorded with the results of the country's 2008 poverty study for St. Patrick parish. 9 An Embarrassment of Mangoes (2004:123), story of a ya chting couples' island hopping adventures whose Grenada chapters trade on the idea of the island as if poor a cornucopia of foods. The idea that poverty is largely benign can be comforting to tourist visitors. 10 aribbean wide phenomenon (2002:197). 11 In 2012 Buddy and Roberts moved vegetable production to some of their lands on Chambord Plain, taking advantage of a water pump they had installed and the free river water they could now use there. 12 When I asked Rob erts what crops people had grown during her youth, she offered everything on Brie r she said. Her family had not kept a houseyard garden.) 13 including in tea for flu, pneumonia, constipation and other maladies (Vanderhoof 2004). 14 I hea 15 When I asked Buddy if anyone was still working original provision grounds in Grenada he said ple referenced could be traced to their Emancipation grounds). But the term was still in use in 1974 when Brierley began to study Grenadian farming, including to refer to land for subsistence growing accorded to estate workers. Fragments away from the house on which subsistence production took place also bore this name the south side of the island people still sometimes call their holdin the author, October 6, 2010). 16 In Brierley's 1974 survey 37% of farmers sampled had been employed outside of the country. The most common reason they gave for going away to work was to save money to buy land (64). 17 Buddy complained that there were drawbacks to participation: it aroused jealousy among other GCFA members; his crops sometimes suffered. At times he said he wondered whether his involvement was worth it.

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327 18 There is a tradition in Grenada of naming importa at a Root Crop Festival, less than 100 yards from where the St. Vincent boat regularly docked, bringing in the sweet potatoes for the MNIB that Buddy believed were helping to wipe out production in Grenada. FAO data suggest a strong drop in sweet potato production beginning around the time of the PRG, possibly owing to introduction of new food crops during the per iod, and a decline in growing since the hurricanes. Reasons for the decline require more investigation: /category/1 Pr../1 Crops/122 Sweet+potatoes/41 Yield/86 Grenada accessed November 9, 2012. 19 After 2008 MNIB would end such contractual relationships with farmers and cease to buy as 20 Although I was told that some women cut canes, Roberts like many women did not participate but instead helped to bundle the stalks. When I questioned her about the pleasures of the harvest she demurred: make you itch a lot. 21 1 (Grenada Isle of Spice, 2 nd Edition:100). Some of Roberts and Buddy's Roberts described it, by 2012. 22 h some solid food, preferably some places, might follow in late morning when farmers took a first break from work. Second breakfast might include black pu dding; hot dogs in a tomato based onion and pepper creole sauce; bakes; saltfish mangoes, papayas and other seasonal fruit; bacon; poached spam (oft en also in creole sauce); lettuce; fresh squeezed juices of numberless combination and kind including carrot or cherry in season; and more often than coffee cocoa tea. In several homes I visited the afternoon meal was the day's biggest, with leftovers cons umed at the evening meal. 23 The group was referred to formally as The River Sallee Women's Agricultural Group. 24 Googled November 23, 2012. 25 Grenada has two growing seasons. Rainy season runs from June to December. It is during dry season, after Christma s, when hardship and hunger are often felt by the rural poor. In early 2010, just before my third visit Grenada underwent its worst drought in modern times, linked by observers to climate change: accessed November 18, 2012.Carriacou's Saracca takes a different form; see Collins film referenced in previous footnote. 26 A ccording to Sylviane Diouf sadakha are voluntary donations given to acquire merit with God, a Muslim custom still practiced in West Africa. Offerings similar to those Diouf describes made by forming balls of peas and rice are prepared annually by Roberts a nd other participants in River Sallee's Saracca. In Grenada as in West Africa there is an emphasis on giving food to children. Warner Lewis, for [ cironflex over the d ]. She describes it as an alms giving ceremony, observed annually by Hausa and Yoruba descendants and others, often held in response to dreams in which an ancestor indicates the time is ripe for such offerings; 1 :115 116).

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328 27 In the slaughter that I witnessed, Buddy poured a little rum over the animal and crossed himself, gesture that was both gentle humored and reverent. 28 Saracca and Nation: African Memory and R e 29 Shango dancing plays a role in River Sallee's celebrations, sometimes in others according to Franklyn (1999:40). According to one source, a number of traditional dances were revived by the aforementioned Maguire, teacher and story teller who died in 2007 accessed September 17, 2012. 30 oildown, the national dish. 31 The Pentecostal church is River Sallee's fastest growing and holds rollicking Sunday services in a new building in the center of town; its members also boycott Carnival. 32 Wolf lists the necessity to among the three basic economic necessities of peasants, along with meeting a caloric minimum of food rticipate in peasant customs among Middle American Indian groups as an economic strategy that has in some ng to create a wealthier stratum of peasants (16). Here again as in many such instances globally Protestantism serves as handmaiden of the growth of commercial culture in Grenada. 33 www.tropicalpermacul ; 201201 accessed December 4, 2012. 34 Unless otherwise noted data comes from the GRENCODA report. 35 The Levera Beach Development Company. There is no financial connection between this company and the company developing the former Levera park site. 36 Cassava also known as yucca or manioc is a nutritious food of many tropical count ries long grown in the area, that among many, many uses makes baby food, and (mixed with peanuts, for example) could be used to wean Grenadian babies whose mothers eager to do well by their children often spend considerably on heavily advertised Nestle and other baby food products. This too is an FS issue. (See: accessed September 26, 2012. 37 In the case of a holding like Chambord it might include the right of River Sallee residents or people nearby to specific local use of the land, or even agreement about what might be grown there and for whom. 38 Liming, passing time in a relaxed, talkative manner, is a Caribbean cultural art. The term may come from the scurvy preventing limes colonial era British sailors sucked as they idled the time before shipping out of tropical ports. 39 The wetland remains protected, according to Tyrone Buckmire. 40 s five most important nesting places for the giant leatherback, conservationist Tyrone Buckmire told me in a 2008 interview. Each year between 700 and 1000 nests are laid along its 700 meter beach. The fascinating reptiles grow up to nine feet long, weigh as much as a ton, and are threatened with extinction. Once prized for their meat and eggs, they continue to be sought by smugglers, especially to South America, where some believe the eggs possess aphrodisiac qualities. In an effort to protect them an eco tourism group led by Buckmire, called Ocean Spirits, was bringing in

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329 tourists during their nesting season, to lie in the sand beside them as they deposited their eggs. Buckmire re willing to pay and see 41 accessed November 6, 2012 42 For financial details of the murky projects from critics see Sandra Ferguson content/uploads/2012/01/LEVERA PROJECT AGREEMENT.pdf accessed November 6, 2012, and Reynold Benjamin: accessed N ovember 6, 2012. 43 200 [7/8]: 20), suggesting a wider cost for growth the area that includes building of a number of large suburban style homes. 44 The new company associated with the project is called Levera Resort Development, Ltd. accessed September 21, 2012. According to Ferguson, 3 50 acres are designated for development by the new company (see fn55 above). 45 Few farmers I interviewed knew about my relationship with Buddy. But it is possible that knowledge of it or politeness prevented some people talking to me about Levera. It is mo re likely that farmers didn't talk about Levera because I didn't ask, since I was late in realizing the importance of the site to the town in 2008. Some farmers' allusions to anger and factionalism in River Sallee may have been connected to Levera. 46 According to Buddy and Roberts a number of farmers were forced to leave when the lands were made a park. These farmers, they said, were compensated for their loss. 47 Jab Jab (for le diable) is a Grenadian folklore figure who appears especially during Carn ival, often smearing spectators with the grease that his own body is covered with. T and response of class grievance and an important part of. negre jardin (field negro) accessed September 12, 2012. 48 crisis/page/3569.aspx ., accessed September 21, 2012 49 accessed September 23, 2012. 50 Among possibilities are the renewed use of sargassum and other kinds of seaweed as manures for Grenadian plants, including cocoa (Groome 1970:64). 51 htt p:// accessed September 23, 2012. 52 See Harry Braverman's Labor and Monopoly Capital (1998) for the classic analysis of the abandonment of such skills in pursuit of a scientifi c division of labor by capital, and as long term goal of capital, which led to considerable additional revision, research, and theory on the subject. See Lawrence Grossman (1998) for discussion of the process and a challenge to over simple assumptions abou t it in East Caribbean contract banana farming contexts. 53 The 1995 agricultural census found that 25% of farmers used organic manure; 76%, meanwhile, used no agro chemicals and 55% no chemical fertilizer (1996:41). 54 One argument that Denyse Ogilvie, head of the local GRO People In Action, made to me in a 2012 interview was that agriculture must at the very least be integrated with tourism in places like Levera

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330 and Mt. Hartman tourist potential notwithstanding, they ar e too precious to be wasted as sites of tourist offerings that I have viewed in places like Jamaica's Treasure Beach in St. Elizabeth parish takes such integration and tourist inte rest in local life, including agriculture for granted. Anyone who isn't interested I believe that Grenadians must declare is welcome to go to more impersonal resorts on the bigger islands. 55 I was rereading Brierley at the time and noted not for the first time his frustrated assertions that subsistence farmers didn't care about refining their farming but only wanted to satisfy what Chayanov between this and h is assertions that becoming a commercial farmer was the ultimate goal of farmers same variety and number of vegetables as semi :201]). Amid the contradictions that farmers grappled with it was likely both were true: that many yearned to attain financial stability as commercial farmers, perhaps based in intensive production of one or two crops, and that they also worked to achieve a partial subsistence basis in more varied growing, often ending up hung up in Chapter 2 and questioned by Trouillot. 56 The piece suggested that Gre nada was among developing nations exchanging support for Japanese whaling in exchange for aid. le316598.ece accessed April 11, 2013. 57 Elliot Bishop echoed this complaint, saying that prices Baron paid were so low that it didn't pay to take produce across the island to the company's facility to sell it. 58 I failed to ask Buddy how much the average woman's earnings might add to this total, but in a climate where female unemployment is much higher than men's, as noted in Chapter 2, the comment attests both to the structure of social relationships as well as the large degree of unremunerated work that women in Grenada perform. 59 Many of them would leave the country in pursuit of work. According to the World Bank's Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011, Grenadians with tertiary education left at a rate of 85.1% through 2000: 1199807908806/Grenada.pdf accessed September 3, 2012. According to UNDP's Grenada page the country has the s econd highest emigration rate of tertiary educated students of countries in the world: accessed November 4, 2012 60 I had not yet read Brierley's essay on kitchen gardens, which suggests an evolution toward commercialization and greater intensification of production in them, which in many ways bolstered my case for their importance, even if it also suggested a diminution of their role in ensuring di versity and as teaching tools central to the promulgation of small farmer culture. 61 Research across many cultures suggests that women are more likely to spend their incomes on children and on goods that aid the family market/2011/01/27/the gender of money/ accessed November 29, 2012.

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331 CHAPTER 8 CONCLUSION: TOWARD FOOD SOVEREIGNTY FOR GRENADA Nation is the c ommunity that is brought into being (and held together) in. acts of creative collaboration undertaken by individuals on the basis of their ties of blood and/or other real or imagined bonds. Caldwell Taylor Nation Food and Nationhood Overview What p inheritance? What did the GCFA do with that inheritance, and what does the term viability of those practices? What are the outstanding impediments to the assertion of FS in Grenada, and how must they be combatted? What are the prospects for mobilization around the FS idea today? This introduction, and poin ts to their wider meanings, including their significance for a broader Caribbean and global pursuit of FS. It also discusses possible avenues for development of a FS campaign in Grenada. Although the constraints are many and armers retain a significant power in their attachment to the soil, I argue, in their highly developed agricultural practices, and not least in their established ability to help one another as well as in a highly developed culture of sharing that is their i nheritance. The FS Inheritance As the dissertation has shown, Grenada retains some of the Caribbean's most extensive, enduring and developed peasant traditions. A host of agricultural adaptations and inventions have contributed to the impressive measure of food security and livelihood that small farmers have to now attained. These include the

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332 maroon system of shared labor ; the houseyard and provision ground system (extending to include mountain grounds as well), with the rich cultural meani ngs of the former still barely documented or explored; the polycropping an d intercropping that support those systems and the agricultural diversity that they signify ; and the flexible subsistence food system of provision and provisioning foundational Gren adian FS concept s that are central to island cuisi ne The inheritance includes subsistence extraction of various flora which briefly nature appears to supplant the scarcity co nstruct that haunts the import dependent economy of a country made poor. The inheritance includes celebrations of the Saracca, where a wider nation of people whose pursuit of cultural and subsistence achievement is celebrated. And it includes the many additional institutions, plus As early as the 1770s, enslaved proto peasant farmers were keeping their families and the planter class alive with their skilled plant and food production on the island It is both ironic and encouraging to recognize t hat the ir efforts made Grenada a mancipation while such food independence is deemed impossible by experts today Although colonial administrators worked hard to prevent the development of a peasant economy, to tie the former slav es to the estates and deny them land state many gained a toehold in the soil. By the middle of the next century they had established a local economy of highly varied production for subsistence consumption,

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333 sale, and off island trafficking. Though hampered by lack of formal recognition or encouragement this local economy continued to grow, unlike the peasant economies of many isl ands, through the middle of the next century. A s described in Chapter 3, Grenada's post e mancipation Free Village communities functioned as hubs of productive activity i n the wider farming systems that villagers established. Houseyards and houseyard gardening, the nucleus of peasant exaggerating greatly to sa y that the pursuit of FS of food independence was the implicit goal. Such classi c peasant village arrangements, in which some residents worked outside the village during the day, remain suggestive for future production in Grenada in pursuit of FS, especial use in common property arrangements like that at Cha mbord, described in Chapter 7 The Free Village movement also engendered cooperative systems of labor and production, of money saving and burial aid protot ypical economies of solidarity and sharing like those now advocated by LVC. These mutual aid constructs helped rural dwellers to retain social equality and cohesion acting as a barrier to the articulation of greater class differences between small p easant proprietors Such collective post emancipation cultural constructs including the markets and social relations that evolved from them, are not just historical artifacts but continue to provid e much of the food security that Grenada st ill retains Th e y suggest a flexibility and generosity th at mock

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334 notions of peasant selfishness, inadaptability, or laziness that others sometimes seek to While the strong basis of Caribbean culture in such proto peasant and peasant practices has been acknowledged by researchers, i ts material dimensions and continuing value tend to be ignored With the critical exception of the plantation economic theorists many Caribbean analysts, including progressives have assumed that pe asant methods were anachronistic. This is in part because of the institutional neglect in which small farmers toiled ; in part as with the GCFA b ecause of lack of public knowledge about their achievement; in part because of abiding ambivalence about slavery and images of toil; and in part because of the compromised role that governments have played in maintaining the plantation character of the economy Small farmer labor and estate worker landlessness remained the unacknowledged basis of elite wealth and c hange meant undermin ing the comprador character of Island elites were more dependent on the system than farmers were. This remains the case today T he independence of the region's Black peasant peoples themselves also contri butes to ignorance of this FS inheritance th eirs was a mode of resistance to the plantation economic system The degree to which small farming has stood in implicit opposition to commercial monocrop and raw export farming is not taken into account by those who accuse it s practitioners of fail ure. Black peasant farmers have sometimes proved as great a challenge to the hegemony of rising Caribbean elites as they did to their colonial masters The idea that small farmer customs and culture are the alternative to a century and a half of plantation economic dominance, that such

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335 practices could supply the foundation for agricultural and economic dependence, continues to be studiously ignored. It is clear, nonetheless, that these practic es could be integral to the establishment of Caribbean FS, to invigoration of the rural sector and culture, and to maintenance of sustainable livelihood in Grenada. Gairy and the PRG By organizing estate workers and through them mounting the greatest cha llenge to the plantation system without handing the m the reins of power, labor leader and first Pr ime Minister Eric Gairy created a militant if politically stunted rural working class One legacy of this achievement, however, i s a rural split between small farmers and planta tion workers. Their differences represent an obstacle to the establishment of rural solidarity thus FS in Grenada Gairy's failed to stimulate wider produ ction or the growth of a local economy whose full elaboration long delayed must be part of the wider goal of any FS campaign But linger in popular memory as having empowered the Grenadian people, 25% of whom remain union members today. The y carry an awareness of the discipline that once propelled a rural working class to challenge local elites and to bring serious change to the island. They carry a reminder of their implicit if largely unexpressed power. A still older split between the Gai ryites and progressive members of Grenada's better educate c a me to dominate export agriculture as w ell as daily life in St. George's represents a more fundamental problem : one of the classes was, and in real degree remains, mai ntained by the efforts of the other. This divide complicated the efforts of the initially popular and avowedly socialist PRG government (1979 1983) that overthrew an increasingly despotic Gairy.

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336 Nonetheless, t he PRG strove to establish an organic base for agro industrial development and made the establishment of food indep endence a collective goal. h old continuing promise from the standpoint of FS This insufficiently supported or organized, could still prove useful to Grenadians in meeting island wide needs for dairy, coconut oil, saltfish and other food processing and production goals, if appropriately scaled. (Microprocessing techniques put many of these within reach today in cheaper ways than were previously available. These are worth exploring in the context of not just national but local community production, as the During a period of world recession under the PRG in the early 1980s, Grenada alone among Caribbean countries demonstrated economic growth. But as some former PRG backers today acknowledge, t he PRG a creature of its period, conditions and class backgrounds held limited appreciat ion of the country's peasant/small farming heritage. Bent on modernization through industrialization, captive of its own entente with the island's ruling class interes ts which had after all made their bloodless revolution possible i t failed to address the land question in any serious measure or to hand power to Grenadian rural workers themselves. Still, even moderate Grenadians retain admiration for many PRG governme nt initiatives in the rural sector, which showed that practical alternatives to lingering twentieth century plantation economic dependency exist Grenadians ha ve a right to examine this aspect of their history fully as they do the peasant past and the changes instituted by the US in the counter revolutionary period that f ollowed especially in the context of FS

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337 USAID and Its Impact on Grenada al bureaucracy and tax system after the collapse of the PRG experiment has re ceived less attention than the invasion. But it was more consequential, as the account of those activities in Chapter 4 suggests. climate of indebtedness and discipline that constrains Grenada now The US established a new police presence on the island that has been used to discipline working people, an implicit threat to future collective action by Grenadian workers. Cultivating lenders, donors, and IMF officials places Grena da public officials in positions of even greater dependency upon such outside institutions and their neoliberal culture with a growing part of the limited resources of government spent in amassing reports, looking for new loans, and seeking money making p rojects to repay them. This moves the government and bureaucratic apparatus fa rther from the Grenadian people and agricultural initiatives farther from practices that address the needs of Grenadians, toward (instead) a numerical episteme a nd a pursuit of money making alone that are The possibility of economic reprisal by the US and First World was cited by several progressives I spoke with in 2012 as a reason why Grenada could not join ALBA, which promotes FS, let alone defy institutions of the neoliberal order, the WTO, IMF, or World Bank L ike many countries around the world that demonstrated such defiance Grenada has been bombed by US airplanes That lesson remains vivid. With Grenada saddled with a poorly designed and regressive tax system and sputtering attempts to commercialize launch major tourism project s, there can be little argument that the measures imposed

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338 on the country by the US left the island better off. Rather, they have served as powerful brakes on the Grenadian people of greater independence including where the most basic need, food is concerned. Tell ingly, all of these constraints, and the political timidity that go with them continued to be as true of the 2008 NDC government that followed twelve years of NNP power as they were of its predecessor, despite the to elevat e the role of agriculture. 1 These are all reasons why Grenada needs a farmer movement that is outside the mainstream political process. The GCFA Achievement Despite the atmosphere of crisis that prevailed af ter the 1983 invasion, the GCFA began an organizing drive in the country's traditional sugarcane sector, adapting the agricultural models of members' historical and cultural inheritance in a project of repeasantization that echo ed the process that their po st emancipation forbears engaged in. In doing so, Chapter 5 shows they created an effective new basis for cash and intercrop farming in Grenada and made a powerful case for the continued viability of a number of peasant practices GCFA members transforme d the despised sugarcane plant into an effective social crop, making it the central node of an integrated, pro ductive, ecological small farm system that through intercropping created not one but various cash crops contribut ing to family and community subs istence, to the local food In doing so they improved the planting methods of small farmers diversif ying both food production and consumption in the country's poorest villages. Work parties and maroon har vests, powerfully affirming generated organizational solidarity. A decade before the FS concept was declared by LVC the

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339 GCFA was contributing strongly to food independence in Grenada T h e GCFA lifted the image of small farmer s, making it clear if it needed demonstrating that Grenadians would embrace farming if it brought dignity and sustainable livelihood. In 2012 intervie ws, former GCFA official Peter Antoine described the powerful impression that GCFA farmers made in local communities when their efforts enabl ed them to buy new vehicles, and when the ir children traveled to Cuba and Central America for WINFA and LVC youth events W hether or not the ir ef forts were thwarted permanently or only temporarily, in Antoine the organization had succeeded But the GCFA never developed more than a modest voice in the national discussion ab out like the PRG, the GCFA was a creature of its time and place. Most Grenadians I talked to held only very general, often uninformed, ideas about the GCFA, and knew little 2 Few including officials firmly oriented to Grenadian farming had much appreciation of the community building aspects of the cal practices. When I interviewed ART Secretary General Sandra Ferguson about her response to Chapter 5 she said that she felt that her organization most progressive had underestimated social contribut ion to public welfare. Fer guson also said that she felt that the GCFA had sometimes been patronized by aid organizations who were largely unaware of the sophistication of the group's methods cane farmers had been seen as a poor constituency in need of welfare projects Ferguson spo

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340 should take precedence over money. But for most of the officials that I interviewed, the highly integrative GCFA model was simply not a commercial project there was no obviously p rofitable or simple bottom line to be discerned in it. Most felt that the organization was unlikely, in the current climate, to gain backing from a government bent on commercializing agriculture. Con fronting the Contradictions Grenada finds itself consume d in a cycle of destructive contradictions. Land sits idle on derelict or under used farms and plantations, sometimes held out of the market for s peculative purposes Topsoil is removed through illicit river dredging. The best agricultural land is often no t used for agriculture Sand mining has caused whole beaches to disappear, with the sand used to create concrete block for hous es that remove still more land from agricultural use The country's parkland is taken without notice from the people. Government lands are inventoried far from the eye of farmers and the public while decisions about their disposition go unannounced. Agricultural zoning a clear prerequisite for FS acknowl edged by almost every onlooker as necessary always becomes inco nvenient for t he party in power. L and remains inaccessible to small farmer s when it does reach the market due to high US dollar denominated prices and unaffordable loan terms. But there is also a great deal of unused land in Grenada which it is difficult to induce far mers to plant, including at places like Chambord. The country experiences seasonal gluts which raise fears among farmers about any expansion of production while seasonal hunger and malnutrition persist and food import costs grow higher their pric es placin g them further out of reach of the poorest people. Labor shortages are lamented by the better off while the count ry suffers massive unemployment/

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341 underemployment. This knot of contradictions can only be sliced through by returning agriculture to its first purpose nutrition for Grenadians and predicating future economic initiatives on needs. Grenada offers s triking evidence that neither of the mainstream parties is willing or able to effect such changes. What is needed is a farmers and landless p Toward a Movement for Agrarian Reform in Grenada The people have lost their voice. Peter Antoine Former GCFA official Mobilization is still our principal strategy. Va Campesina declaration ( Borras 2004:2 ) Although Grenada possess e s a powerful historic basis for FS in its small farmer/peasant culture it c urrently present s little or no organized political opposition to the pressures that fac e small farmers and rural dwellers Thus there is no real resistance other than political lip service to the inroads of imported food in the country no ability to influence agricultural policy by farmers. This is especially true given the recent inactivity of the country's leading LVC organization, the GCFA and the failure of Senator Keith Cloud farmers All of which is to say that in the end there can be no substitute for the hard work of organizing and political education outside of the established narrow corridors of mainstream power in Grenada. Grenada needs a united farmer front one that eschews party affiliation or identification, with the goal of obtaining comprehensive agrarian

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342 reform Only through such work is there a chance for creation of real opposition to the status quo as GCFA leaders have long understood Unsurprisingly given the global character of the restraints outlined here, solutions for Grenadian farmers and rural dwellers must come not just from inside the island country but through alliance building with progres sive movements and countries regionally and in Latin America, and in the transnational politics and inspiration of organizations like LVC Until now, for example, communications from LVC Carib e to WINFA affiliates have been filtered through an extremely bu sy WINFA headquarters in St. Vincent which has often slowed or stopped the flow of information between groups. Especially because of Grenada 's unique small farmer heritage, the GCFA and other Grenada farmers need to be able to interact with all LVC Caribe groups, including through revival of former farmer to farmer exchanges and joint investigation of regional farmer practices, and through endeavors like English Kreyol and Spanish language learning exchanges. Clearly, a new rural coalition should recr uit landless farmers as well as agricultural labor ers. It must address, history suggests, no t just small farmers but work to bridge the gulf between th e two social classes, making their most prominent shared grievance the historical denial of land and acce ss to sufficient land part of their central demand to the Grenadian state Further coordination should be sought with local environmental interests, 3 expanding the natural and promising alliance that arose during the struggle to keep Mt. Hartman. Among early objectives for a new farmer movement might be popularizing the idea of FS, challenging the food security idea as limited and commercially oriented, and

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343 Farmer challenging the existing vision of a modernized Grenada based in debt dependency and tourism, asserting their right as farmers to speak in the name of Grenadian people, the voice of a more culturally authentic Grenadian nation. 4 The undemocratic character of decision making about farming that brought about the adoption of the ARD p lan, with its commitment to commercialization and decision to neglect subsistence production; that un derlay the land grabs at Levera and Mt. Hartman for the Grenadian people ; that has underlain the decision not to devote remaining Crown lands to small farming all these need to be challenged more fully by the Grenadian people The development of necessary reforms should begin with a frank national about agriculture, food security and FS. Among demands that might be formulated by local farmer groups are R estoration of th e image of farmers and their struggle and achievement, including historical education for children in schools, and a curriculum based in the agrodiverse methods of small farmers, helping in the long run to improve rather than replace their methods Access to land for significant projects like sugarcane and cassava production, and prioritization of bestowal of remaining land to landless farmers over continued investment in monocrop and raw export crop production. A dequate compensation for small farmers throu gh affordable access to loans, crop and catastrophe insurance; and establishment of programs that boost small incomes commensurate with their contribution to the nation's historical wealth and contribution to public welf are A policy of non interference in Grenad a by the multilateral institutions and their affiliates in questions of food and food policy; a declaration of the country's right to protect any and all food products that it deems necessary from dumping or throu gh price supports accompanied by renunciation of agreements that prevent this.

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344 A reorientation of MNIB to adopt, as state organ, some of the risk involved when farmers enter commercial markets; p rioritization of local development over the export economy i n pursuit of basic needs. A layer of extension for small and subsistence farming to receive the lion's share of agricultural ministry funding, with officers trained to respond to the needs of small farmers in pursuit of an integrated national and community subsistence Grenadian farmers should pressure the government to adopt a wider policy of houseyard promotion, one designed to attain the full agrodiverse and cultural promise of the country's traditional kitchen gardens/houseyards, assuring the ability of families to put food directly into the mouths of their children and older peop le. Houseyards offer a superlative opening for a wider campaign for both FS and food security. People who are not threatened with hunger make calm life choices, including the choice to refuse coercive offers of outside aid that may undermine thei r communit ies and ways of being including in protagonism in pursuit of these wider rights The above recommendations are not simply prescriptive They reflect what has been done in the past, during slavery time and in the post emancipation period, during the early years of independence, and what is going on now in Grenada in small nce. A New Maroon Movement for FS Although the economic crisis is sending more Grenadians back in to subsistence farming, as various people told me in 2012, desperation to grow food ma y mean poor planting practices and degradation of soils incl uding on the country's slopes. In 2012 at least some people were voting with their feet, refusing to continue to seek work and ART General Secretary

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345 o find work when I can't make If Grenadians are turning back to the land anyway, it would be most appropriate if they took advantage of their own cultural patterns. Events in 2012 suggested that many w ere doing that. In 2010, Elliot Bishop started a maroon collective with local Marian maroon organizing at community level through various kinds of self help activitie s, including sharing of food and marketing, organizing for land, and lobbying for concept: maroons as the most grassroots kind of political organizing, anchored in the soi l of local community, productive to its core. In 2012 I collected a list of nine maroon groups that people informed me were operating on the island. S everal were of recent vintage, said to have been formed in response to the economic crisis in Mt. Moritz ( the Marian effort ( called ) ; the Northeast Farmers Association; one in Hope, St. Andrews; another in Mt. Rich, St. Andrews; The Vincennes Far mers' Group; and groups in Malaika, Munich and La Digue As modes of resistance, t he maroon spirit and the core institutions of Grenadian small farming continue to represent the leading ideological and material means to effect practical popular cha nge in Grenada. Such groups could build a maroon alliance for FS in all of G renada and form the heart of a new rural movement Maroons and work teams can provide a counterweight to government measures to push commercialization and policy plans to help only "more promising" farmers and help keep the smallest farmers including othe rwise landless

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346 farmers in production. Maroon groups that include local small farmers could also make it their business to reach out to youths from landless families, possibly in organized efforts at apprenticeship that would help to further systematize sma ll farmer knowledge and to link them to land and food production. It could also identify good unused local land and occupy it or negotiate community use, purchase, or (if appropriate) capture of it, expanding on such projects that have taken place at Chamb ord and elsewhere FS Villages and Knowledge Production As the example of River Sallee shows, the adoption of FS could form part of a wider cultural revival for Grenada FS proponents could cultivate a revival of pride in Grenada's villages and demand gove rnment recognition for such efforts. Both farmer organizations and LVC Caribe should consider applying for UN Heritage designation 5 as a way to celebrate and protect villages that maintain the small farming heritage in the region, including as a method to protect their subsistence practices from pushes to commercialization and monocrop farming. LVC Caribe could itself designate villages nies and promot ing recognition of them in the local an d regional press, helping with festivals like the Saracca to cement the FS idea in the national consciousness not as folkloric vestige but as engine of community trust, solidarity, and productive reciprocity. A revival of village culture could inform and draw on h istorical and agricultural research necessary for community groups to return knowledge of farming and foodways to the people, as well as to create new knowledge. Grenadian FS proponents should push for protection of subsistence production of key heirloom crops in the country, including through collection and seed saving. Indeed, LVC Caribe should develop such a program (and possibly a

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347 think tank to go with it ) in which farmers and community members investigate the culture and technologies of the alternative that their countries' small farmers have developed, to define their science and challenges for themselves, sharing their best practices across the region. Just as FS opens the door to the practical recuperation of decades of knowledge gathered by anthropologists, historians, and even archaeologists abo ut regional material practices recognition of the Afro Caribbean basis of Caribbean farming tradition can shed light on contributions ignore d, under appreciated, or confined to the ghettos of specialist endeavor. These neglected contributions include a Black nationalism too often dismissed by Caribbean intellectuals that potentially connects not just the Caribbe an but also Southern US African American and Afrodescende nt communities of the entire Atlantic seaboard, and ultimately (of course) Africa itself. Such reasoning could lead to re exploration of the work and self help philosophy of Marcus Garvey and his followers, of Rastafarian communiti es and Maroon groups, many of which have long implicitly pursued FS. This includ es the farming and back to the land practices of these groups, practices that among other things offer recent conscious links to past practices vital links to past and future projects of repeasantization T he maroon spirit is alive in many parts of the Caribbean, including Jamaica from which no farmer group has lamentably, yet been brought into LVC. Such research c an give further social force and form to what could become a v ibrant regional movement for FS for which Grenada can serve as a powerful example 6 1 In April 2012, as I finished this project, the NDC was swept back out of power amid widespread disappointment wit h its efforts in agriculture. The NNP captured every seat in the new Parliament.

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348 2 Food Security officer, for example, k me that electricity costs at the lity of its plans. In fact, t he mills used almost no electricity. 3 Citizens in Defense of Grenada's Lands and Heritage, the local environmental justice organization led by Sandra Ferguson (who is also General Secretary of the Agency for Rural Transformati on) whose knowledge I draw on in many places here is by far the leading social/political organization in the country. 4 When I asked one key extension official why the government didn't proceed with the project of registering farmers and organizing production of their crops, as the NDC had suggested it might do, I organize maroon s as part of their local duties Several more said that they had a lways shared resources with small farmers, even when they had been instructed not to, and one former such official said it was duty to do so, whatever official policy dictated. 5 Starting in 2001 the UN Committee on Economic, Soci al and Cultural Rights began an effort to heritage sites. A Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was drawn up in 2003 to co dify the effort ( accessed April 8, 2013). This is an issue that I plan to explore in future research. 6 To give some id ea of the wider compass of such debates it is helpful to note that, echoing a speech that Booker T. Washington made at the Cotton States and International Exhibition in Atlanta in 1895, the great Trinidiadian historian and politician Eric Williams once als o told a reported assemblage of westernized. Afro Cre pursuit of a genuinely autochthonous response to several centuries of colonialism and plantation economic domination in the region (Macdonald 1986:104).

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349 APPENDIX A CANE HARVEST MAROON Nothing demonstrates the continuity and traditional ties between GCFA member's forbears and the practices of the New Village movement in Grenada like the cane harvest maroons, agricultural practice that the GCFA adapted and revived for a new generation of cane farmers in the period after the collapse of th e Grenadian revolution. In May 2012, I had the opportunity to observe such a maroon in Marian, on Grenada's south shore, which took place on lands once owned by Bishop's grandfather. Here cane once grew in all directions attendance told me although large houses now crowded around us It had been a wet dry season and the canes were swollen; at the end of the day they would fill the River Antoine estate truck that came for them much higher than they had the previous season, according to the farmers. Fueled by rum that held a large chu nk of babade root, 1 water, and various kinds of juice as well as coconut jelly, the men Lewis Samuel Macs ween, and Bishop moved rapidly through the field. Veteran cane farmer Frankie Lewis, 76 years old, lead the way, chopping the ratoons (this year's stalks) at their base trimming their leaves, halving them, tossing them on the growing pile behind, sometimes deftly spearing them to get them out of the way, moving through one field of about 30 yards in the morning and a smaller stand in the afternoon. There is a fine art to use of the machete (m shett, Grenadians pronounce it, as in French ), or most participants preferred a special curved blade they call The Mongoose (see photographs). 2 The previous year the one and two year stands had been

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350 intercropped with dashe en (taro, here and in Trinidad and Tobago also called callalloo, popular eddo, a perennial plant whose corm is used in provision and whose leaves are also eaten) 3 The crop still survived here and there among the second year canes. Bishop nimbly trimmed his banana plants as he moved past, gesture unremarkable to him or the other farmers but an undoubted contrast to labor in ), the plantation settings where enslaved Afro Grenadians many of them women had once toiled. 4 No slave could have stopped for a drink of rum or juice, to chop and drink from a coconut overhead; nor could they have stepped briefly to sit down, returning to the work refreshed nor can the migrant workers who pick tomatoes, sometimes under brutal conditions, in my home state of Florida, even today. 5 All of this also bore also comparison to the cadre of landless, low wage laborers that the last two governments have sought to develop in Grenada and the observations by small farmers and even one anonymous extension agent: that instead of articulating a new class of poor (and mostly landless) laborers, the government should instead re ay fe to address the labor problem. Bishop noted that a plum tree which had canes growing hard against it would now be exposed to the sun, just in time for its hard green fruit to ripen. Pigeon pea plants big bushes stood at the head ro ws and dotted the plot. Bats love them, Bishop told me, and they must be picked quickly when ready or be lost to the voracious flying mammals. Amaday and the other men shouted encouragement to one another,

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351 This was the maroon spirit I had read and been told about. When someone that somehow morphed into innuendo about the collapse of male sexual prowess as the rum and babadie root wore off. At one point it began to rain and several farmers Amaday once had with a local tough that he recounted (not for the first time, I suspected) to general delight. 6 Seconds later everyone was under the coconut palm, The rum fueled the work. And there was obvious irony in the fact that the alcohol that had likely left some of their fathers ill humored or worse was in part the goal of the work. But not for the first time, I found myself marveling at how Grenada's Afro peasantry had managed to take what was in many ways the u gliest feature of plantation slavery and redeem it in such a way. we used long enough to initiate cutti ng on a new cane stand, the others told me. It was serious hard work and the Marian farmers were proud of their connection to it. After cutting was finished, a feast of saltfish souse (salt cod with tomato, red pepper, and onion in olive oil, elsewhere ca lled buljol), provision, and coconut bakes was washed down with homemade cherry juice provided by Bishop and his family. 7 (One man groused that the food had not been ready as soon as we finished, seeing this as a violation of traditional protocol.) The men talke d about famous cane cutters Macs including those who

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352 Amaday told us, emphasizing that he had been able to meet his fatherly duties because of cane farming. He recounted how the sugar factory had several times issued him short term loans on the promise of his cane crop, how he had been able to had also been a cane farmer. It was also a time for people to share what was on their minds one man recounted the intimate details of his mother's passing while everyone listened in sympathy. A thin, elderly man came down t he road and Amaday ran to meet him, kissing him affectionately on each cheek 1 Root used in some parts of the Caribbean to enhance general vigor and sexual prowess. 2 3 In Jamaica, an amaranth strain is given this name. 4 After 1800 women increasingly came to predominate in field work in sugarcane, according to Grenada historian Nicole Phillip. W ing, hoeing, weeding, cutting of canes, and carrying canes to the mills. At crop time, October to March, slaves worked from sunrise to sunset. They also did extended night work. Enough cane had to be cut before sunset to keep the mills running through the 5 According to this article at LVC member Coalition of Immokalee Workers website, Florida pickers were physically punished as recently as 1996 for trying to obtain water and are still sometimes subject to violence in the workplace: http://ciw accessed December 11 2012. 6 As Amaday told it he knocked the belligerent to the ground, then began to run. A friend shouted to him to stand his ground as he had his wedger (weapon) with him, then streaked past Amaday, fleeing too. In the manner of traditional tall tales, Amaday said he did not catch up to him until the next day, implying both had run all night. 7 Brierley is dismissive of this practice, which is purchased), this overlooks that most of the food eaten is not seen in cash terms by those partaking. It also omits the other benefits: development of community solidarity (opposite of the class relations that inhere when one man hires another and a zero net transaction if the cutter simply hires the host for the same task a short time later), involvement of wider family in the process, and the way that it at bay. It is an institution of community subsistence.

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387 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Born in Detroit, Michigan, Matthew Kopka attended the University of Michigan, where he majored in Spanish and English. In 2001, after a decade in the publishing industry that included service as a Se nior Editor for several companies and adventures in freelance writing, music, and audiobook production he returned to school to devote himself to public and internationa l issues. He obtained a Master of Arts degree from Vermont's School for International Training in 2003, writing his thesis about the connections between slavery and the land question in Jamaica. After a stint as contributing writer for The Gleaner newspaper in Kingston, Jamaica, he entered the University of Florida erdisciplinary e cology, where he began work on this dissertation.