This essay examines the likely impacts global change processes will have on the Caribbean agriculture sector, paying particular attention to the uneven socioeconomic consequences for rural smallholder farmers within the context of an increasingly volatile global marketplace and a changing regional climate. It sheds light on some of the local-scale implications of these wider structural and ecological changes and highlights that the impacts are likely to produce uneven vulnerability outcomes mediated largely around differences in the socioeconomic landscapes in which farmers operate. Finally, the essay calls for a critical rethinking of the resilience framework, particularly related to its ontological and practical limitations and discrepancies as well as its relation to the crosscutting concept of vulnerability. Ultimately, it argues that farmers in the Caribbean are neither wholly vulnerable nor wholly resilient to the vagaries of global change. Instead, their livelihood in/securities often straddle both sides of the vulnerability-resilience spectrum.
Global Change, Vulnerability, and the Coproduction of Resilience among Caribbean Farmers
Kevon Rhiney is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography, Rutgers University. He has a broad interest in human-environment relations with an emphasis on the Caribbean. His current research explores the socioecological and justice dimensions of global environmental change as well as the science-policy interface shaping climate-change adaptation efforts in the Caribbean.