Radical food for thought : Food policy in Cuba and Nicaragua (2023)


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This article looks at the differences and similarities between Cuban and Nicaraguan agrarian and food policies. The fundamental challenge facing the two countries has been to ensure a supply of basic foodstuffs to a population where demand outstrips supply. The solution, chosen by Cuba and forced upon Nicaragua, has been to establish a system of food rationing. Finally, the policies of Cuba and Nicaragua (successes and mistakes included) are compared with those of Mexico where, in 1980, a food policy (SAM) was launched to achieve many of the same objectives.

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This Viewpoint is based on information from the following books: Joseph Collins (with Frances Moore Lappé, Nick Allen and Paul Rice), Nicaragua: What Difference Could a Revolution Make?, Institute for Food and Development Policy, San Francisco, CA, USA, 2nd Edition 1985; Medea Benjamin, Joseph Collins and Michael Scott, No Free Lunch: Food and Revolution in Cuba Today, IFDP, San Francisco, CA USA, 1984. Also James Austin, Jonathan Fox and Walter Kruger, ‘The role of the revolutionary state in the Nicaraguan food system’, World Development, Vol 13, No 1, 1985; and James Austin and Gustavo Esteva, ‘SAM is dead — long live SAM’, Food Policy, Vol 10, No 2, May 1985.

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Copyright © 1986 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


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