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Caribbean Calorie Crop Production

Increasing Food Production of Calorie Crops in the Caribbean Region 


The Caribbean region faced food security issues prior to the COVID-19 pandemic due to climate  and economic instability. In most Caribbean community (CARICOM) countries, national food production has declined and been replaced with imported food crops. Food imports are by far the largest source of food for CARICOM populations. CARICOM countries currently import in excess of US $4 billion in food annually (estimates have been as high as $8-10 billion in 2020). Most CARICOM countries import more than 60% of the food they consume with half importing over 80%. Growth in agricultural productivity has been slow, and the sector suffers from high trade costs and a low capacity to comply with modern food production and safety standards. The pandemic has intensified the need to produce more calories in the Caribbean to address food, nutritional security, and create an optimistic outcome for the region. To create an economic advantage in the Caribbean, improvements in agricultural technology, policy, and incentives for small land holders are vital.  

Why should I choose Earth & Food      Systems International, Inc. to help me grow rice in the Caribbean?

  • The founder, Mchezaji “Che” Axum is an environmental agronomist and principal of Earth & Food  Systems, International, a minority-owned agricultural consultancy company.

  • Mr. Axum has over 20 years of experience in the field of sustainable/organic agriculture,  horticulture, and agroecology.

  • As a graduate of the University of Maryland College of Natural Resource Management, Mr. Axum has worked for the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural  Research Service, Plant Sciences Institute in Beltsville Maryland, the DC Public Schools  as an environmental science instructor, and currently serves as the Director of Urban  Agriculture and Gardening Education for the College of Agriculture Urban Sustainability  and Environmental Science at The University of the District of Columbia where he has  led a team in non-flooded rice production since 2014.  

  • Mr. Axum is a member of the American Agronomy Society/ASA, the Crop Science  Society of America (CSSA), and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) and is a  Certified Nutrient Management consultant with the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Why should I grow more rice in the Caribbean? 


After sugar, rice is the Caribbean’s single most important source of calories supplying 11.5% of daily caloric intake. Rice is a staple crop in Latin America and the Caribbean. Rice is consumed at an average of  37kg of milled rice yearly or about 1.3 cups of cooked rice daily. 


How can I benefit from sustainable/organic rice production in the  Caribbean?

  • Non-traditional rice production systems are well suited for urban, peri-urban, and rural communities. 

  • Use less non-traditional resource inputs rather than leveling and intense irrigation,  typical of traditional rice production systems. 

  • Produce crops with less heavy metal contamination than traditional production methods.

  • Use less than ½ of the fresh water than traditional rice production systems in paddy  production.

  • Produce little to no methane compared to typical traditional production methods. Methane production from traditional production methods produces 1.5% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.  

  • Produce higher nutrient density to increase food and nutritional security for CARICOM  countries.  

  • Use smart crop production and sustainable organic production methods. 

  •  Produce more yield by 30%, 50% or even 100% by using our novel production systems  with specific varietal rice selections. Yields of 6000 pounds per acre have been achieved with certain varieties.  

  • Increase your rice crop yield to achieve a higher quality rice requiring fewer resources such as  seed, water, and land to grow the same quantity of rice. Increases production metrics between 20-100% higher than traditional production methods. 


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