Feeding island dreams: exploring the relationship between food security and agritourism in the Caribbean
Caribbean islands have increasingly turned to tourism as a pathway for economic advancement, often to the detriment of other industries, particularly agriculture. The influx of millions of tourists to these island destinations increases food demand, escalates food importation, and oftentimes results in food insecurity. Agritourism, an alternative tourism form, has been proposed as a way to stimulate domestic food production and increase food security. This article provides a selective examination of the possibilities of relationships between agritourism and food security in the context of a specific Caribbean island: New Providence, Bahamas. Drawing from semi-structured interviews and site visits with over sixty farmers, we focus on the experiences of three farms that have attempted to engage in agritourism, with different approaches, levels of success, and potential impacts on food security. We find that the potential for agritourism to transform food security for Caribbean islands is constrained by demand and the consumption standards of both residents and tourists. The type of agritourism that has thus far proven to be most appealing to tourists is unachievable for the majority of farmers, has inconsequential contributions to island food security, and privileges wealthy farmers. Unfortunately, in its current form, agritourism is not yet a viable solution for the food security issues of New Providence, let alone other Caribbean islands.