The Potential of Small-Scale Agro-Industry as a Sustainable Livelihood Strategy in a Caribbean Archipelago Province of Colombia

Magda M. Masquita Mckeller, Richard C. Smardon


San Andrés, Providence, and Santa Catalina were declared a biosphere reserve in the year 2000; as an effort to protect biodiversity and to promote sustainable development. This declaration entails the development of sustainable economic activities that ensure environmental conservation and the community’s wellbeing. Surveys and interviews were used to determine the characteristics of small-scale agro-industry and the perceptions about its sustainability as a livelihood strategy for the Archipelago. The study concludes that agro-industry, as it is currently practiced in the Archipelago, is not sustainable in the long-term. However, it has potential to become a sustainable livelihood strategy. This study calls for efforts to strengthen agriculture and protect local agro-industry production, aiming for a steady supply of raw materials for agro-industry and an assurance of local markets for the products. Further studies on adapting and coping strategies and the contributions that modern technology might offer to artisanal agro-industry are suggested.

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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online) Email:

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