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Caribbean agriculture and migration

Migration A–Z


  1. Janet Momsen

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm094

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Momsen, J. 2013. Caribbean agriculture and migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Migration is an institutionalized feature of Caribbean societies (Thomas-Hope 1978). The pre-Columbian movement of Amerindians from elsewhere in the Americas, European colonization, the forced transfer of several million Africans as plantation slaves, the post-Emancipation arrival of indentured agricultural workers from India, Indonesia, and Europe, and the more recent circum-Caribbean and international emigration of West Indian workers counterbalanced by a flow of sun-seeking tourists from the global North, are all elements of the human flux in the region. The switch, after four hundred years, from a region of labor shortage to one of labor reserve reflects changes in regional resource use, the declining role of agriculture in the regional economy, the introduction of labor-saving devices such as the plough in the 19th century and the improved accessibility of the region in the last six decades.


  • Atlantic world;
  • empire;
  • farming;
  • food;
  • women;
  • regional development;
  • labor supply;
  • poverty