food security; needs assessment; Caribbean; Trinidad and Tobago; agricultural producers; farmer knowledge


The purpose of this study was to explore farmers’ knowledge of food security issues in Trinidad. Such information can be used to develop appropriate extension training interventions. Using a Borich (1980) methodology, a total of 300 agricultural producers in Trinidad were surveyed with an instrument that consisted of two parts: (a) personal demographic and farm related questions, and (b) indicators of knowledge and importance of 27 food security issues derived from The National Food Production Action Plan 2012 – 2015. Overall, the top five issues identified by producers were: (a) the incentive program that is focused on outputs; (b) research and development for both livestock and crop farmers; (c) partnerships between public sector agencies, research institutions, and the private sector to provide suitable capacity to deliver all food production programs; (d) postharvest technologies that create employment opportunities, increase returns to farmers, improve food quality, and ensure food safety; and (e) and technology packages (of information) to help farmers improve yield, quality, and availability. All 27 food security issues varied in at least one of the categories assessed: 22 issues varied by location; 18 issues varied by farm type; 5 issues varied by farming status; and 19 issues varied by education level of the farmer. These results can guide extension programming in Trinidad and also be informative for policy makers.