Promising research: Food Security & Agricultural Development

May 17, 2023

The research project “Food Security and Economic Diversity in Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten”, funded by the Dutch Biomedical and Health Research council ZonMw, is a collaborative effort of the University of Curaçao, the University of Aruba, and the University of St. Martin.
USM is pleased to inform new developments in research on Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sint Maarten.

We speak of Food Security when everyone, always, has access to affordable, sufficient, safe, and nutritious food.

Extreme dependence on import for food leaves Sint Maarten vulnerable to external shocks as we experienced with the current increase in cost of living and during the Covid pandemic. This is a major risk to food security but also provides us with the opportunity to rethink our economic and food system strategies. One such ways is the development of local food production systems, as this has the potential to both improve food security and drive economic diversification.

In Sint Maarten the project is carried out by Eugène Hoogstad and a team of local researchers and students. The research team is collaborating with the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (TEATT), local food producers, and is closely involving the community and other organizations, to ensure all stakeholders are actively included in all phases of the research, to produce results that have practical value, can be implemented, and create positive change.

The activities and projected outcomes of the research involve the following.
⁃ A baseline study of Food Security in Sint Maarten.
⁃ An assessment of local food supply chains and supporting institutional frameworks and policies.
⁃ Mapping community perceptions and Sint Maarten’s history regarding agriculture.
⁃ Investigating various types of agri-businesses and identifying best practices.
⁃ Market research regarding locally produced food items.
⁃ Spreading awareness and supporting education on agriculture.
⁃ An integral cost-benefit analysis for the development of local food production.

In June, the research team and its partners will start various data collecting efforts. Taking surveys within the community and businesses and organizing focus group meetings with stakeholders. Preliminary results of the project are expected after the summer.

Ultimately the project seeks to contribute to developing a realistic roadmap for policy makers, farmers, and stakeholder in addressing pressing challenges related to food security and developing a sustainable local food production sector in Sint Maarten.

Saturday May 20th a symposium is taking place on Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sint Maarten at Axum Art Café on Frontstreet in Philipsburg. The event starts 6pm and is open for all.

For more information about the project please email to


Latest News →

Explore University of St. Martin's
learning opportunities

Programs Available →
USM works hand in hand with universities and organizations worldwide.

University of the Virgin Islands Business and Technology Education Council Johnson and Wales University American University of the Caribbean The Hague University of Applied Sciences University of Amsterdam European Qualifications Framework Florida Mechanical Agricultural University General Educational Development Test Monroe College Mount Saint Vincent University Leiden University NIPA University of the West Indies University of Curaçao