Find Agriculture expertise in Grenada
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries contribute around 5% to Grenada’s GDP (2010). Despite this small figure agriculture is crucial to the lives of most rural people and is a critical economic activity for sustained development of Grenada’s rural economy. The main staple foods grown include sweet potato, cassava, yam, maize, cabbage, golden apple and mango. Principal exports include cocoa, nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, banana, mango and avocado.
Before Hurricane Ivan Grenada was the world’s second largest producer of nutmeg, however the disaster in 2004 destroyed 90% of crops. The country also grows other spices on a smaller sale, such as cinnamon, clove, pimento and bay leaf. Collectively nutmeg, mace and cardamoms were by far the most profitable export in 2010, generating US$3,921,000. Bananas have traditionally been a major export from the island. However, this altered with the ending of preferential trade agreements with the European Union in the 2000s, alongside the damage of Hurricane Ivan. The fruit is now largely produced for the domestic market, rather than exportation to Europe. Poultry, sheep, goats, pigs and cattle are all included in livestock rearing, mostly on a small scale.
There has been a rapid growth in apiculture, with the exportation of honey regionally and internationally. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is responsible for agriculture (2011). Other statutory bodies associated with agriculture in Grenada include the Grenada Cocoa Association (GCA), Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association, Grenada Food and Nutrition Council (GFNC) and Minor Spices Association.
Since the devastation of Hurricane Ivan, the Ministry of Agriculture has been promoting numerous initiatives in order to revitalise the sector, enhance employment and improve food security. Aside from natural disasters, problems the state is trying to overcome include lax enforcement of agricultural policies, limited use of technology and an ageing farming population.
Agricultural developments have placed focus on a replanting programme for nutmegs, rehabilitation of the cocoa industry and expansion of fruit orchards. The government plans to cultivate as much idle land as possible. A focus has been put on developing the livestock sector, with the importation of improved breeds of goats to develop the goat milk and meat industry. The country has also seen the introduction of artificial insemination of cattle, while the government is fostering poultry production in order to reduce the high imports of poultry meat.