Find Agriculture expertise in Trinidad and Tobago
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries contributed a negligible 0.5% to Trinidad and Tobago’s GDP in 2010, with 10.5% of land given over to agricultural use and, in 2008, 3.8% of people employed in the industry. The country’s main agricultural crops are cocoa, rice, citrus, coffee, vegetables and poultry. Citrus fruits and tomatoes are the most lucrative in the sector and are important export products along with cocoa, sugar, coffee and cut flowers. The government moved to downsize sugar production in the budget year 2004/05 because of the sector’s lack of profitability. The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources oversees agricultural development in the country.
The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (2012-2013) ranks Trinidad and Tobago 104th out of 144 countries with a score of 3.5 out of 7 in relation to agricultural policy costs, below the world mean of 3.9. Vision 2020, a broad-based strategic plan to cultivate Trinidad and Tobago into a developed society, states that by the year 2020 the agricultural sector should be competitive and possess the capacity to sustain competitiveness and provide for the food and nutrition security needs of the nation. The Agricultural Development Bank specialises in loans for the agricultural sector and promotes careers and training for young people in agriculture and agribusiness. Since the downscaling of the sugar industry in Trinidad and Tobago the government has encouraged diversification into other areas, with a shift from agriculture to agribusiness. To this end the importance of cut flowers as an export commodity has grown and the possibility of producing other non-traditional export crops is being explored. In addition, there has been a revival of interest in cocoa production. Agricultural research and development in the country focuses on hot peppers, organic agriculture and small ruminants as the way forward for agriculture and agribusiness in Trinidad and Tobago.