Antigua and Barbuda - Agriculture
Some 30% of land on Antigua is under crops or potentially arable, with 18% in use. Sea-island cotton is a profitable export crop. A modest amount of sugar is harvested each year, and there are plans for production of ethanol from sugarcane. Vegetables, including beans, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, plantains, squash, tomatoes, and yams, are grown mostly on small family plots for local markets. Over the past 30 years, agriculture's contribution to the GDP has fallen from over 40% to 12%. The decline in the sugar industry left 60% of the country's 66,000 acres under government control, and the Ministry of Agriculture is encouraging self-sufficiency in certain foods in order to curtail the need to import food, which accounts for about 25% by value of all imports. Crops suffer from droughts and insect pests, and cotton and sugar plantings suffer from soil depletion and the unwillingness of the population to work in the fields. Mango production in 1999 was 1,000 tons.