St. Vincent and the Grenadines - Agriculture



About half of St. Vincent is devoted to crop growing. Agrucultural products accounted for 66% of exports in 2001. Real growth in agriculture has been averaging 6.7% annually. Bananas constitute the main crop; vegetables, coconut, spices, and sugar are also important. Banana production was adversely affected by the eruption of Soufrière, which reduced exports from 30,414 tons in 1978 to 22,692 tons in 1979. Further damage was done by two hurricanes in 1979 and 1980; in the latter year, some 95% of the crop was destroyed. Production rebounded during 1981, and 83,000 tons were produced in 1982; in 1999, 43,000 tons were produced. Other crops in 1999 included coconuts, 24,000 tons; sugar cane, 20,000 tons; sweet potatoes, 2,000 tons; and plantains, 1,000 tons. Most of the agricultural products are grown on small farms; quality control is sometimes a problem, particularly in the production of bananas. There are approximately 5,000 banana growers on the island.

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