Grenada - Economic sectors

The importance of agriculture to Grenada's GDP has fallen steeply, from more than 26 percent in 1979 to an estimated 9.7 percent in 1996. The World Bank estimates its contribution at 8.1 percent in 1999. The 1995 agricultural census estimated that the area of cultivated land in Grenada had fallen from 61,000 acres in 1961 to 31,000 in 1995. Many young Grenadians are no longer willing to work family smallholdings , and this gradual abandonment of agriculture has been compounded by a crisis in the banana industry. Only nutmeg, one of Grenada's traditional export commodities, has experienced resurgence in recent years, because of rising international prices for the spice. Agriculture still accounted for an estimated 24 percent of the workforce in 1999, and many Grenadians work part-time on smallholdings for family or local consumption. Agricultural exports as a whole were valued at US$21.8 million in 1999.

Agriculture's decline has been balanced by the rising importance of industry, which has grown from 14.2 percent of GDP in 1979 to 22.2 percent in 1999, according to the World Bank. Some of this growth is accounted for by the recent opening of a plant that assembles

electronic components for the U.S. market. There are several other such assembly plants, and Grenada has a significant agricultural processing sector, a brewery, rice mill, and cement works. Approximately 14 percent of the workforce was estimated to be employed in industry in 1999, which earned $23.1 million.

Services have also risen as a percentage of GDP, from 59.6 percent in 1979 to 76.5 percent in 1999. The nature of the service sector has changed, with a greater emphasis on tourism and financial services rather than more traditional retail and government-oriented activity. Grenada is now offering itself as a stable base for offshore banking and other financial services, hoping to emulate the success of other Caribbean nations such as Barbados.

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