Grenada’s primary natural resources are its fertile arable lands, forests, and marine resources.  The agriculture sector is the main user of these resources and is a major contributor to the country’s economic and social development. Activities in the agriculture sector also have significant impact on the sustainability of the resources it uses.

Hurricanes Ivan (2004) and Emily (2005) severely damaged the agricultural sector in Grenada. Banana, one of Grenada’s major export crops since the 1960s, was totally devastated and the island has had to import banana from Suriname to meet local needs. Grenada is the world’s second largest producer of nutmeg which accounts for more than 50 per cent of the country’s agricultural export earnings.

Agriculture which employs 11% of the island’s labour force has been recovering slowly and contributed 5.6% to the island’s GDP in 2014.

With regard to the economy, it is slowly recovering from a protracted recession following the 2008-12 global financial crises.  The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) projected modest positive economic growth in the short to medium term averaging 2.6% between 2013 and 2015. 

Agricultural findings for Grenada include:

  • Between 2010 and 2014 growth in the agricultural sector averaged 7.4% per annum compared to average real GDP growth of 1.5% during that period. Overall the sector has been one of the major contributors to the country’s recent improved economic performance.
  • Earnings from agricultural exports, which accounted for 47% of total exports between 2010 and 2014, have shown robust growth since 2007, increasing at an average annual rate of 5.5% between 2007 and 2014, although this growth has been fuelled mainly by increases in export prices.
  • The main exports were nutmeg and mace, fish, milling products, cocoa, and fruits;
  • The main imports for the 2010-2014 period were meats (mainly chicken), cereals and cereal preparations, and dairy products which together accounting for over 60% of food imports.  Fruits and vegetables accounted for only 3% of food imports;
  • There was significant decline in the amount of lands under agriculture (24%) and number of farmers (22%) between 1995 and 2012.  The largest decline was in farms larger than 25 acres.  Based on the 2012 Grenada Agricultural Census (GAC), 25% of the available agricultural lands were uncultivated in 2012.  Average farm size also dropped slightly from 2.62 acres in 1995 to 2.54 in 2012
  • The agriculture sector accounted for 9.6% of the labour force in 2012 and was the second largest employment source by sector.
  • Agro processing is carried out mainly at a cottage level but recently there has been significant private investments in cocoa and nutmeg processing
  • There has been a decline in the use of agricultural inputs (fertilizer, herbicides, etc.) but increased use of farm machinery and equipment

The sector is highly vulnerable to climate change, and increased incidence of natural disasters and other extreme weather events. 


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