Agriculture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has recovered

Agriculture in St. Vincent and  the Grenadines has recovered

An assortment of produce on display at a market. (IICA photo)


KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent and the Grenadines--Food exports from St. Vincent and the Grenadines increased during the first month of 2022, signalling an evident recovery in the agriculture sector of this Caribbean country, following the severe impact of the La Soufriére volcano eruptions in 2021.

  A total of 516,753 kilos of agricultural and fisheries products, valuing US $1,301,317, were sold by the island nation to 13 countries in January, according to data disseminated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry, and Labor. The ministry is headed by Saboto Caesar.

  An interannual comparison to January 2021, reveals that there has been a five per cent increase in the quantity of exported products and a 38 per cent increase in the value.

  It began with the first large eruption of La Soufriére on April 9, 2021, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines has experienced 32 other eruptions thereafter.

  The natural disaster forced the evacuation of some 30,000 people from their homes, most of them farmers, given that the majority of the land adjoining the volcano is used for agricultural production.

  Many farmers lost crops due to the ashfall on their land, compelling the government to declare a food security emergency. The State gave economic assistance to small farmers and hired tractors to plough the land to enable crops to be sown again.

  The country received the support and solidarity of organisations and governments from the Americas and other parts of the world. Among them, Minister Caesar recognised the importance of the support of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to rapidly revive production and guarantee food security.

  Agriculture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is largely in the hands of small, family farmers. Caesar indicated that the country has approximately 8,000 and 1,500 registered farmers and fisherfolk, respectively.

  The United States was the main destination for the country’s exports in 2022, which represented a value of more than $300,000. Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados followed in second and third place. The other 10 export destinations were Anguilla, Bouvet Island, the British Virgin Islands, Canada, France, Great Britain, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Martin.

  In total, there were 42 types of exported agricultural and fisheries products, including tubers, vegetables, fruit, spices and lobster.

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