Saint Lucia, one of the Windward Islands, lies to the south of Martinique, north of St Vincent and north-west of Barbados. It covers a total land area of 616 km2 (238 mi2). The island is volcanic and mountainous, with the highest peak, Mount Gimie being 959 m (3,145 ft). The rainfall ranges from 1,524 to 3,505 mm (60 to 138 in) per annum. St. Lucia’s economy depends primarily on revenue from banana production and tourism with some input from small-scale manufacturing. The agriculture sector continues to play a major role in the economy, although its importance has declined. In 2009 agriculture contributed 5% of the GDP. However, it still accounts for a significant number of jobs, some 21% of employment. The banana industry is still very important and the Government has continued its programme to establish a new marketing and distribution system for non-banana agriculture. The banana industry is faced with low prices and a new, less favourable, set of rules for the European Union market has made economic diversification increasingly important. Other agricultural products of economic importance are: cocoa, coconut, citrus fruits and livestock. Efforts also include the establishment and promotion of tree crops such as mangoes and avocados; a variety of vegetables are also being produced for local consumption. The island has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries, while the manufacturing sector is developing rapidly; services accounted for 80% of GDP, while industry contributed 15% of GDP in 2009. However the country experienced losses in agriculture and tourism as a resullt of major devastation by Hurricane Tomas in 2010.
CARDI St. Lucia specialises in research and development on fruit crops, including the development of post-harvest technologies for these crops. A wide variety of germplasm of fruits, as well as food crops are maintained and multiplied for farmers. The resident post-harvest technologist provides services throughout the Region. In addition, the Unit provides the focal point for the delivery of technical assistance to the small ruminant sub-sector of the island.
For highlights of work by the CARDI office in St Lucia, Click here
Mr Ronald Pilgrim
CARDI St Lucia
CARDI Field Station
Phone: (758) 453-3317
Fax: (758) 453-3495