St Vincent is situated in the Windward Islands, with a chain of islands known as the Grenadines located between St Vincent and Grenada. The total land area is 389 km² (150 mi²) with St. Vincent covering 344 km². The larger Grenadine islands are Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau and Union. St. Vincent is volcanic and mountainous with the highest peak – Soufriere – rising to approximately 1,219 m (4,000 ft). The average annual rainfall ranges from 1,524 mm to 3,810 mm (60 to 150 in). The economy of St Vincent and the Grenadines is based largely on agriculture, which contributed 10% of the Gross Domestic Product in 2009 and 26% of the labour force. Banana is still the main crop although its importance has declined significantly, and there has been an increase in the cultivation of root crops such as cassava, eddoe, dasheen yam and sweet potato. The Government has been implementing a series of structural reforms to promote greater investment in the agricultural sector through restructuring of the banana industry and agricultural diversification, with a series of fiscal incentives and farm support services. Other key agricultural products are: coconuts, arrowroot starch, spices, as well as small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs and goats. Fish, plantains, pineapples, and peppers are also growing in importance. For the medium term it is expected that overall, the agricultural sector will show an increased contribution to GDP and foreign exchange earnings; however, the sector remains vulnerable to adverse weather conditions and suffered some losses as a result of Hurricane Tomas in 2010. There is also a growing service sector which includes tourism, telemarketing and offshore financial services. Infrastructure projects, including the construction of a new airport to be ready in 2011, also contributed to the economy.
The main focus of CARDI St. Vincent and the Grenadines is on roots and tubers, with emphasis on the development of the sweet potato and cassava industries. CARDI St. Vincent and the Grenadines is also the Institute’s pioneer centre for undercover / protected agriculture systems development for vegetable production. In order to support the Government’s agricultural diversification programme, the Unit undertakes research and development activities for the production of hot peppers.
For highlights of work by the CARDI office in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Click here
Dr Gregory Robin
CARDI St Vincent & the Grenadines
PO Box 594
St Vincent & the Grenadines.
Phone: (784) 457-1535
Fax: (784) 456-2420