The Antigua and Barbuda economy is dominated by the service sector, led by tourism, and a relatively small agriculture sector, comprising less than 4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The value of such contributions averaged US$121.5 million over the 2001-2004 period, led by fisheries, which contributed 50% of the total.
In spite of these economic indicators, the weight of the contribution of agricultural activity must be measured in its significant contribution to employment of approximately 5,000 persons, including female producers, food security and social welfare, that supports the current Human Development Index (HDI) rank of 55. The continued development of the food, agriculture and natural resources sector is critical to maintain and improve the HDI, as well as contribute to economic growth.
Within the agriculture and agribusiness sector, Antigua and Barbuda has seen success in recent years. According to the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority potential exists for growth in:
- Pineapples – The ‘Antigua Black Pineapple’ which grows in dark, loamy soil is renowned for its sweetness. It is now recognized as an international brand and is sold in Norwegian supermarkets at a premium price
- Poultry – Antigua & Barbuda is a net importer of poultry and there are plans to develop the sector to make Antigua & Barbuda a net exporter of poultry products
- Sea Island Cotton – The production of sea-island cotton is being perfected in Antigua & Barbuda. It commands high export prices and is revered among Japanese connoisseurs for its quality. With financial support from the government and the Antigua & Barbuda Development Bank, 30 acres were put into cultivation. Participating farmers would their crop to a co-op for further processing into lint and yarn. Finished goods are being sold to retail outlets in the Caribbean and further afield
- Replacement of food imports – Opportunities exists to export fresh food to other Caribbean countries which have a combined food import bill of some USD $5 billion. Whilst it is not viable to replace all of the processed food imports there is significant potential to replace fresh food imports.
In Antigua and Barbuda, crop production, mainly vegetables, root crops, hot pepper and limited production in a range of fruit crops: mango, melon, cantaloupe, citrus, soursop and guava) contributes about 30% to agriculture value-added.
Livestock includes cattle, poultry and small ruminant production (especially goats) and provide important contributions to the total agricultural contributions (19%).
According to the Commonwealth Network , fisheries contribute about half of the GDP from all agricultural sectors, or about 2% of the national GDP (2008). The fishing industry employs about 1200 fishers in the primary sector, and at least 50 individuals in the secondary sector. Antigua and Barbuda has fairly extensive fishing grounds, with a shelf area of 3568 km and a coastline of 260 km.
The country’s fisheries are primarily composed of the marine and inland sub-sectors. The marine sub-sector is almost exclusively artisanal or small-scale commercial fishing in nature. In the past all marine fishing was conducted from small wooden pirogues powered by sail or paddle, but the industry has undergone a significant modernisation over the past thirty years.
An innovative project is the ‘National Backyard Gardening Programme’, an initiative aimed at getting the population to produce 4 million pounds of food annually in peoples’ own backyards. This programme, with 2,500 families, has seen a rise in the production of tomato, sweet pepper, okra, lettuce and herbs such as rosemary and thyme.
|No.||Name (Acronym):||Type of Business / Role(s)||Contact Person/ Designation / Postal Address||Contact Information|
|1.||Bethesda Womens Group||AS-F / PS-P||Bethesda Village, St Paul’s, Antigua||Tel: 268-463-5316|
|2.||St John’s Fisherman Cooperative||AS-F / OT – lobbying, PS-P||Keeling Point, Box 727, St John’s, Antigua|
|3.||Antigua -Barbuda Fishermen Alliance Inc.||AS-F / OT – lobbying, PS-P||c/o Nunes Hardware, Box 1124, Church & Cross Streets, St John’s, Antigua|
|4.||Barbuda Fishermen Cooperative Society||AS-F / OT – lobbying, PS-P||c/o Barbuda Council, Codrington, Barbuda||Tel: 268-773-2548|
|5.||Wadadli Herbs & Spices Cooperative Society||AS-F / PS-P||c/o Agricultural Extension Division, Box 1030, St John’s, Antigua||Tel: 268-460-2310|
|6.||Antigua Lettuce Farmers Cooperative||AS-F / OT – lobbying, PS-P||All Saints Village||Tel: 268-461-3394|
|7.||Antigua-Barbuda Livestock Improvement Cooperative Society||AS-F / OT – lobbying, PS-P||Factory Road, St John’s, Antigua|
|8.||Antigua-Barbuda Beekeepers Cooperative Society Ltd (ABC)||AS-F / OT – lobbying, PS-P||Box 3070, Belmont Estate, Antigua|
|9.||High Quality Seedling Nursery||PRV / PS-S||Seatons Village||Tel: 268-774-4392|
|10.||Antigua Farm and Garden||PRV / PS-S||Box 1236, Cross & Redcliffe Streets, St John’s, Antigua|
|11.||CPR Equipment Services Ltd||PRV / PS-S||Box 1129, Cassada Gardens, St John’s, Antigua|
|12.||Animal Health Centre||PRV / PS-S, EX||Box 2187, Clare Hall, St John’s|
|13.||ARK Veterinary Clinic & Kennels||PRV / PS-S, EX||Box 1155, Vivian Richards Street, St John’s, Antigua|
|14.||Cedar Veterinary Clinic & Kennels||PRV / PS-S, EX||Box W300, Royals Estate, Hodges Bay, St John’s|
|15.||Island Veterinary Service & Supplies||PRV / PS-S, EX||Box 357, Lunar Park, St John’s, Antigua|
|16.||Dr Helena Clare Jeffrey||PRV / PS-S, EX||Box W152, Radio Range, St John’s||Tel: 268-560-4181|
|17.||Pioneer Kennels||PRV / PS-S, EX||Box 1520, Barth Lodge, St John’s, Antigua|