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Antigua and Barbuda

Economy, agriculture and food security

In 2013, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was US$ 1 230 million and agriculture accounted for only 2 percent of GDP compared to 40 percent prior to the 1960s and the subsequent collapse of the sugar industry. The service industry/tourism is now the major foreign exchange earner, contributing 81 percent of GDP. Nevertheless, despite its small contribution to GDP, the agricultural sector still is one of the largest employers. In 2013, total population economically active in agriculture is estimated at 8 000 inhabitants (21 percent of economically active population), of which 25 percent is female and 75 percent is male.

Sugar is still cultivated, and other vegetable and fruit crops are grown on small farms, but Sea Island cotton is the only profitable export crop. The agricultural sector has been constrained by high labour costs, small size of local market, lack of marketing structures and infrastructure, competition from imported foodstuffs, and inadequate water supplies for irrigation as well as a regular succession of severe droughts and destructive hurricanes, and limited land tenure rights.

Agriculture is dominated by livestock production with goats being the dominant specie. More than 75 percent of livestock production of Antigua is carried out in the Central Plains and the North-Eastern Limestone Formation. Barbuda is devoted entirely to livestock production with the exception of a few agricultural stations and fenced farming areas.


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       Quote as: FAO. 2016. AQUASTAT website. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Website accessed on [yyyy/mm/dd].
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