Grenada is a Caribbean country that covers 135 square miles. In 2017 the country's gross domestic product was approximately $1.18 billion according to estimates from the World Bank. The Grenadian per capita gross domestic product, on the other hand, was roughly $10,405 which was the 66th highest in the world. The Grenadian economy is heavily dependent on its natural resources that range from arable land to the country's beautiful scenery.
Grenada has deep harbors that are some of its most important natural resources. There are several essential harbors in Grenada such as the St. George Harbor, the Albert Bay Harbor, and the Hillsborough Bay Harbor. The harbors are an integral component of the transport infrastructure in Grenada.
One of Grenada's most critical natural resources is arable land which makes up roughly 23.5% of the country's total area. During the early 21st century, the size of arable land in Grenada fluctuated significantly due to factors with the major one being the changing global weather patterns. Despite the variation in the size of arable land in Grenada, agriculture plays a significant part in the country's economy with the Grenadian government estimating that in 2008, the sector contributed 11% to the country's gross domestic product. According to the Grenadian labor department, in 2008, roughly 11% of the country's labor force was employed in the agrarian sector. Most of the crops grown in Grenada are for local consumption; however, others such as cocoa, nutmeg, and bananas are primarily for the export market. Most of the farmers in Grenada grow crops on a small scale due to the country's small size.
Grenadian farmers have been growing cocoa for a long period starting from the 16th century when the Spanish introduced it from Venezuela. The Grenadian climate is exceptionally conducive to the growing of cocoa and results in the production of high-quality cocoa. In the modern era, most of the cocoa grown in Grenada is sold to other nations since the country's cocoa is of extremely high value. The Grenadian government estimated that on average, cocoa exports accounted for 3.8% of the nation's total exports. The major challenge facing the country's cocoa industry is the fluctuation of global cocoa prices which discourages farmers from growing the crop. Other challenges that affect the Grenadian cocoa industry include diseases that affect the crop and the mismanagement of the cocoa industry.
Grenada is hugely famous for the production of spices with nutmeg being the country's most famous spice. The Grenadian government estimated that on average nutmeg exports accounted for roughly 25% of the country's annual exports. Estimates indicated that Grenada produced more nutmeg than most other nations in the world as it was responsible for roughly 40% of the world's total nutmeg production. The British introduced nutmegs to Grenada from the Banda Islands after they took control of the islands from the Dutch.
Data indicated that in 2015, nearly 50% of Grenada's total area was covered in forests. Grenada's forest cover has remained relatively stable from 2004 to 2015 mainly due to the policies put in place by the Grenadian government. The Grenadian forests are used for a variety of purposes such as the production of timber and providing habitat for the country's wildlife. The Grenadian forests are also crucial to the country's economy because they attract significant numbers of tourists each year.
Due to its location within the Caribbean Sea, Grenada has significant marine fish resources. Fishing in Grenada can be divided into three main categories: subsistence fishing, sports fishing, and commercial fishing. Most of the subsistence fishing in Grenada is carried out by the locals who rely on fish to supplement their diet. Grenada is extremely popular among sports fishers due to the large variety of fish caught within the country's territorial waters. Due to the popularity of Grenada as a sports fishing destination, some companies have been established to take advantage of the vast number of sports fishers who visit the country. Commercial fishing is one of Grenada's most important economic activities as it employs a significant portion of the country's labor force. The Grenadian government estimated that in 2012, the commercial fishing sector contributed roughly 31% of the country's agricultural gross domestic product. According to the Grenadian labor department, in 2012, there were more than 3200 fishermen in the country, and roughly 90% of them worked full time. Most of the Grenadian fishermen have begun using modern fishing methods such as the use of motorized boats.
The Beautiful Scenery
Grenada has a wide range of beautiful sites ranging from beaches such as the Grand Anse Beach to famous towns such as Carenage and St. George's. Tourism is one of Grenada’s most essential economic activities as it earns the country vast amounts of foreign revenue as well as employing a significant number of Grenadians. The Grenadian government has invested in improving the country's ecotourism sector after realizing the importance it could have to the country's economy. A significant number of tourists who visit Grenada arrive in the country on cruise ships and the government has also invested in improving the country's capacity to receive cruise ships.
The Grenadian Economy
Since the late 20th century, the Grenadian government has invested in shifting the country's economy from being reliant on the agrarian industry to being reliant on the service sector. According to the Grenadian government, in 2008, the service sector contributed roughly 70% of the country's gross domestic product. At the time, more than 60% of the Grenadian labor force was employed in the service industry. The most significant challenge facing the Grenadian economy is the high unemployment rate which in the year 2017 was reported to be 32%. One of the major factors that contributed to the high poverty rates in Grenada is the country's high unemployment rate. The Grenadian government has implemented several policies to reduce the country's unemployment rate which were successful as the unemployment rate dropped to 25% in 2017 from 40% in 2013.
What Are The Major Natural Resources Of Grenada?
Some of Grenada's most important natural resources include arable land, deep-water harbors, forests, fish, and the country's beautiful scenery.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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