Business Barbados

Overview

Up to the late 1960s, Barbados’ agriculture was dominated by sugarcane, with root crops used as rotation crops on the sugar estates. Cotton production fluctuated considerably over the years.

Since the 1960s it was recognized that diversification of the Barbados agricultural industry was necessary since reliance on sugar cane alone was dangerous, bearing in mind that the sugar price could fall. It was also recognized that mechanization of sugar cane would be inevitable to improve the viability of the industry and therefore lands not suited to mechanization would become available for other crops.

A Crop Diversification Unit was set up by the Barbados Sugar Producers Association and over 50 crops and livestock production systems were tested for their suitability as a replacement for sugar cane but it was soon conceded that no one crop or livestock system had the characteristics necessary to replace sugar cane both from the point of view of its beneficial effect on the local soils, market or potential revenue.

Therefore it was decided that diversification within and around sugar cane was the way to proceed. In 1970, the Ministry of Agriculture embarked on a 3 year Vegetable Development Programme funded by the OAS. Prior to this, vegetable crops were only grown on a small-scale in backyards.

Fast Facts

YearReal GDP ($M)Foreign Exchange Earnings ($M)Total Expenditure ($M)Employment
200950.7125.84,000
201047.6121.03,600
201144.6115.24,200
201243.123.6125.03,500
Production (Total ‘000 kgs)Imports (Total ‘000 kgs)
VegetableLivestock & Dairy ProductionRoot CropsVegetableLivestock & Dairy ProductionRoot Crops
20094,235.926,705.13,102.83,207.57,770.12,182.6
20103,898.326,312.93,124.23,307.88,699.82,207.4
20114,214.225,488.11,474.63,404.37,797.12,461.1
20123,714.721,802.62,376.562,928.98,259.12,344.5

Source: Barbados Economic and Social Report 2012, Central Bank

Key Contacts

Ministry of Agriculture
Barton Clarke – Chief Agricultural Officer (barja@sunbeach.net)
Ian Gibbs – Entomologist (ianhgibbs@yahoo.com)
Dr. Stephen St.John – Vet (sinjuns4@gmail.com)
Irrigation
Rodney Reader – Farm owner (arcirrigation@caribsurf.com)
Charles Herbert (cherbert@eckler.ca)
BCC Associate Degree in Agriculture – (greta@caribsurf.com)
Hector Belle – Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (sbelle@sjpp.edu.bb)
Agro processing
Peter Miller (wmillhotsuce@caribsurf.com)
Jonathan Morgan (jonathan@morgansfishhouse.com)
Vegetable Crop production
Tim Walsh (tim.mothernature@sunbeach.net)
Keeley Holder (keeleykins@mail.com)
John Hunte – organic (huntejohn@hotmail.com)
Ian Julien (sbnltd@hotmail.com)
Cotton
ECCI (adlai.stevenson@eccicotton.bb)
Coleridge Pilgrim (tonipilgrim@caribsurf.com)
Poultry
Freddie Gale (fcgale@hotmail.com)
Edward Albecker (ealbecker@chickmontfoods.net)
Wendell Clarke (starchickltd@caribsurf.com)
Aquaculture
Christina Adams (adams.kb@gmail.com)
Input suppliers
Robert Massiah (carters@caribsurf.com)
Lisa Mustor (LGMustor@Agro-Chemicals.com)
Eastern Caribbean Fertilisers (fertiliz@bellsouth.net)
Adrian Yard – Pinnacle feeds (ayard@rmco.com)
Pigs
Woodville Alleyne-Jones (woodline@caribsurf.com)
Beef and Dairy
Paul Davis (pdavis@caribsurf.com)
Sugar
Carl Simpson – Barbados Agricultural Management Co. CEO (csimpson@bamc.net)
Harm de Boer – Agronomist BAMC (avrtu@caribsurf.com)
Dr. Atlee Brathwaite – BSIL (sylbra@caribsurf.com)
Dr. Tony Kennedy – WICSCBS (anthony.kennedy@wicscbs.org)
Rum (WIRSPA)
wirspa@wirspa.com
Sheep
Carol Thompson (torani2000@yahoo.com)
Allan Kinch (allankinch@caribsurf.com)
Stephen Elcock (stephenelcock@yahoo.com)
Dr. Cyril Roberts -CARDI head of Unit
Dr. Basil Springer – BSTA President (basilgf@caribnet.net)
Keith Laurie (cklaurie@sunbeach.net)
Dr. Frances Chandler (fchandler@caribsurf.com)
Gerry Proverbs (lespro@caribsurf.com)
Andrew Skeete – BADMC CEO (badmcceo@caribsurf.com)
Adrian Kirton – Food Technologist (Adrian.Kirton@badmc.org)
James Paul – BAS (heshimu@caribsurf.com)
Dr. Litta Paulraj – FAO (Litta@caribsurf.com)
Joey Peltier – IICA (joseph.peltier@iica.int)
Damien Hinds (dfhinds@yahoo.com)
Ena Harvey (echarvey@iica.com.bb)
Ornamentals
Michael Gill
Tom Hinds (naniki@lushlife.bb)
Trevor Hunte – C O Williams Flowers
Ronnie Baynes
Soil Conservation
Peter Webster pete_webster_bdos@yahoo.com