Agriculture in Jamaica is very important to the country’s economy and has always given many jobs to the community. There are many different products that Jamaican farmers grow, but the most popular and demanded product is sugar. Sugar is the most dominant export of Jamaica alongside of the other fruits and vegetables such as coconuts, bananas, spices, pimentos, cocoa, citrus, and coffee. In 1996 Jamaica produced around 237,943 metric tons of sugar which is the highest amount since the 1980’s.
Also in 1996, the United Kingdom was Jamaica’s largest purchaser of sugar, buying approximately 86.5% of the sugar produced. Most of the sugar produced by this county has been grown by large privately owned plantations, though small farmers do produce a large quantity of the sugar grown. The other products that are produced such as coffee and cocoa are distributed to demanding countries throughout the world. Marijuana is also an important crop grown by smaller independent farmers. This cash crop is produced and sold by the farmers to willing buyers who then distribute and sell the product.
This island has many different climates and very fertile soil which gives this country an advantage with a slightly longer growing season than others. Though the growing of fruits and vegetables has been the main concern for the Jamaican farmers, the fishing industry has recently expanded over the years giving Jamaica another advantage over other countries. The Jamaican government has now made fishing apart of the agriculture sector. The inland fishing industry has recently shown an annual growth of around 4%. Due to the advice and the training that the Jamaican fishermen have received, they are now able to extend their fishing boundaries to around 300 miles outside of the country’s shoreline.