Saturday, February 16, 2013

Agriculture in guyana

Agriculture was once the chief economic activity in Guyana, despite the coastal plain which comprised only about 5 percent of the country's land area being suitable for cultivation of crops. Much of this fertile area lay more than one meter below the high-tide level of the sea and had to be protected by a system of dikes and dams, making agricultural expansion expensive and difficult. In the 1980s, there were reports that the 200-year-old system of dikes in Guyana was in a serious state of disrepair. Guyana's remaining land area is divided into a white sand belt, which is forested, and interior highlands consisting of mountains, plateaus, and savanna. 2% of the land is arable land.

Today, sugar and rice are the most important primary agricultural products, as they had been since the nineteenth century. Sugar was produced primarily for export whereas most rice was consumed domestically. Today in Guyana sugar production generates the most revenue in the primary industry, at around 15% of the total annual GNP. Other important crops include wheat, bananas, coconuts, coffee, cocoa, citrus fruits, pepper and pumpkin and livestock commodies from the country's various cattle ranches including beef, pork, poultry, dairy products and fish, notably shrimp. In some areas peanuts are also an important crop. Many of these products including rice are of extreme importance to national food security within the country. Small amounts of vegetables, vegetable oil and tobacco are also produced. During the late 1980s, some farmers succeeded in diversifying into specialty products such as heart-of-palm and asparagus for export to Europe