Grenada, the southern most of the Windward Islands, is known as the Spice Island of the Caribbean. It covers an area of 344 km² (133 mi²). The state of Grenada consists of three main islands: Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique. The highest peak is Mount St Catherine, which rises to 840 m (2,756 ft) above sea level. The average annual rainfall is 1524 mm (60 in). The economy of Grenada is dependent on agriculture and tourism, and while tourism is the main source of foreign exchange, historically, the island has been an agricultural society. In 2009 the agricultural sector accounted for 5.4% of GDP as the island still continues to recover from the devastation by hurricanes which severely damaged the agricultural sector in 2004 and 2005. The performance of the sector is expected to improve by 2010. Agricultural export products are nutmeg, mace, cocoa, bananas, other fruits, vegetables and fish, while agro-processing is becoming more important. Grenada is the second largest producer of nutmeg in the world and remains a significant producer of mace, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Agriculture also supports 24% of the country’s employment, although there has also been strong performance in construction, manufacturing, tourism and off-shore sectors.
CARDI Grenada Overview
CARDI Grenada is the Institute’s main centre for fruit tree crop research and development activities and germplasm conservation and distribution. Fruit tree gene bank of 25 accessions of 15 species are maintained for exploitation. These include sapodilla Manilkara achras (Mill.) Fosberg), golden apple (Spondias cytherea L.), West Indian cherry (Malpighia glabra L.), mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco) figs (Ficus carica L.) and cashew nut (Anacardium ocidentaleL.). The dwarfing technology developed for golden apple is one of the major achievements of the Unit. Arrangements are being made to establish on-farm demonstration plot for the transfer of technology. Other research and development areas of the Grenada Unit include activities on papaya and hot peppers. The Unit also provides vegetable nursery services which includes training, technical advice and planting materials.