- Most farms currently operate under the traditional rather than sustainable farming model (95% vs. 5% in Saint Kitts & Nevis, 75% vs. 25% in Antigua & Barbuda, and 100% vs. 0% in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines).
- Investment in technology is required to enhance sustainability, increase productivity and ultimately boost profits.
- Soil varies in each country. Antigua & Barbuda and Barbados have sandy loam soil which is rich in nutrients. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has volcanic soil, while Jamaica has mixed soil.
- Production in the region is dominated by the Dominican Republic (46%) and Jamaica (40%).
- Countries such as Jamaica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have immediate plans to increase production, as demand in the EU increases.
Sweet potato production in the CARIFORUM countries
Data 2014 - FAO Stat
|Antigua and Barbuda||272|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||139|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||3120|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1909|
Sweet potato production growth for the region
Depending on climate conditions, farmers can produce two crop cycles per year. In the tropics, including the CARIFORUM region, sweet potatoes can be grown perennially, while in temperate regions it is only grown as an annual crop. This creates an opportunity for specific CARIFORUM countries to trade competitively with their traditional trading partners for most of the year.
Yield per acre of sweet potato for selected countries
Yields vary considerably between countries as well as farmers in each country. The data suggests that Antigua and Barbuda is achieving yields two to four times of those of the other countries listed. Antigua and Barbuda is a coral island state, like Barbados, and the soil consists of sandy loams, which are high in nutrients and offer good drainage. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has heavier soils of volcanic origin. Jamaica, a much bigger island, has a wide profile of soils.