Challenges to the Development of Agro-processing Enterprises in Antigua and Barbuda

The economy of Antigua and Barbuda, a small island developing state, has suffered a number of setbacks in the past four years. The global economic downturn, the collapse of the company that was the second largest employer and the crash of two insurance companies, have led to a scarcity of jobs. This was also compounded by a reduction in visitor arrivals, in a country dependent on tourism. As a result, self-employment has expanded to earn a livelihood. The agricultural sector seems to provide more opportunities for self-employment and the Ministry of Agriculture has received increased applications for farm lands during this period. The increased applications, could possibly lead to more land being farmed, and have the potential for increased crop production. This increased production, presents an opportunity for value addition to increased income earned from the sector. This opportunity is to be encouraged, as providing food through the full utilisation of the value chain can lead to enhanced food security. However, to properly develop this primary link in the value chain, there are a few challenges that must be overcome. These challenges include, but are not limited to: raw material availability and consistency of supply, high cost of production, limited support from government and non-government agencies, and low volume of production, resulting in limited export opportunities. This paper looks at the challenges that need to be overcome so that agro-processing agri-businesses can make meaningful contributions to the value chain. The role of women, in agro-processing and their contribution to their households will also be examined; as well as, the definition of agro-processing/agoindustry and its role in the economy.

Patterson-Andrews, Hazel
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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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978-976-634-013-1 (Other)
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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