The Decline of Agriculture and Projection of the Number of Farm Units in the United States Virgin Islands

The collapse of the sugar industry in the Virgin Islands in 1966 ushered in a period of decline in agriculture which has persisted till the present. Despite the government's efforts to increase production, the agrarian domain has been under relentless siege by competing industrial, commercial and social interests. The paper is presented in three sections. The first gives, and discusses, basic quantitative parameters of the decline in agriculture over the last 20 years. The second makes use of a stochastic model absorbing Markov chains —to project the decline in the distribution and the total number of farm units over the next 20 years. The third section details those causative factors that may explain the decreasing performance in agriculture. These latter include the impact of the abandonment of sugar production, the development of tourism, the increase in industrial and commercial activities, competition from imported foodstuffs, the policies of government, the unavailability of land, the lack of trained personnel, the shortage of labor, inadequate supplies of water, and insufficient marketing facilities. The paper concludes with a call for a conscious policy commitment by the government.

Issue Date:
Oct 21 1984
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
Record Identifier:
Total Pages:

 Record created 2017-08-09, last modified 2018-01-23

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