Antigua’s food import bill is $18 million yearly


Antigua and Barbuda is spending more than $18 million annually to import produce, something Prime Minister Gaston Browne says needs to change.

“What the government is seeking to do now is to increase production and to displace most of those imports,” Browne said. “I don’t see for example why we should be importing as much as $2 million annually in onions when our conditions are such that we can grow some of the best onions anywhere in the world.

“We need coconut orchards, we need avocado orchards. We import a lot of avocados, nearly $90,000 a year in avocados. Why can’t we plant some of those and meet our domestic demands? Even sweet peppers, we should not be importing sweet peppers especially the green ones when we can grow them here.”

The government is encouraging more people to get involved in farming.

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  1. Perhaps you should plant all of those things mentioned on your vegetable farm up East.You would have access to things those farmers in Antigua are lacking.Water and Money are two vital ingredients in farming.

  2. Our entire agricultural sector needs an overhaul…… We are definitely spending too much importing chicken, etc …… It is full time that we become self sufficient…. Our conditions may not be favorable to allow high quantity of agricultural products to be exported but atleast, the conditions should allow enough to supply the local market… At the same time we can use the opportunity to get away from processed & chemical infected products that are imported.

  3. It is often impossible to buy local in a big supermarket…they only take local if they can squeeze the buying price from local farmers to cheaper than imported alternatives…i personally would rather pay a bit more for local so i shop for veg elsewhere. It would show commitment to supporting food sustainability if the big supermarkets were more on board. Labeling the origin of the produce would also help consumers support the nation’s farmers. This might require legislation requiring the supermarkets to buy local over imports.

  4. We are already self sufficient but we do not know it simply because the politicians say we are not.

    All the food we need is right here. We must learn not to eat or expect the same foods all year round problem solved.

    If we eat according to whats available we would have a healthier society. Mangoes have a season if you want to eat mangoes out of season prepare to eat some carcinogen with it.

    We are already self sufficient stop accepting the intentional false education.

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