Jamaica Agriculture and Fishing Overview

Jamaica Facts

Jamaica Jamaica is known as the cradle of reggae music and rastafarian religion, among others.
Capital: Kingston
Official language: English

Currency: Jamaican dollar

Passport and visa: A Finnish citizen needs a passport or identity card as a travel document. A visa is not required for tourist trips of less than 90 days.

Time difference to Finland: -7 hours, summer time not used .


Jamaica’s climate is different across the island. On the windward side there is a climate of tropical highlands, while on the sheltered side it is drier. Warm trade winds bring rain from the east and northeast all year round. The temperature varies between 19 ° C and 32 ° C during the year. The warmest months are July and August, the coolest are February. The wettest is in spring in May-June and in autumn in October-November. The hurricane season officially lasts from June to November, with most hurricanes meeting in August or September with no commitment.

Agriculture and fishing

The agricultural sector that dominated the economy at independence now accounts for a small part of the economy. Nevertheless, the industry is still important for employment, about every six Jamaicans work in agriculture, fishing or forestry.

  • CountryAAH: Comprehensive import regulations of Jamaica. Covers import prohibitions and special documentation requirements for a list of prohibited items.

Sugar, which is used, among other things, for the production of rum, is still the most important export commodity in agriculture, although production has been declining gradually over a long period of years. An attempt to privatize parts of the state sugar industry in the 1990s failed, the state being forced to take back control after five years. The government made another attempt and sold its last five sugar factories in 2009-2010, three of which to a Chinese company. But the business continued to make a loss and in 2016 the government agreed to regain control of two sugar factories for a limited period.

Today, the sugar industry is not competitive, with production costs far exceeding other exporters. A favorable agreement with the EU expired in 2009. The outlook is particularly uncertain since the EU abolished its sugar quotas in 2017 and thereby released its own production. For Jamaica defense and foreign policy, please check themotorcyclers.

Another traditional export product is bananas. However, cultivation has declined significantly since the late 1990s as EU countries reduced the trade benefits of the former colonies (see Economic overview). Several natural disasters have hit the sector. After Hurricane Gustav’s progress in 2008, which devastated four-fifths of the banana crops, exports ceased completely. However, investments have been made in new crops and after six years exports resumed.

Other export crops are coffee, tea, cocoa, pepper and citrus fruits. For domestic use, for example, beans, bananas, yams, corn, sweet potatoes and cassava are grown. The authorities are encouraging the cultivation of vegetables, fruits and rice to reduce imports and diversify exports. At the same time, import duties have decreased, which has led to a large influx of foreign foods that have out-competed local producers.

The weather is a risk factor for agriculture with recurring droughts, hurricanes and floods.

After decades of over-exploitation of the forest, Jamaica has started to replant trees on a large scale with foreign aid. Almost one third of the country’s area consists of forest. One problem is still that trees are cut down and burned to make charcoal, both for private and commercial use.

The fishing industry is drawn with problems after previous overfishing.


Agriculture’s share of GDP

6.7 percent (2018)

Percentage of land used for agriculture

41.0 percent (2016)

  • Abbreviationfinder.org: Offers how the 3-letter acronym of JAM stands for the state of Jamaica in geography.

Jamaica Agriculture and Fishing