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Country profile: Grenada
languages: English (official),
Prime Minister: Tillman Thomas
Numerous spices, fruits, and vegetables are
grown in Grenada. The principal crops for export
are nutmeg and mace, bananas, cocoa beans, and
other fresh fruits and vegetables. Production in
1999 included bananas, 4,000 tons; cocoa, 1,000
tons; and avocados, 2,000 tons. Banana
production decreased in the 1980s due to the
appearance of Moko disease. There are small
scattered plots of cotton, cloves, limes,
nutmeg, cinnamon, and coffee. Both cotton and
lime oil are produced on Carriacou. Food crops
consist of yams, sweet potatoes, corn, peas, and
beans. Grenada is especially known for its
nutmeg production, earning it the nickname
"Spice Island." Prices for nutmeg, however, have
been rather low in recent years due to a soft
market and the collapse of the Grenada/Indonesia
cartel in 1990. Late in 1991, Grenada and
Indonesia (the world's largest nutmeg producer)
signed a new cartel agreement which aims to
constrict production, thereby driving up world
prices for the spice. In 2001, exports of
agricultural products amounted to US $20.8
Grenada made the world headlines in 1983 when a split in the governing left-wing party led to the overthrow and execution of the country's charismatic leader, Maurice Bishop, and provided the pretext for a US invasion of the islands.
Set against the background of Grenada's hitherto peaceful post-independence history, the event highlighted the country's contradictory character.
From one angle, Grenada has an "exotic" flavour which appeals especially to Westerners. Known as the "Spice Island", it is the world's second-largest producer of nutmeg and is a significant producer of mace, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
Grenada National Stadium was rebuilt after Hurricane Ivan
It also boasts beautiful scenery, with picturesque and fertile valleys, rainforests, fast-flowing streams, hot springs, mountain lakes, a tropical climate and excellent beaches.
Although Grenada has one of the fastest-growing economies in the Caribbean, poverty is widespread. Growth in investment and tourism, and a construction boom, have helped to reduce unemployment.
The country was dealt a serious blow in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan swept through killing dozens of people, damaging 90% of the island's buildings and devastating the nutmeg crop.
Tourism has generated its own problems, in the form of threats to the rainforest and beach erosion caused by resort projects.