Agriculture is an important contributor to Jamaica's economy. The latest official statistics puts this figure as 6.9% percent of GDP in 2014. However, agriculture’s contribution to employment is much more significant at approximately 25%. Sugar remains the nation's dominant agricultural export, but Jamaica also exports bananas, coffee, spices, pimentos, cocoa, citrus, and coconuts. All agricultural production is regularly affected by the region's tumultuous weather, which includes seasonal hurricanes and occasional drought.
Jamaica’s post-harvest losses are extremely high and have been estimated as high as 40% for green-leafed vegetables. Based on Jamaica’s recent experiences with diseases and pests such as the beet army worm, citrus greening and coffee berry borer, the Ministry of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security recognises the importance of early warning systems and forecasts, which are critical to pest management initiatives.
Knowledge Bank page for Jamaica