Grenada Independence and Economy
For a small island, there is lots to learn about Grenada. Grenada has been an independent nation since the island gained independence from its mother country, Britain or England, in 1974. Independence has allowed the island to blossom into a nation that manages its own financial and economic affairs, and maintain a political system based on a Westminster style of government.
When did Grenada become independent and what does it mean?
Grenada became an independent nation on February 07, 1974. The first Prime Minister of Grenada was Sir Eric Matthew Gairy. The first step in Grenada's road to independence was the achievement of Associated Nationhood in 1967. Every year, since 1974, Independence Day is a public holiday and celebration in which Grenadians on island, and those living overseas mark the achievement of Independence. Independent means that Grenada governs itself - making social, economic and political decisions on its own. Britain is represented through the Head of State of the island which is the Governor General. The first Governor General, post -independence, was Sir Paul Scoon. There are several symbols that show our independence such as the National Flag, National Anthem and Pledge, National Coat of Arms and currency used for financial transactions.
Can you tell me more about the National Flag?
The National flag of Grenada is a key symbol of independence. The colours of the flag are red, green and yellow (gold). Each colour has a defined meaning that shares light on Grenada. Red symbols the warmth and friendliness of Grenadian people. Green symbols the lush vegetation that is part of the fauna of the island. Yellow symbols the sunlight that shines throughout the year. There are seven stars on the flag. Each star represents the seven parishes of Grenada including Carriacou and Petite Martinique. The nutmeg, which is the premier spice of the island, is found on the left corner of the flag. The National Flag can be found flown on important buildings such as the Parliament Building in Mt. Wheldale, and at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA). To learn more about the flag, check out our course on Grenada independence.
Why is Grenada called Spice Island?
Grenada is called Spice Island, and rightfully so. Grenada is rich of spices. The nutmeg is one of the spices found on the island. In fact, the nutmeg consist of two spices - nutmeg and mace. The nutmeg is the brown, hard shell spice. The mace is the web-like red lace that cover the nutmeg. When picked, a farmer harvests both the nutmeg and mace for sale. Farmers can sell nutmeg and mace to the Grenada Nutmeg Association, who in turn, exports the product to Europe or the United States. Nutmeg and Mace are also used to make byproducts such as nutmeg jams, jellies, syrups, marmalades, and are popular ingredients in baking and baked dishes. Nutmeg is also called Grenada's black gold. Reference to black gold links to the economic value of the spice on the island's economy. Besides nutmeg and mace, there are other spices that are grown and found on island. These spices include: cinnamon, bayleaf, star anise, pimento, ginger, and turmeric. Spices have medicinal value as well, and can be applied to help with certain medical conditions. To learn more about spices in Grenada, check out our course on Grenada spices.
Is agriculture the main industry?
Agriculture is one of the two main industries on island. Agriculture industry was started since the days of slavery, and emerged out of the post-emancipation era, in 1838. In the early days, the main crop grown was sugarcane. There were many sugarcane plantations across the island, and labourers were tasked with growing and harvesting loads of sugarcane. There was a period with a decline in profits from sugarcane, and peasants or small farmers turned to growing cocoa. Today, there still exists several cocoa plantations across the island. The by product of chocolate is also being produced. Learn more in our course on Cocoa.
In addition to cocoa, there is also bananas grown and exported. Farmer grow short cash crops such as lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, pumpkins, watermelons, along with fruits such as soursop, citrus, mangoes and ground provisions such as sweet potatoes, yam, dasheen and cassava.
To learn more, check out our course on Fruits and vegetables.
Tourism is the second main industry. Tourists visit Grenada throughout the year, but in large numbers during the winter season in their home countries in the UK, Canada or the USA. Tourist come and stay in hotels and guest houses, and partake in cultural and recreational activities. The typical stay period is for 1 week or seven (7) days on island. There is lots to do in Grenada, places to visit and sites to see. To Learn more, check out our course on Forts, Towns and Parishes.
There is lots to learn about Grenada. We hope this blog post was able to provide learning on Grenada's independence and economy. Continue reading blogs from us to learn more about Grenada.