• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Foreword
 Summary and conclusions
 Main
 Potentially profitable items for...
 Appendix






Group Title: Virgin Islands of the United States. Agricultural Experiment Station. Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station report
Title: Fruits and vegetables
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00096180/00001
 Material Information
Title: Fruits and vegetables production and consumption potentials and marketing problems in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Series Title: Report - University of the Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station ; 2
Physical Description: v, 30 p. : ; 26 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Mullins, Troy
Bohall, Robert W ( Robert Wallace ), 1935-
United States -- Dept. of Agriculture. -- Commodity Economics Division
Publisher: Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: St. Croix
Publication Date: 1974
Copyright Date: 1974
 Subjects
Subject: Fruit -- Economic aspects -- Virgin Islands of the United States   ( lcsh )
Vegetables -- Economic aspects -- Virgin Islands of the United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States Virgin Islands
 Notes
General Note: College of the Virgin Islands in cooperation with Commodity Economics Division, Economic Research Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
Statement of Responsibility: Troy Mullins and Robert Bohall.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00096180
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 02408669

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page i
    Table of Contents
        Page ii
    Foreword
        Page iii
    Summary and conclusions
        Page iv
        Page v
    Main
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Potentially profitable items for St. Croix producers
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Appendix
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
Full Text





























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Virgin Islands
Agricultural Experiment Station
Report No. 2
June 1974












FRUITS and VEGETABLES
Production and Consumption Potentials and Marketing Problems
in the U.S. Virgin Islands






















College of the Virgin Islands
in Cooperation with
Commodity Economics Division
Economic Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture


Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station
Fenton B. Sands, Director
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands








CONTENTS


Page


F orew ord .............. . ....... .............
Summary and Conclusions ............................. ...
Current Status of Fruit and Vegetable Production and Requirements .....
Major Constraints to Fruit and Vegetable Production ............. .
Enterprise Budgets for Selected Crops ..............................
Income Estimates for a Fruit and Vegetable Farm .. ...............
Problems of Labor Distribution ... ...............................
Demand for Fruits and Vegetables in the Virgin Islands ..............
Potentially Profitable Items for St. Croix Producers ..................
M marketing Channels and Practices ...................................
Attitudes of Local Finns Toward Virgin Islands Produce ................
Requirements to Meet Domestic Consumption .........................
A p p en d ix . .... .... ......................... ....................


COVER PHOTO: Some of the fruits and vegetables raised on St. Croix. The vegetables include pump-
kin, cabbage, carrots, onions, tomatoes, okra, turnips, bell peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, sweet corn and
sweet potatoes. Fruits include bananas, pineapples, mangoes, coconuts, avocados, papayas, melons, or-
anges and grapefruit.















FOREWORD

This report, "Fruits and Vegetables: Production and Consumption Potentials and Marketing
Problems in the U.S. Virgin Islands," is one of a series of feasibility studies sponsored by the
newly created Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station, College of the Virgin Islands. These
investigations were financed totally with Federal funds made available to the Station under the
provisions of the Hatch Act, Amended.
Preparation of this report was accomplished through a cooperative agreement with the Com-
modity Economics Division, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Troy
Mullins and Dr. Robert W. Bohall, agricultural economists of the Economic Research Service,
conducted the study and wrote the manuscript for this report.
The objective of these studies was to try to determine the agricultural enterprises, both
plant and animal, that have economic potential on the Virgin Islands. It is my belief that the
agricultural industry must be economically sound in order to be viable.
On the Virgin Islands, agriculture has been on the decline since the early part of the 1960's.
The average number of farms, farmers, and production of agricultural commodities (with the ex-
ception of fluid milk) have all declined at a consistent rate. Among the questions which are upper-
most in the minds of many people are: What factors have been responsible for these declines? Can
these downward trends be stopped and perhaps reversed? What is the future of the agricultural
industry, particularly on St. Croix where 85 percent of the farmland is located? This report
on fruit and vegetable production, along with the others, sheds some light on these questions.
These feasibility reports have also revealed the areas where lack of training and education on
the part of the farmers has adversely affected production. These subjects have now become part of
the new program of the V.I. Extension Service. At the same time, the lack of information about
the response of crops and livestock in this environment, which also limits production, has been
recognized. These gaps in our knowledge have become the basis for the planned research program
of the V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station. Thus, these studies have given more direction to the
efforts of the Extension and research programs of this land-grant institution. More importantly,
the results of these studies are expected to be beneficial to full- and part-time farmers, as well as
to potential investors.
This series of reports rests squarely on the belief that a revival of agriculture would contribute
substantially to the general welfare through increased output of goods and services and by pro-
viding additional employment. Moreover, expanded production and marketing of farm products
could provide greater, and in some cases cheaper, sources of nutritious foods for consumers.
A more fully developed agriculture would complement the major industry-tourism-in two
ways. First, visitors would be pleased to be served local products, especially tropical fruits and
vegetables, by hotels and restaurants where such products are often not now available. Second-
and perhaps more important-an expanded agriculture would tend to preserve the environment of
exotic tropical islands. Most visitors and some permanent and semi-permanent residents come to
the Virgin Islands to seek this environment. If this attraction is destroyed, the basis of the major
industry of the Islands will be undermined.
The Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station gratefully acknowledges the cooperative
assistance and contributions from many St. Croix farmers; Rudolph Shulterbrandt, Commissioner,
V.I. Department of Agriculture, and his staff; and Bennett S. White, Jr., project consultant and
former USDA agricultural economist, now retired.

Fenton B. Sands, Director
March 1974








SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS


urop rarmmng, incmuing the production of fruits
and vegetables, has been declining for a number
of years on St. Croix. At present, growing fruits
and vegetables is a marginal enterprise, and the
feasibility of developing a profitable industry is
hampered with numerous problems, including un-
certain climate, water shortages and deficiencies in
management, labor and technology. Developing
practical irrigation systems would reduce some of
the uncertainties, but the economic feasibility of
irrigation remains undetermined.
On the other hand, this study clearly shows that
there are some basically favorable factors. The fact
that Virgin Islands producers raise only a small
portion of total local consumption means that a
market exists if outside competition can be met.
This potential market will be enlarged by pros-
pective increases in population and higher real
incomes of consumers. The attitude of buyers
toward local produce is generally good, and mar-;
keting facilities are adequate to handle consider-
ably greater quantities without additional invest-
ment by the industry. It is evident that improve-
ment in management and technology could reduce
costs and increase grower returns. Enterprise bud-
gets which allow for some, but not all, opportuni-
ties for greater efficiency show an ability to com-
pete effectively with other areas of supply for
several crops.
There is a continuing need for substantial pro-
duction of vegetables and fruits to supplement in-
comes in rural areas and to improve the diets of
most Cruzan families. A strong effort to improve
domestic food production and marketing is jus-
tified, even at significant expenditure of public
funds. Possible economic recessions of varying dura-
tions are very real, and in such periods, food grow-
ing could provide a livelihood for many families.
Even in periods of drought, truck gardeners often
realize $40 or more per week from sales through
produce stands. In addition, larger quantities and
a better quality of local produce would be attrac-
tive to tourists. Currently, visitors who expect to
find high quality vegetables such as tomatoes, let-
tuce and okra and tropical fruits such as mangoes,
papayas and pineapples are frequently disap-
pointed.


The level of economic activity prevailing at a
given time influences the need for and the interest
of rural families in growing food crops. Favor-
able tourist trade and significant construction
programs in recent years have maintained a fair
level of employment, and native Cruzans have had
less need to rely on local production for income.
However, there is an abiding interest in home gar-
dens and a program to assist the dedicated small
gardeners, who market through local stands, pos-
sibly would attract a reasonable number of partic-
ipants. The major kind of help these growers need
is information on variety selection, fertilization
rates, insect and disease control, and standardiza-
tion of products offered for sale.
Under a somewhat less vigorous economy, the
economic environment might well be more favor-
able for starting profitable food production on a
much larger scale. On the part of management,
there would be more need for developing sources
of income from farming. Labor supply possibly
would be more ample and the attitude toward
farming improved. Also, seeing the need for devel-
oping employment in agriculture, and for lower
food prices to consumers, lending agencies pos-
sibly would extend assistance. Finally, retired or
seasonal residents of St. Croix likely would rely
more on locally grown produce, thus giving sup-
port to such a program. Although truck farming
and the marketing of these products would not
represent major sources of income and employ-
ment, the contribution would help to diversify and
balance the economy.
In the meantime, possibilities for more com-
mercialized units should not be neglected. An op-
eration of 12 to 18 acres of vegetable crops tha;
will permit orderly scheduling of planting, grow-
ing and harvesting, and balanced with fruits which
need attention mainly in the off-season for vege-
tables would offer some promise. Depending on the
amount of power equipment that could be utilized
effectively, two or three full time laborers in addi-
tion to the operator would be needed. More time
would have to be given to standardization, quality
control, and supplying available markets on regular
schedules.
The marketing system in the Virgin Islands is














reasonably sophisticated and operates much like
that serving comparable population centers on the
U.S. mainland. Produce imported from the main-
land or from Caribbean areas is distributed by two
regional chain stores, a few intermediate indepen-
dent supermarkets, five or six purveyors servic-
ing hotels and restaurants, and three merchant
wholesalers which serve some 50 to 60 neighbor-
hood groceries. The marketing facilities for locally
grown fruits and vegetables are more than ade-
quate for the level of output.
Total demand for fruits and vegetables will
continue to expand. On a year-round equivalent,
counting temporary visitors, the total population
of the Virgin Islands in 1980 is expected to be
about 136,000-an increase of 41 percent over
1973. If the Virgin Islands economy maintains
its recent growth rate, the real incomes of families,
including the low income segment of the popula-
tion, could double by 1980 and add some 10 per-
cent to the total demand for fresh fruits and
vegetables.
The profit potential for St. Croix growers ap-
pears best for mangos, tomatoes, papayas and okra
and possibly pineapples and onions. For most
items, the volume needed for the Virgin Islands
would not justify investment in packingsheds and
specialized equipment necessary to compete with
produce coming from the U.S. mainland. How-
ever, a lower-priced product could be offered to
the local Cruzan trade with less marketing serv-
ices. If St. Croix growers are going to market their
product in St. Thomas, transportation would raise
the consumer cost slightly.
Current marketing facilities on St. Croix are
capable of handling up to 3 million pounds of pro-
duce annually, or roughly the production from 200
acres of fruits and vegetables. This is the acreage
that might be needed if 8 or 9 commodities show-
ing promise can be commercially produced for
local consumption. With increased volume, some
of the assembling, hand sizing and grading func-
tions might have to be shifted back to the producer.
But the storage, selling and distribution could con-
tinue to be handled by the Virgin Islands Depart-
ment of Agriculture or through a cooperative using
the same facilities.
The attitude of commercial buyers in the Virgin
Islands toward local produce is generally favorable,


but problems of dependable supplies and minimum
grading and sizing of the produce will have to be
overcome. In particular, a sufficient supply of
quality produce for a long enough period to ad-
just procurement procedures is a prerequisite to a
shift to local produce. Improvement of market in-
formation such as import volumes, values, and cur-
rent prices made available to all segments of the
industry through the Virgin Islands Department
of Commerce would facilitate the development
process.
Total year-round domestic requirements for nine
selected fruits and vegetables could be produced
on about 230 acres, assuming normal yield levels.
Estimated demand increases by 1980 would adjust
the land requirements upward to about 350 acres.
Requirements for St. Croix only convert to slightly
less than half these acreages. Furthermore, if only
the domestic requirements during the months of
favorable climate were met (that is, without irri-
gation which is essential to year-round production)
the land required would be reduced to only about
130 acres for the total Virgin Islands and 60 acres
for St. Croix alone.
Developing a viable fruit and vegetable industry
in the Virgin Islands is a challenge to well-inte-
grated extension programs. If past trends are to be
reversed, all opportunities to reduce costs and im-
prove quality in both production and marketing
for the most promising products must be vigorously
exploited. Research undertaken earlier on the
island and research results from other sources
where conditions are similar could contribute to
solving problems of soil, climate, crop varieties and
cultural practices. Socioeconomic research must
deal with the extremely important problem of
management. Extension must bear principal re-
sponsibility for arousing the interest bf current
and potential new growers and for demonstrating
that new approaches will be profitable. Finally, the
task of revitalizing the fruit and vegetable indus-
try cannot be separated from the problems of agri-
culture as a whole. All segments compete to some
extent for the same resources and all are affected
by the poor public image of farming as a means of
livelihood. This latter needs to be further identi-
fied, causative factors quantified insofar as pos-
sible, and corrective educational programs need
to be undertaken.













FRUITS and VEGETABLES
and Consumption Potentials and Marketing Problems
in the U.S. Virgin Islands

by

TROY MULLINS AND ROBERT W. BOHALL


CURRENT STATUS OF FRUIT AND
VEGETABLE PRODUCTION
AND REQUIREMENTS
Crop farming on St. Croix has been declining
for a number of years and currently is practically
at a standstill. The elimination of sugar cane as
the major cash enterprise and closing of the sugar
mill in 1966 apparently did little toward channel-
ing attention in the direction of truck farming.
The U.S. Census of Agriculture reports that
farmers selling vegetables decreased from 178 in
1950 to 29 in 1970, and planting of vegetables
from 269 to 66 acres. For tomatoes which ranked
first in sales ($7,405 in 1969) the farms reporting
declined from 129 in 1950 to 12 in 1969; and pep-
pers ($6,290) from 95 farms in 1950 to 14. Other
items ranking in values in 1969 were cucumbers
$3,800, lettuce $3,080, onions $3.215, okra $2,585,
and carrots $2,070.
Fruits were grown on 130 farms in 1969 and
accounted for 180 acres of land, or 1.4 acres per
farm. Only 60 growers had as much as Y acre in
all fruits. Fruits that can be grown in home gardens
continue to be produced but the numbers of
plantings have declined. In 1969 (as compared
with 1949 data) farms reporting mangoes declined
from 195 to 80, bananas from 186 to 75, and avo-
cadoes from 124 to 52 farms. Very small quantities
of citrus fruits, papayas, plantains, and pineapples
are being harvested.
The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture
currently is assisting interested vegetable growers in
acquiring seeds of approved varieties, giving advice
in planting, cultivating, disease-insect control, and
in sorting, grading, and delivery to local markets.
During the 1972-73 season, advice and counseling
was given to many visitors to the Department, and
14 growers took advantage of services of the mar-


keting center which generally included picking up
the produce at the field, sorting (and grading),
and delivery to local buyers. A charge of five per-
cent of the gross returns is made for this service.
The marked decline in attention given to truck
farming occurred along with, and in large measure
as a result of, the marked increase in population,
growth in tourism, and general economic growth
in the past decade. Total Virgin Islands resident
population doubled between 1960 and 1970, and
numbers of tourists increased some fivefold. In ad-
dition, per capital incomes rose substantially, and
in 1970 approximately a third of the resident fam-
ilies were receiving annual incomes of $10,000 or
more. In this setting, and as of June 1973, farming
in general, and especially crop enterprises, had
possibly reached the lowest level in the history of
the U.S. Virgin Islands.

MAJOR CONSTRAINTS TO FRUIT
AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTION
Production of food crops on St. Croix depends
on many factors. One is impressed first by the
climate and how the total vegetative growth varies
by seasons, but also by economic, sociological, and
institutional restraints which are equally limiting.
As is true elsewhere, climatic factors, specific-
ally rainfall, winds, and temperatures, very def-
initely dictate what can be accomplished each
season. On St. Croix the sequence or pattern of
weather is often only generally similar from one
year to the next. Marked variations in amounts of
rainfall in every month of the year, as well as be-
tween nearby locations at a given time, might be
said to be the only dependable aspect of the rain-
fall pattern. Variation in rainfall each month is
such that one standard deviation each month is
equal to 51 to 81 percent of the mean (Table 1).


Production








A check of rainfall by weeks shows that in Sep-
tember and November, the more favorable season,
less than one inch of rain fell per week for more
than half of the time during a recent 15-year
period.
Average monthly rainfall ranges from 4.26 to
6.08 inches during August through November, and
then generally declines to a low of 1.71 inches in
March. In late August and September, conditions
generally are favorable for planting and rainfall
and temperatures in the October-January period
often are suitable for rapid development. How-
ever, periods of 7 to 14 days without rain, coupled
with high evaporation rates, are not unusual, mak-
ing it necessary to plant a second time.
Dry weather is the rule in February and March
(1.8 and 1.7 inches of mean rainfall respectively)
and frequently extends through May. These are
important months for maturing some crops, espe-
cially tropical fruits, and yields are often very
much reduced. One farmer in the West end of
St. Croix indicated that his mango orchard gen-
erally suffers from drought in these months once
every three years. Rainfall records at the Frederik-
sted Station show that for 5 of the last 12 years
(1959-72) less than one inch of rainfall fell in
February, March, and May.
Evaporation strongly influences the level of
moisture in the soil at a given time. In the warm
months it takes a heavy toll, especially from un-
protected soil surfaces. Together with the moisture
retention capacity, which seems to be relatively
high for most of the soil types, the evapotranspira-


tion rate may become rather critical. At a number
of locations, evaporation loss is approximately
equal to the precipitation received on an annual
basis. However, on a monthly basis it often ex-
ceeds the rainfall. This is particularly true in the
January-April period, which corresponds with the
maturing stage for a number of vegetable crops.
It is generally recognized that a sustained vege-
table production program is not possible without
supplemental irrigation. The serious shortage of
water on St. Croix for domestic, municipal, and
industrial uses, all of which are of high priority,
places unusual limits on availability and cost of
water for vegetable production. However, irriga-
tion technicians have made limited investigation of
the problem and concluded that with advanced
technology recently developed in distributing
water, an economically feasible operation is pos-
sible. It would necessitate, however, an island
with water conservation-and-use program, includ-
ing (1) extension of catchment areas and reten-
tion. of water in well-located reservoirs; (2) re-
cycling water where practical as a means of serving
multiple purposes; (3) tapping any additional
underground sources; and (4) installing devices
or special measures which would reduce evapora-
tion.1


'Additional details on feasible irrigation systems and
vegetable-fruit crops best suited to St. Croix soils and
climate are available in unpublished reports of H. H.
Bryan and S. E. Malo, Ag. Research and Education
Center, University of Florida, Homestead, Florida.


Table. 1.-Monthly rainfall data for St. Croix, 1852-1970

*, One std.deviation
Average Highest rainfall Lowest rainfall from mean
Month Inches Inches Year Inches Year Inches % of mean


Jan.
Feb.
Mar.
Apr.
May
June
July
Aug.
Sept.
Oct.
Nov.
Dec.


2.52.
1.84
1.71
2.67
4.20
3.52
3.52
4.26
5.81
6.08
5.26
3.51


8.91
9.48
7.34
16.39
15.48
10.80
11.78
19.79
16.61
18.62
13.50
11.24


1937
1950
1949
1919
1969
1889
1901
1924
1906
1854
1915
1960


1852
1902
1952
1920
1923
1904
1873
1911
1912
1960
1945
1958













The Soil Conservation Service has planned
and supervised construction of about 212 reser-
voirs over the past 30 years, almost entirely on
livestock farms." No information could be obtained
as to whether any of these reservoirs are used for
irrigating food crops.
Numerous efforts have been made to tap under-
ground sources of water with low amounts of
minerals (non-toxic to food crops) but success has
been very limited. One grower made five attempts
at an average cost of $1,000 and got only one well
with a capacity of 10 gallons per minute, which is
scarcely enough to water a kitchen garden.
Beyond the physical factors just discussed, there
are a number of complex economic, social and
institutional factors that have evolved over many
decades.
One of these problems is the secondary status of
agriculture in the whole St. Croix economy. Rural
youth of St. Croix, on their own and often with
considerable assistance from their parents, have
sought nonfarm careers and, it is said, feel some
stigma attached to working in agriculture. Except
in cattle ranching and dairying, most rural resi-
dents do farming or truck growing only after hours
from their regular jobs, or during periods when
other employment is not available. The uncertain-
ties attached to crop farming, under current man-
agement practices, are such that no lending
agencies (including The Farmers Home Adminis-
tration) will make loans to finance production.
More specifically, the number one problem in
starting a food production program is the scarcity
of management experience. Limited contacts indi-
cate that those who are crop farming either are
regularly employed (in government usually) or are
retired (natives or Continentals) and often have
taken an interest in farming largely to occupy
their time rather than as the principal means of
earning a living. The amount of capital in their
operation usually is minimal, and though they often
make a sincere effort to be efficient, their liveli-
hood is not at stake. To cope with all the prob-
lems will require much study and planning, as well
as aggressive and innovative management.
Among the labor-management aspects of the

SThe number of reservoirs reported are 212 on St.
Croix, 54 on St. Thomas, and 11 on St. John, with a
combined storage capacity of 500 million gallons.


situation, a common ailment or complaint among
farmers is the scarcity, poor quality and high cost
of labor. Obviously, special provisions will have
to be made to get more labor in agriculture, to
hold them long enough to develop significant skills,
and to provide opportunities for their economic
advancement.
The second aspect of the labor-management
problem is the low level of technology associated
with labor. Other than land clearing, plowing, and
power spraying (only for growers with sizeable
acreages) which is performed by the Virgin Islands
Department of Agriculture at custom rates, all
operations are done with hand tools such as hoes,
machetes, knap-sack sprays, etc. It is little wonder
that laborers would seek employment elsewhere,
and unless more mechanical aids can be used in
weeding, spraying, harvesting, and loading to re-
duce drudgery, labor costs will continue to be
high. Also mechanization is needed so that certain
jobs can be done on a timely basis. No doubt there
are small power units (12 to 18 hp.) available with
attachments for light tillage, grass cutting, power
spraying, and hauling. A farm with 12 to 15 acres
of food crops possibly could provide 400 to 500
hours of operating time for such a unit. Unless
vegetable growers can be stimulated to commit
sufficient effort and capital to effectively use the
latest technology, there is little chance for estab-
lishing a viable production program. Agricultural
agencies generally, and the Virgin Islands Depart-
ment of Agriculture in particular, could give spe-
cial emphasis to the mechanization problem. Pos.
sibly the purchase and leasing of small power units
with provisions for training in their operation and
maintenance might be an appropriate starting
point. This would be a means' bf assisting small
growers.

ENTERPRISE BUDGETS FOR
SELECTED CROPS
Enterprise budgets for selected fruits and vege-
tables were developed in June 1973, when, because
of an extended drought, truck crop production was
at a very low level. (See Tables 1 through 9 in the
Appendix.) Estimates of the amounts of labor,
materials, services, and other items required were
developed largely by staff members in the Virgin
Islands Department of Agriculture, and were based








on limited records available and experience gained
through working with farmers. Several farmers
were interviewed about cost items for crops being
grown and their major problems. Also records
maintained at the experiment station operated by
the Agricultural Research Service from 1952 to
1966 were gleaned for applicable information on
inputs, particularly yields.
In these calculations, specific operations and cost
items were treated as follows:
1. Land clearing and field preparation are per-
formed by the Virgin Islands Department of
Agriculture at a charge of $15 per hour for
bull dozing, $7.50 for plowing, disking, etc.
and $3 to $4 for power spraying.
2. Cost of containers refers to boxes or lugs used
in the fields and to haul to the Virgin Islands
Department of Agriculture market center.
These costs were amortized over the esti-
mated years of life.
3. The 5 percent charge (of gross value) for
grading and packing covers the service pro-
vided by the Virgin Islands Department of
Agriculture and includes delivering produce
to major outlets.
4. The land charge of $25 per acre is included
to reflect a return to land when priced at a
nominal value based on crop agriculture.
Obviously land in St. Croix could not be
bought at such a price (about $400 per acre).
See discussion of land values in text.
5. The estimated yields were derived after re-
viewing applicable records maintained at the
Federal experiment station, and by drawing
on the experience of staff members of Virgin
Islands Department of Agriculture who have
given attention to such crops. To reflect the
influence of frequent dry seasons, estimates
were made of yields following an approximate
average or normal rainfall season were com-
bined with estimates of yields during an
unfavorable weather or drought season and
weighted on a 2 to 1 basis. This ratio of
favorable to unfavorable years appears to
approximate the real situation over the past
12 to 15 years. However, the sequence of
occurrence is unpredictable. It is not unlikely
that two drought seasons would occur in suc-
cession, which further complicates the prob-


leni of financing seasonal production opera-
tions.
6. Wage rate assumed is $2 per hour. The cur-
rent minimum wage for farm workers is $1.45
per hour. Some operators indicated they were
paying $1.75, but others reported $2 per
hour. In view of the difficulty of getting
farm workers it was decided that a minimum
of $2 per hour should be used for projecting
costs 3 to 5 years in the future.

INCOME ESTIMATES FOR A FRUIT AND
VEGETABLE FARM
To indicate an approximate level of income that
would be feasible for a small fruit and vegetable
farm, a "whole" farm budget is presented in Table
2. Based on 15 acres of cropland, of which 13
acres would be planted each season, total gross
sales at prices prevailing during the 1972-73 sea-
son, would equal about $43,000, total costs about
$12,400, and estimated returns above costs a little
under $31,000. This is a net above the specified
costs of near $2,400 per acre of crops grown, which
is quite impressive. The 3 acres of onions grown
at a cost of $2,200 accounts for 48 percent of this
income.
These costs-income estimates reflect the unusu-
ally favorable prices prevailing in 1973. These
prices may not be sustained over time. Another
factor that might be questioned is the risk of es-
tablishing stands, having to replant, or of reduc-
tions in yield of some of the crops that may exceed
the levels assumed in the crop enterprise budgets.
Records of planting experience, yields, etc. con-
tinuing over a period of years would be required to
more accurately evaluate these income estimates.
To indicate the approximate net returns under
varying levels of prices received, and with some-
what higher wage rates for labor, calculations re-
flecting different levels of prices and wages are
shown in Table 2. If prices of the various items
sold were 20 percent lower than in the 1972-73
season, net income to the farm would be reduced
to $22,000. If substantially higher wages ($2.75
per hour) were paid to insure laborers when need-
ed, but prices were the same as in 1972-73, the
income would only be reduced to $28,500. If both
of the above situations prevailed (20 percent lower
prices plus higher wages) the net income would be














Table 2.-Estimated gross sales, production costs and returns above cost for a 15-acre veretable-fruit farm,
1972-73 season, St. Croix, V.I.

Pine-
Item Tomatoes Peppers Okra Onions apples Total


Acres (number)
Production (tons)'
Price rec'd. ($/ton)'

Gross value
Production costs'
Labor
Materials
Other
Fixed items
Total
Returns above costs
Total
Per acre
Returns (prices rec'd at
80% of current level)
Total
Per acre
Returns (labor at $2.75
per hr.)
Total
Per acre
Returns (prices at 80%
and labor at $2.75)
Total
Per acre
Returns with onions at
67% and other items at
80% of current prices
Total
Per acre
Returns with prices
reduced to level of
strongest competitor'
Total
Per acre


3
18.6
500


9,300

1,764
216
699
120
2,799

6,501
2,167


4,641
1,547


5,839
1,946


3,979
1,326


4,641
1,547



4,715
1,572


2
8.8
500


4,400

768
116
408
80
1,372

3,028
1,514


2,148
1,074


2,740
1,370


1,860
930


2,148
1,074




670
335


2
13.2
500


6,600

744
98
474
80
1,396

5,204
2,602


3,884
1,942


4,925
2,462


3,605
1,802


3,884
1,942




2,722
1,361


3
28.0
600


-------- Dollars-----......---.... ..-


16,800

1,128
141
762
120
2,151

14,649
4,883


11,289
3,763


14,226
4,742


10,866
3,622


9,049
3,016




2,889
963


3
38.0
160


6,080

1,542
2,229
282
621
4,674

1,406
467


43,180

5,946
2,800
2,625
1,021
12,392

30,788


190 22,150
33


28,558



20,310


190
63



4,598
1,533


19,912





15,594


'Two acres allowed for nursery, home garden, and to
permit flexibility in cropping program.
Per pound prices shown in Table 12.
*Per acre production and itemized costs shown in


about $20,000. If prices received for onions (ex-
ceptionally high in 1973) were reduced by 33 per-
cent, and for other items by 20 percent from the
1972-73 level (wages remaining at $2 per hour),
the estimated net return would be only slightly
under $20,000. Finally,. if prices received by St.


enterprise budget tables.
Prices per pound for
Table 15.


strongest competitor shown in


Croix producers were equal to the level of calcu-
lated prices for supplies from the strongest com-
petitor, estimated returns would fall to less than
$16,000.
The authors do not intend to imply that exactly
any one of the above possibilities would actually





prevail. Rather, the intent is to show a number of
alternative situations, all of which are within the
range of what might result from economic changes
which would not be foreseen when this study was
made.
PROBLEMS OF LABOR DISTRIBUTION
One of the obvious problems with vegetable and
fruit production, which must be concentrated
in the high rainfall-cooler temperature months
(Sept.-March) is the high labor requirements of
this period in contrast to the minimal needs in
April through August (Tables 3 and 4). The 15
acre vegetable-fruit farm, with acreages of toma-
toes, peppers, okra, onions and pineapples would
require about 2,400 hours of labor annually, or
about 300 man-days. An additional 30 days or
more likely would be required for general mainte-
nance of the premises, care for the nursery, miscel-
laneous plantings, and preparations for the next
season. Of the 300 man-days used with these crops,
about 290 days would fall in the September-
March period and the remainder during the April-
July period. If the operator could contribute the
equivalent of half time for a regular worker, the
minimum number of workers required would be
1.5 to 2.0 for the September-March period. These
projections assume an average distribution of rain-
fall during the weeks for planting, growing, and
harvesting. However, because of the marked vari-
ations in the rainfall pattern, the timing of crit-
ical operations often would peak more than is
reflected. To cope with this unpredictable demand
on labor, the farm operator might (1) vary the
acreages of the different crops grown as moisture
conditions dictate; (2) extend the usual work
days (possibly at the expense of overtime); or
(3) introduce as much labor saving technology
(power, equipment, chemicals, etc.) with the
planting, weeding, and harvesting operations as
can be effectively used.
It is likely that some over-employment would
be necessary to meet the peak loads caused by un-
predictable weather. This problem confronts
farmers,in all locations, but for a vegetable grow-
ing operation on St. Croix, it is somewhat ex-
aggerated.
DEMAND FOR FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Various factors influence the demand for any


one fruit or vegetable marketed, including those
that might be produced on St. Croix. Four of
the most important variables are population, in-
come, consumer tastes and preferences as reflected
in per-capita consumption, and the availability of
produce from other areas.
Population
According to the U.S. census of population for
1970, 62,468 persons resided in the Virgin Islands,
an increase of over 94 percent from the 1960 cen-
sus (Table 5) .3 The highest rate of increase oc-
curred on St. Croix, which more than doubled its
population between the two census years.
Although census data more recent than 1970 is
not available, the Virgin Islands 1)Department of
Health estimates a total population of 89,620 in
1973. By 1980 the Department of Health is project-
ing a 37 percent increase in the 1973 population to
122,339 of which 62,035 would be inhabitants of
St. Croix. This would indicate a substantial in-
crease in the quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables
needed in the Virgin Islands in the next 7 years.
Tourists are an important part of the economy
of the Virgin Islands, particularly in St. Thomas
but also in St. Croix. The tourist trade tends to
vary, depending upon the season of the year. A
total of 1,215,550 persons visited the Virgin Islands
in 1972, spending an estimated $109 million.
Based on data available from the Virgin Islands
Department of Commerce, from July 1, 1971 to
June 30, 1972, the average number of tourists was
estimated as follows:
1. Cruise ship passengers-average of one meal
each, 3 meals=one tourist day. St Thomas
118,004 days, St. Croix 3,545 days, and total
121,549 days.
2. Air arrivals-average of 3 tourist days each
(note the average tourist stay may be slightly
longer, but this is partly offset by the fact
that many Virgin Islands residents travel to
other areas for business and vacation) -
St. Thomas 499,783 arrivals= 1,499,349 tour-
ist days; St. Croix 243,067 arrivals= 729,201
tourist days; total Virgin Islands 742,850 ar-
rivals= 2,228,550 tourist days.

Despite the increase, officials of the Virgin Islands
Department of Commerce indicate there may haVe been
serious undercounting of residents in the 1970 census.
Estimates of the undercounting have been as high as
22,000.




















Table 3.-Estimated labor distribution for a 15-acre vegetable-fruit farm, St. Croix, V.I.


Approximate labor required by 15-day period
Crop and Stage of September October November December January February March Total
acres growth 1-14 15-30 1-14 15-31 1-4 15-30 1-14 15-31 1-14 15-31 1-14 15-28 1-15 hours


hours
Plant 45 90 135
Tomatoes Growing 16 30 63 63 55 51 10 288
3 acres Harvest 124 184 124 432
Plant 30 60 90
Peppers Growing 12 20 37 38 37 20 12 176
2 acres Harvest 12 25 26 25 12 100
Plant 25 39 64
Okra Growing 10 34 34 10 88
2 acres Harvest 45 60 60 45 210
Plant 135 135
Onion Growing 20 25 28 27 25 20 145
3 acres Harvest 255 255
Plant 87 87
Pineapple Growing (About 42 to 50 hours-May through July)' 50
3 acres Harvest 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 126
Total for 15-
day periods 75 164 67 103 259 149 166 244 260 235 111 105 399 2,381

'These hours not included in totals on bottom line, but are included in totals in last column.








Table 4.-Estimated labor distribution for a 15-acre
vegetable-fruit farm, St. Croix, V.I.

Full-time
Approximate labor workers
time required needed
Months Hours Days Number

September 239 30 2.0
October 170 21 1.0
November 408 51 2.5
December 404 51 2.5
January 495 62 3.0
February 216 27 1.5
March 399 50 2.5
April-July 50 6 1.0
Total 2,381 298 -



3. Navy personnel-average of 2 days each, St.
Thomas 38,533 personnel =77,066 days; St.
Croix 13,915 personnel-27,830 days; total
52,448 arrivals= 104,896 days.
4. Ferry passengers and Antilles Air passengers
were excluded from the analysis, since they
tend to represent traffic which is offset by
Virgin Islands businessmen and tourists visit-
ing other areas.
5. Total estimated tourist days:
St. Thomas St. Croix Total


Cruise ship
passengers 118,004
Airline
arrivals 1,499,349


3,545 121,549

729,201 2,228,550


Navy
personnel 77,066 27,830 104,896
TOTALS 1,694.419 760,576 2,454,995
Average
tourist
popula-
tion
based on
365 tour-
ist days
per year 4,642 2,084 6,726
6. Average tourist population on St. Croix by
months based on 1969-72 monthly average
occupancy rate of available rooms (St. Croix
Hotel Association data) is as follows:


January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December


Index of
Tourist tourist
population population
(2084= 100)
2,430 117
3,253 156
2,822 135
2,234 107
1,764 85
1,646 79
1,881 90
1,921 92
1,294 62
1,411 68
2,117 102
2,234 107


Table 5.-Virgin Islands: population for census years, 1930-1970
with projections to 1973, 1980 and 1985'

Virgin
Year Islands Urban Rural St. Croix St. Thomas St. John


1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1973
1980
1985


22,012
24,889
26,665
32,099
62,468
89,620
122,339
143,629


13,501
14,296
15,581
18,017
15,240
NA
NA
NA


8,511
10,593
11,084
14,082
47,228
NA
NA
NA


11,413
12,903
12,103
14,973
31,779
43,904
62,035
73,820


9,834
11,265
13,813
16,201
28,960
43,447
57,277
62,287


765
722
749
925
1,729
2,269
3,027
7,522


Source: 1930-1970 US Census of population, projections 1973-1985 Virgin
Vital Statistics.
NA: Not Available


Islands Department of Health,













Based on an increase of 110 percent in air ar-
rivals between 1965 and 1972 and upon an in-
crease of 234 percent in cruise ship passengers
during the same period, it is estimated that the
average tourist population of 6,726 will double by
1980. This would represent an average tourist
population of 13,452. Assuming a distribution com-
parable to the present time, this would result in an
average of 9,284 tourists on St. Thomas and 4,168
on St. Croix.
Several things stand out as a result of this pou-
ulation study. First, the major food demand comes
from permanent residents and is only modestly in-
fluenced by the tourist trade. Second, the tourist
trade hits a peak in February and a low in Sep-
tember. Third, the population is increasing both
through the birth rate exceeding the death rate
and through a net immigration. The current pop-
ulation of 89,620 residents and 6,726 tourists


should increase to 13,452 tourists and 122,339 resi-
dents by 1980. This will represent a 41-percent in-
crease over the next 6 years and should result in
a corresponding increase in the demand for fresh
fruits and vegetables over the same period.

Income
The demand for fruits and vegetables in the
Virgin Islands is influenced by the income level of
the residents. According to the 1970 census, only
4 percent of the families had incomes of less than
$250, while 31 percent of the families had incomes
of more than $10,000 (Table 6). Statistics for St.
Croix were comparable to the Virgin Islands per-
centages. In 1950 the median income for persons
reporting was only $460 for the Virgin Islands. In
1970 the median income for all families and un-
related individuals was $4,583, which represents a
significant increase of $4,123. Even if allowances


Table 6.-Income in 1969 of families and unrelated individuals, Virgin Islands, based on 1970 census


Number and
Income level

Families
Total number
Percent with incomes less than:
$250
$3,000
$6,000
$10,000
$25,000
Median income
Mean income
Unrelated individuals
Total number
Percent with incomes less than:
$250
$3,000
$6,000
$10,000
$25,000
Median income
Mean income
All families and unrelated individuals
Total number
Median income
Mean income


Virgin Islands


Total


13,135

4
17
45
69
95
$6,612
$9,062


8,112


$2,479
$3,467


21,577
$4,656
$6,873


White


2,987

2
7
19
35
84
13,373
16,082


1,605


9
27
51
75
97
5,845
7,269


4,583
10,299
12,996


Negro


8,940

4
21
55
79
98
5,512
6,884


6,444


22
64
91
98
99
1,948
2,512


15,384
3,821
5,052


Other


1,217

3
14
48
75
97
6,272
7,889


393


21
47
81
95
99
3,221
3,596


1,610
5,381
6,841


St. Croix
Total


6,744

3
17
47
70
95
6,442
8,926


4,137


19
54
82
93
99
2,637
3,633


10,881
4,661
6,914









were made for inflation, real incomes have risen
substantially in the Virgin Islands over the past
two decades.
While (he total income picture has improved,
there still are major segments of the population
that cannot afford to purchase fresh fruits and
vegetables in large volume from lcwal !grocery
stores and supermarkets. For example. 45 percent
of the families have incomes of less than $6,000
and 56 percent of the unrelated individuals have
incomes of less than $3,000. This would indicate
that nearly half the households would d be forced to
limit their buying of fruits and vegetables to a
considerable degree. The heaviest impact of low
incomes falls upon Negro households which lend
to be younger, larger in size. and wilh fewer years
of schooling for persons 25 years and older than
the population as a whole (Table 7).
Although an in-depth income projection is not
feasible as part of this report, it appears likely
that the real median income for families and un-
related individuals in the Virgin Islands could
double between 1970 and 1980. The rapid growth
of tourism and the development of retirement coin-
munities and industry in the area should bring
incomes and living standards closer to those of
the IU.S. mainland by 1980. One result could be
an increase in the demand for fresh fruils and
vegetables of 10 percent by 1980. The portion of
the population with low incomes can be expected
to decline from the present 50 percent to about 30
percent, while higher incomes at all levels will
make it easier to purchase fresh produce.
If both population and income effects are con-


sidered, a 50-percent increase in the total demand
for fresh fruits and vegetables by 1980 appears
likely. Assuming that supplies are available and
relative prices remain about the same, total con-
sumption would rise by about the same amount.

Per Capita Consumption
Total per-capita consumption of fresh fruits and
vegetables in the Virgin Islands is about 61 per-
cent of that of a resident of the U.S. mainland
(Table 8). In 1972, per-capita consumption of
fresh produce in the Virgin Islands was 176
pounds, consisting of 67 pounds of fruits, 8 of mel-
ons. and 101 of vegetables. Consumption of citrus,
deciduous fruits, melons and most vegetables is
higher in the U.S. mainland than in the Virgin
Islands, while consumption of tropical fruits is
aboutt 15 pounds higher in the Virgin Islands. One
major difference in the diet is potatoes. The aver-
age U.S. mainland resident consumed an average
of 89 pounds in 1971 contrasted with 16.1 pounds
for the Virgin Islander in 1972. To some degree,
substitutes including dasheens, tanya, and cas-
sava serve as replacements for potatoes in the Vir-
gin Islands diet.

Availability of Produce from Other Areas
It was estimated that only 4 percent of the total
fresh fruits arid vegetables consumed is produced
in the Virgin Islands; 96 percent is imported from
other countries, Puerto Rico and the U.S. main-
land. Data on domestic production are extremely
sketchy so should be interpreted only as approx-
imate.


Table 7.-Other population characteristics, Virgin Islands, 1970

Virgin Islands St. Croix

Characteristic Total White Negro Othei Total


Median age
Persons per household
Median schoolyear completed
(persons 25 years and over)
Fertility (number of children
ever born per 1,000 women)
Women 15-24 yrs. old
Women 25-34 yrs. old
Women 35-44 yrs. old


23.0
3.42

9.5


568
2,247
3,223


20.5
3.97


30.0
2.71

13.1


371
1,535
2,247


23.2
3.44


21.7
3.60

8.0


579
2,373
3,492


766
2,755
3,520


673
2,340
3.286















Table X.-Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in the Virgin Islands,
1972 and in the U.S. mainland, 1971

Virgin Islands, 1972


Imports'


Domestic
produc-
tion'


Total


Citrus
Oranges
Grapefruit
Lemons and limes
Total citrus
Tropical fruit
Avocados
Bananas
Plantains
Mangoes
Total tropical
Other fruit
Apples
Grapes
Peaches
Pears
Total other
Total all fnruit
Melons
Watermelon
Cantaloupe
Total melons
Vegetables
Tomatoes
Onions
Cabbage
Lettuce
Potatoes
Dasheen
Total all vegetables
Total all fruits, vegetables
and melons


Thousand pounds


684
219
43
966

140
857
79
30
13,123

446
66
4
9
558
6,230


768
836
305
735
1,556
203
9,372

16,362


x U.S. Virgin Islands PDepartment of Commerce, Trade
and Industry.
"Domestic production statistics represent crude esti-
mates based on acreage data for the 1970 Census plus
observations on what is produced by local growers.
"Based on a population of 96,346 including 89,620


Over 89 percent of the 16.3 million pounds of
imported produce comes from Puerto Rico and the
U.S. mainland (Table 9). Most of this volume
comes into the Virgin Islands via San Juan,
Puerto Rico although some shipments are received
direct from the U.S. mainland, particularly from


residents and 6,726 tourists.
4 Farm weight, based on Food Consumption, Prices
and Expenditures, Supplement for 1971 Economic Re-
search Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
'Retail weight.



Miami but also from New York. U.S. produce that
goes to Puerto Rico and is transshipped to the
Vrigin Islands is recorded as counting from San
Juan. Hence, there is no way to differentiate be-
tween San Juan shipments from the U.S. main-
land versus Puerto Rico. However, most of the


Commodity


Per
capital
consump-
tion'


U. S. per
capital
consump-
tion'


Pounds


692
222
47
98

145
957
79
86
3,323

446
66
4
9
558
6,445

575
6
760

858
846
313
773
1,556
203
9,755

16,960


16.8"
3.2
5.7
2.3
31.7
80.4


8.9
8.8
3.2
8.0
16.1
2.1
101.2

176.0


11.3
12.0
9.2
21.3
89.2

185.0

287.1










Table 9.-Fresh fruits, vegetables and melons imported into the Virgin Islands
by point of origin, 1972'


San
Miami Juan


Total


Domin- Leeward
ican and
Repub- Windward
lic Islands


------------ Thousand Pounds----------- --


Citrus
Oranges
Grapefruit
Tangerines
Lemons
Limes
Citrus fruit
NEC
Total
Deciduous fruit and berries
Apples
Grapes
Pears
Peaches and nectarines
Prunes and plums
Cherries
Strawberries
Berries
NEC
Total
Tropical fruit
Avocados
Bananas
Mangos
Plantains
Total
Fresh NEC
Total all fruit
Melons
Watermelon
Cantaloupe
Melons, Fresh NEC'
Total


7 61 616
16 189
17
10
32
3

7 119 824


684
15 219
17
10
32
3

15 966


31 400
5 57
9


19 36 497 552


2,018
1,543
155 4,882


23 140
86 5 857
15 30
28 79
151 5 3,123
1,583
151 21 6,230


2,018
1,582
5,103


575 575


Vegetables
Tomatoes 2 166 497
Onions 203 633
Peppers 11
Cabbage 46 255
Carrots 38
Celery 13
Lettuce 6 365 364
Beans
Corn
Cucumbers
Egg Plant

'Compiled from customs data supplied by the Virgin
Islands Department of Commerce, Trade and Industry.


100

4 3


4 768
836
18
4 305
1 39
13
735
1 1
1 1


2 2
41

' Not Elsewhere Classified.
'Less than 500 pounds.


Commodity


U. S. and Puerto Rico


New
York


Other
foreign


Total
imports












citrus, deciduous fruit, and imported vegetables
originate in the U.S., while Puerto Rico would sup-
ply a large proportion of the tropical fruits.
The Dominican Republic supplied 9 percent of
the total Virgin Islands imports or nearly 1.5 mil-
lion pounds. Slightly over half of this volume was
bananas. The Leeward and Windward Islands
supplied 0.3 million pounds in 1972, tropical fruits
and dasheens being most important. Imports
from oiliher foreign countries were minor, the most
important in terms of volume consisting of grape-
fruit-mostly from Israel.
The influflence of the tourist trade and climate
on imports is illustrated in Table 10. Imports were
heavy through the first half of the year but declined
in the late summer and fall consistent with fewer
tourists and also better growing conditions in the
late fall. A deviation in the data apparently oc-
curred in December, 1972 since reported imports
from San Juan were only 231,000 pounds or only
about 20 percent of normal.
Value-The value in the exporting country of
produce shipped to the Virgin Islands was
$2,664,000 in 1972, vegetables equalling 59 per-
cent and fruits and melons 41 percent of the total
value (Table 11). The United States and Puerto
Rico provided 91 percent of $2.4 million followed
by the Dominican Republic with $.2 million.
Wholesale Prices-Wholesale price information
for produce coming into the Virgin Islands was
derived from the customs data of the Virgin


Islands Department of Commerce and from other
selected sources (Table 12). Considerable varia-
tion between countries in part reflects differences
in quality and the season of the year. Prices were
generally less than 20 cents per pound for most
produce. Prices received in the Virgin Islands
tended to be on the high side relative to countries
exporting into the Islands. This indicated that cur-
rently there is a premium for locally produced
produce, although this premium would decline if
local fruits and vegetables were available in
volume.
Transportation Costs-Transportation rates to
bring produce into the Virgin Islands were ob-
tained from local transportation companies and
importers. The June 1973 rates were 4.5 cents per
pound for surface transportation from Miami or
New York, 2.2 cents by water from Puerto Rico,
5.3 cents by air from the Dominican Republic,
and 5.1 cents by air from areas such as Dominica
in the British West Indes.
Surface transportation out of Puerto Rico and
the U.S. mainland consists of refrigerated vans
loaded onto ships or barges for shipment to the
Virgin Islands. Transportation rates were geared
to full loads and importers are quite conscious of
the need to fill out or squeeze in a load to take
advantage of available equipment. One drawback
in attempting to use local produce on a sporadic
basis is the problems created in balancing out
trailers with other types of produce. For example,


Table 9.-Fresh fruits, vegetables and melons imported into the Virgin Islands
by point of origin, 19721 (continued)


U. S. and Puerto Rico Domin- Leeward
ican and
New San Repub- Windward Other Total
Commodity York Miami Juan Total lie Islands foreign imports

Thousand Pounds
Peas 3
Parsnips 2 2
Garlic 2 2 1 3
Potatoes 439 1,087 1,526 29 1 1,556
Roots or Tubers 12 4 16 16
Dasheens 90 113 203
Vegetables, Fresh NEC 60 5 4,505 4,570 222 38 2 4,832
Total all vegetables 68 1,236 7,407 8,711 492 155 14 9,372
Total all fruits,
vegetables and melons 271 1,493 12,913 14,539 1,479 306 38 16,361









Table 10.-Monthly imports of fresh fruits, vegetables and melons into the Virgin Islands
by point of origin, 19721


Leeward
U. S. and Puerto Rico and
Dominican Windward Other Total all
Month New York Miami San Juan Total Republic Islands foreign imports

------------- Thousand Pounds-------
Jan. -_ 92 1,293 1,385 175 -- 6 1,565
Feb. 42 200 1,051 1,292 134 6 2 1,434
Mar. 33 47 1,349 1,428 146 3 1,477
Apr. -_ 160 985 1,146 141 14 __ 1,301
May -- 72 1,375 1,447 127 11 3 1,587
June 130 116 1,732 1,977 73 2,0150
July __ 156 1,522 1,678 172 25 -_ 1,875
Aug. 67 90 1,009 1,166 111 6 4 1,287
Sept. __ 74 811 885 91 27 9 1,012
Oct. __ 113 727 840 118 69 __ 1,027
Nov. __ 158 819 977 118 16 6 1,117
Dec. -- 204 231 434 86 139 __ 659
Total' 271 1,481 12,904 14,656 1,489 313 33 16,490


Compiled frum customs data supplied by U.S. Virgin
Islands Department of Commerce, Trade and Industry.
-'Total imports in Table 10 do not equal totals re-


Table 11.-Value
the Virgin Isl


Origin


New York
Miami
San Juan
Total U.S. and
Puerto Rico
Dominican
Republic
Leeward and Wind-
ward Islands
Other foreign
Total all
imports
'Wholesale valui
Virgin Islands De
Industry.

one firm manage
are available for
desirable to cut
pounds of tomato(
of onions or somi


ported in Table 9 due to minor statistical corrections;
however, differences are generally small.


of fruits and vegetables shipped to be used to fill in the van. This could result in
ands by country of origin, 1972' spoilage or in further loading problems the fol-
Fruits and lowing week. Generally, daily deliveries by water
melons Vegetables Total are available out of Puerto Rico, while less fre-
quent schedules are maintained with Miami and
-- Dollars ----- New York.
10,642 50,596 61,238 Air transportation is predominantly used to
37,542 162,751 200,293 bring in produce out of the Dominican Republic
881,890 1,272,680 2,154,570 and islands such as Dominica. Quoted rates are

930,074 1,486,027 2,416,101 about $750 or $725 per planeload of 14,000
pounds. This activity apparently has been increas-
133,080 70,941 204,021 irg: several planeloads per week are currently
coming into both St. Croix and St. Thomas.
15,144 20,190 35,334 In the future, it appears likely that transporta-
5,203 3,105 8.308 tion services to the Virgin Islands will continue to
improve and the relative costs of their service will
1,083,501 1,580,263 2.663,764 decline. With increasing volume of product comes
e in the country of origin. Source: more frequent delivery, improved harbor facilities,
apartment of Commerce, Trade and and a generally more efficient distribution system.
To some extent this will make the produce of the
r said if Virgin Islands tomatoes United States, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo and
two weeks only it may not be the British West Indes even more competitive
a produce order by say 2,000 with local produce.
oes simply because 2,000 pounds A large part of the decline in the Virgin Islands
e other commdity would need to fruit and vegetable industry over the past 20 years










Table 12.-Wholesale prices of imported and local produce, 1972'


Commodity


Leeward and
Windward Islands


--- ------------ Dollas per Pound---- ----


Oranges
Grapefruit
Apples
Avocado-
Bananas
Papayas
Mangoes
Plantains
Pineapple
Tomatoe,
Onions
Peppers
Cabbage
Carrots
Okra
Potatoe.
Lettuce
Green beans
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Roots or lubers
Tanya
Dasheens


Source: Derived from data provided by Virgin Islands
Department of Commerce, Division of Trade and In-
dustry. Wholesale price in the country of origin.
2 Estimates supplied by staff of the Virgin Islands
Department of Agriculture. 1972-73 prices were gen-
erally high relative to prices received during the past
few seasons.
:' Quotation of St. Croix firm.
June 21, 1973 prices provided by La Division de

can be attributed to improvements in the delivery
and distribution system of competing export areas.
Delivered Prices-By adding transportation costs
to the wholesale prices in Table 12, delivered
prices to [ie Virgin Islands were derived for 1972
(Table 13). No customs duties are levied on fresh
produce entering the Virgin Islands.
The competitive picture for most items is in-
tense. Generally one or more areas are able to
provide a given communodity at prices below what
St. Croix has received locally. This suggests that
with increased production in the Virgin Islands.
prices would tend to decline for most items depend-
ing on quality and size.
Items which would compete effectively with
U.S. and Puerto Rican produce include pineapple.
tomatoes and lettuce. Items that would suffer price
declines include onions, peppers, cabbage, carrots,


Mercadeo Agricola, Dependencia del Depto. de Econo-
mia, Agropecuaria de la Secretaria de Estado de La
Republica Dominica.
Florida prices Vegetables-Fresh Market. Statistical
Reporting Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Vg
2-2 (72).
"Texas prices, Ibid.
SSweet potatoes.
"Yams.

okra, green beans, cucumbers, and eggplant. It
should be noted that prices for Miami and Puerto
Rico include considerable marketing services such
as grading, sizing, washing, and containers, while
local St. Croix produce has less built-in services.
An offsetting benefit of local produce may be
freshness, since it may take a week or more to
bring in produce from the U.S. mainland.
Items where St. Croix could compete effectively
against the Dominican Republic and the British
West Indies include bananas, mangoes, pineapple,
peppers, cabbage, cucumbers, and eggplant. For
items such as tomatoes, onions, okra, and green
beans, delivered prices from these areas are gen-
erally lower than for domestic produce.
When all competing supply areas are considered,
bananas, papayas, mangoes, pineapple, lettuce and
possibly tomatoes appear to bo possibilities for in-


Miami


Puerto
Rico


Dominican
Republic


St. Croix-


.111
.161
.211






.302
.093
.170"
.073
.063"

.070
.1.53
.159'
.092
.088'"
.106


.145
.120
.151





.100"
.247
.068
.094
.048
.081

.143
.161

.092
.088
.208


.133
.132

.158
.133
.250'
.149
.125'
.219
.192


.091

.081
.150
.145

.050'
.184


.120
.150
.200

.080
.250
.300
.250
.130
.150
.250
.130'
.150
.200
.160
.150
.2008









Table 13.-Wholesale prices of produce delivered to St. Croix
in 1972 from selected origins1

Dominican Leeward and
Commodity Miami Puerto Rico Republic Windward Islands St. Croix'

---------------- Dollars per Pound -- -- -
Transportation cost .045 .022 .053 .051 0
Oranges .156 .167
Grapefruit .206 .142
Apples .256 .173
Avocados .186 .220
Bananas .185 .153 .120
Mangoes .211 .177 .200
Plantains .186 .142
Pineapple .122 .303 .080
Tomatoes .347 .269 .202 .250
Onions .138 .090 .178 .300
Peppers .116 .272 .368 .250
Cabbage .118 .070 .245 .130
Okra .153 .250
Carrots .103 .150
Potatoes .115 .165 .144 .150
Lettuce .198 .183
Green beans .134 .200
Eggplant .110 .198 .150
Roots or Tubers .151 .230
Cucumbers .113 .203 .254 .160
Tanya .103
Dasheens .237 .179

Source: Derived from Table 12 by adding transportation costs per p)und.
Generally U.S. produce transhipped in Puerto Rico.
'See footnote 2, Table 12.


creased local production without severe price
declines.
It was not possible to consider the seasonal price
patterns for each commodity that might be pro-
duced on St. Croix or the Virgin Islands but cer-
tain periods of the year may present the best local
marketing opportunities. For example in looking
at monthly prices of lettuce and tomatoes, differ-
ent patterns emerge (Table 14). At 15.0 cents
per lb., St. Croix producers could effectively com-
pete in the lettuce market all year around. At 25.0
cents per lb., the late fall, winter and spring months
would provide local producers with an edge over
shipments from Puerto Rico and the United States.
However, tomatoes from the Dominican Republic,
which currently tend to be of lower quality, would
provide a potential lid on prices nearly all the
year round.
Complete price data and an analysis of seasonal


patterns can help to identify other marketing op-
portunities for local Virgin Islands producers.4

POTENTIALLY PROFITABLE ITEMS
FOR ST. CROIX PRODUCERS

An estimate of the potential profit that might be
realized by St. Croix produce growers was made
by subtracting production and marketing costs
from possible returns (Table 15). On a per-pound
basis, commodities such as mangoes, tomatoes,
papayas, and okra appear to have the best pros-
pects, pineapple and onions offer a smaller profit
potential per pound. Peppers resulted in negative
rates of profit with normal yields and onions were
barely profitable.
Returns to St. Croix growers were assumed to

See Appendix Tables 10 to 14 for monthly price in-
formation on other fruits and vegetables.










Table 14.-Monthly wholesale prices of lettuce and tomatoes in country of origin and
delivered to St. Croix, 19721

Puerto Rico Florida Dominican Republic

Month San Juan St. Croix Miami St. Croix Santo Domingo St. Croix

---------------- Cents per Pound ---------
Lettuce-local price 15.0
Jan. 15.3 17.5 21.1 25.6
Feb. 17.0 19.2 15.9 20.4
Mar. 15.3 17.5 12.1 16.6
Apr. 15.1 17.3 14.4 18.9
May 20.0 22.2 10.3 14.8
June 13.6 15.8 15.7 20.2
July 15.6 17.8 12.5 17.0
Aug. 14.3 16.5 13.9 18.4
Sept. 17.9 20.1 15.4 19.9
Oct. 16.1 18.3 14.1 18.6
Nov. 19.4 21.6 16.4 20.0
Dec. 23.1 25.3 17.3 21.8
Aver. 16.1 18.3 15.3 19.8
Tomatoes-local price 25.0
Jan. 30.0 33.0 35.5 40.0 10.5 15.8
Feb. 29.6 31.8 31.5 36.0 16.1 21.4
Mar. 29.6 31.8 20.8 25.3 10.8 16.1
Apr. 25,4 27.6 30.6 35.1 14.0 19.3
May 30.0 32.2 28.8 33.3 21.2 26.5
June 24.0 26.2 33.0 37.5 21.8 27.1
July 29.6 31.8 30.0 34.5 14.3 19.6
Aug. 20.0 22.2 33.7 38.2 34.7 40.0
Sept. 20.4 22.6 32.9 37.4 --
Oct. 23.3 25.5 27.1 31.6 -
Nov. 31.4 33.6 30.2 34.7 17.3 22.6
Dec. 38.5 40.7 27.5 32.0 21.2 26.5
Aver. 24.7 26.9 30.2 34.7 14.9 20.2


'Derived from data supplied by the U. S. Virgin Islands Department of Commerce, Trade and
prices include point of origin price plus transportation costs to the Virgin Islands.


equal the lesser of the current St. Croix price or
the delivered price of imports from the strongest
price competitor. With increased production, St.
Croix growers would be forced to meet the com-
petition of other potential suppliers. It should also
be pointed out that in particular months imported
produce may be available at prices below those
shown in Table 15. For example tomatoes in Jan-
uary and March of 1972 were available from the
Dominican Republic at 15.8 and 16.1 cents per
pound respectively (Table 14), a price which
would leave St. Croix producers with little or no
profit based on Table 15.
As indicated previously, imported produce usu-


Industry. St. Croix


ally arrives graded, sized, and packaged. These
marketing services would have to be provided to
market any substantial volume of St. Croix produce
in the local supermarkets. Costs of these services
were approximated in Table 15 to give an indica-
tion of the effect of incurring marketing costs on
grower profits. Actual marketing costs would vary
considerably. In particular, efficient marketing
usually requires specialized equipment, packages,
and considerable water to provide a quality prod-
uct. The acreage of tomatoes required to meet the
needs of St. Croix consumers, for example, might
not justify the establishment of a packing plant
on the island. However some reduction in grower











Table 15.-Potential margins for St. Croix producers: selected commodities

St. Croix Potential profit Potential profit
St. Croix import price St. Croix if marketing with 80% yields
grower from strongest production Potential Marketing costs are or 25% higher
Commodity price' competitor" costs profit costs incurred production costs

............ Cents per Pound---------------
Cucumbers 16.0 11.3 11.7 -0.4 3.8 -4.2 -6.9
Onions 30.0 9.0" 3.8 5.2 3.0 2.2 1.2
Okra 25.0 15.3 5.4 9.9 5.1 4.5 3.1
Peppers 25.0 11.6" 7.4 4.2 3.9 0.3 -1.6
Tomatoes 25.0 20.2 7.5 12.7 6.7 6.0 4.1
Mangoes 20.0 17.7 2.2 15.5 5.9 9.6 9.0
Papayas 15.0 NA 4.8 10.2 5.0 5.2 4.0
Pineapple 8.0 12.2" 2.1 5.9 2.7 3.2 2.7

1See footnote 2, Table 12.
2 See Table 13.
'See Table 1 through 9, Appendix.
' Lower of import price or grower price minus production costs.
'Assumed to equal /3 of lower of import price or grower price.
' Puerto Rico
' Dominican Republic
'Leward and Windward Islands
NA Not available.


returns might be substituted for a lower quality
with fewer built in marketing services.
Finally, the data in Table 15 was derived from
a normal yield basis. Lower yields or higher pro-
duction costs could lower profits as indicated in
the last column.
An item of expense not included is transporta-
tion costs. If St. Croix growers are going to take
advantage of the demand for fruits and vegetables
in St. Thomas, an additional 1.5 to 2.0 cents per
pound would be required for transportation to
Charlotte Amalie. With 80 percent yields, this
would reduce profit margins for all the selected
commodities except mangoes to very thin levels.

MARKETING CHANNELS AND PRACTICES

Retail outlets for the fruit and vegetable industry
of the Virgin Islands include two regional chain
stores, several intermediate size independents, and
a sizable number of neighborhood or "mom and
pop" groceries. Two local merchant wholesalers
service the mom and pop groceries while three
purveyors operating from five locations provide the
restaurants and hotels with their produce. A few
independent importers are also bringing in producet-
from Santo Domingo and the British West Indies.


The regional supermarkets account for 60 to
65 percent of the produce froum Santo Domingo
and other points in the West Indies. Supermarket
sales are made primarily to year-round residents,
usually those with middle to high incomes. Roughly
85 to 90 percent of the produce sold comes from
the U.S. mainland or Puerto Rico. Local produce
is handled infrequently if available. Overall qual-
ity of produce handled is not as high as in the
United States, but perfectly adequate for normal
consumption.
Hotels and restaurants buy their produce pri-
marily from purveyors operating on both St.
Thomas and St. Croix. About 18 percent of the
total fruits and vegetables sold moves through the
hotels and restaurants. Quality is of high priority
to the hotels and restaurants and most produce
used comes from the U.S. mainland. Local produce
is used infrequently when available, especially
items like mangoes and papayas. Primary outlets
for the hotels and restaurants are tourists, although
there is considerable "eating out" by middle and
upper income residents.
Independent and neighborhood groceries obtain
their produce from three specialized merchant
wholesalers and from purveyors. Their predomi-













nant sales outlet is to middle and low income
groups so that marketing services such as sizing,
grading, and containers are not as essential as in
the regional supennarkets.
The local grocery stores handle about 14 per-
cent of the total produce sold and rely more heav-
ily on local produce than do the regional chain
stores. It is estimated that 70 to 75 percent of
their produce comes from Puerto Rico and the
U.S. mainland, 20 to 25 percent from other for-
eign countries and possibly 5 percent from local
production, although this is difficult to pin down.
It is estimated that about half the food needs of
the low income segment of the population comes
from the regional chain stores and about half from
the intermediate and neighborhood groceries.
A number of roadside markets operate in the
Virgin Islands plus a daily farmer's market in St.
Thomas and a weekly market in Christiansted, St.
Croix. Boats from nearby islands such as Tortola
bring some produce to sell at dockside in St.
Thomas. In total, the above outlets account for
possibly 3 to 4 percent of total produce sales. They
rely heavily on produce from the Dominican Re-
public and the British West Indies such as Domin-
ica and may obtain up to 75 percent of their fruits
and vegetables from importers operating from
these islands. It is also believed that considerable
local produce may be handled through roadside
outlets, but again the volume of local produce is
difficult to establish or find displayed.
The main outlet for local produce apparently is
home consumption and a small volume of sales
through the neighborhood groceries and roadside
stands. The Virgin Islands Department of Agri-
culture assists in assembling, grading, sizing, pack-
ing, cooling, storing, delivering, and selling larger
lots of local fresh fruits and vegetables. Sales are
to the larger supermarkets and to a few hotels and
restaurants. A fee of five percent of the sales prices
is charged for this service. While the total volume
handled is not large, the present organization is a
viable mechanism to enable local producers to
market their produce. A few producers will make
sales directly to hotels or supermarkets but the
volume is small.
If the volume of local produce can be ex-
panded, the present storage and refrigeration facil-
ities at the Marketing Building should be ade-


quate up to a volume of 2,000 cubic feet of
produce per day-about equivalent to one trailer
lot. Three separate cooling units are available so
different temperatures can be maintained. Grad-
ing and sizing of produce is done by hand but
given present levels of production, extra equip-
ment does not appear warranted. Containers con-
sist of cardboard boxes from local groceries and
liquor stores, but again are sufficient for the pres-
ent volume of produce.
The major problems encountered in marketing
produce by the Virgin Islands Department of Agri-
culture are in coordinating the flow of produce
from growers to buyers. Growers may not provide
enough notice in advance of their harvest to line
up buyers for the produce. Timing of harvests
may be inconsistent with the weekend specials
planned by the supermarkets. If advance notice
is given, other priorities may prevent growers from
harvesting, resulting in cancelled sales and un-
happy buyers.

ATTITUDES OF LOCAL FIRMS TOWARD
VIRGIN ISLANDS PRODUCE

In general, nearly all the local firms contacted
were interested and receptive to the idea of mar-
keting local produce. They find that local produce
sells well and that residents are interested in what
is produced in the Virgin Islands. The problems
are availability and dependability. Uniform size
and consistent quality were also cited.

Supermarkets
Local supermarket managers were unanimous in
their interest in local produce. The comment by
one firmnn manager was that "We don't get much
local produce, but what we can get sells well."
The major need cited is for a constant and de-
pendable supply. Produce managers indicated they
need to plan in advance, need supplies on a steady
basis and find it difficult to interrupt normal mar-
keting channels for short periods of time. For ex-
ample, buying local produce without advance plan-
ing interrupts marketing plans made 10 days to
two weeks previous. This can cause financial losses
and hard feelings on the part of more dependable
suppliers in Puerto Rico or on the U.S. mainland.
Managers indicated that minimum grading and
sizing is important and that uniformity in appear-









ance is desirable. Consistent quality and freedom
from rot were stressed, but minor defects can be
tolerated. Standards do not have to be as high as
would be demanded for, say, exports to the United
States.
Questions have been raised by local growers
about retail markups by the local supermarkets.
In general, markups on both St. Croix and St.
Thomas were in line with practices elsewhere. Gen-
erally 30 to 35 percent of gross sales is taken on
produce by retailers to cover their labor and over-
head. This means $1 worth of produce at whole-
sale would be sold for $1.40 to $1.45 at retail. In-
dividual produce items will vary considerably de-
pending on their volume and movement. The main
consideration should be the price received by the
grower and not the price charged by the retailer
for the produce.
Purveyors
Local purveyors or wholesalers predominantly
servicing hotels and restaurants were more critical
in their comments on local produce than were the
supermarkets. They indicated they would like local
produce such as bananas, lettuce, tomatoes and
papayas if they could obtain a reliable supply of
high quality produce. Sizing and uniformity was
also stressed. One purveyor said he could use 100
crates of lettuce and tomatoes per week if avail-
able but his previous experiences with the quality
of local produce were bad. Scheduling problems
were cited by some purveyors. Plans are based on
filling out a full trailer load to minimize unit trans-
portation costs. If supplies of produce are unde-
pendable, problems can be caused by occasionally
buying locally. The broker or exporter on the
mainland will be left with excess produce if spo-
radic local purchases are made. In addition, the
local purveyor has to fill out the trailer with "hard-
ware" such as onions or potatoes which may not
be desirable. The problem is reversed when a local
grower sells direct to a hotel or restaurant and the
purveyor is left with excess produce.
Local purveyors generally indicated they would
take all the local produce they could get if the
quality is good and the supply dependable.
Merchant wholesalers selling dry goods, meats,
and fruits and vegetables to local neighborhood
groceries had mixed feelings about local fruits
and vegetables. The problem of a consistent sup-


ply was mentioned, but quality was not stressed.
There was also a lack of interest in local produce
since it tends to cut into their business. Local grow-
ers can easily arrange to sell extra produce at the
neighborhood grocery, which might reduce the
volume of produce handled by the merchant
wholesalers.

REQUIREMENTS TO MEET
DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION
A total of 229 acres of land would be required
to grow enough of 9 selected fruits and vegetables
to meet the needs of the Virgin Islands (Table
15). The major requirements would be for toma-
toes, lettuce, onions and cucumbers. If St. Croix
only was going to be supplied, the acreage required
would be 109 acres or less depending on the possi-
bility of double or triple cropping and year-round
production. By 1980, supplying the annual needs
of the Virgin Islands would require 343 acres
and for St. Croix only 168 acres, based on an
expected gain of 50 percent in the quantity of
produce demanded from increases in population
and real income. The possibility of improved vari-
eties and increased yields would modify acreage
requirements by 1980.
Although the selected commodities could be pro-
duced all the year around with proper irrigation
and cultural practices, a favorable production
period was designated for each consistent with
growing conditions on St. Croix. A total of 130
acres of the 9 crops would be required to meet
the current needs of the Virgin Islands during
favorable production periods. This would include
62 acres to meet St. Croix requirements (Table
16). By 1980, 196 acres would be necessary to
grow the Virgin Islands needs and 96 acres for St.
Croix alone.
In terms of small farms of 12 to 15 acres, the
1973 requirements translate to some 9-11 farms for
the total Virgin Islands and 4 or 5 farms for St.
Croix for favorable production periods only. By
1980, 13 to 16 farms would be required for the
Virgin Islands and 6 to 8 farms for St. Croix. This
assumes local producers could adequately meet
the needs of the supermarkets, hotels and restau-
rant trade. If this were not the case, the number
of farms required would be much smaller.
Assuming sufficient production of 9 commodi-











Table 16.-Acreage of selected fruits and vegetables required to meet annual
Virgin Islands consumption requirements, 1973 and 1980


Consumption requirements


Acreage requirements


1980


Estimated
yield per
Commodity acre


Virgin
Islands


St. Virgin
Croix 2 Islands St. Croix '


Virgin
Islands


St. Virgin St.
Croix Islands Croix


--------------Thousand pounds -------------- ___________----------------____ Acres --
Tomatoes 14.0 858 409 1,287 627 61.3 29.2 91.9 44.8
Onions 18.6 846 403 1.269 618 45.5 21.7 68.2 33.2
Cucumbers 5.8 193' 92 289 141 33.2 15.8 49.8 24.3
Peppers 10.0 145' 69 217 106 14.5 6.9 21.7 10.6
Okra 14.0 48' 23 72 35 3.4 1.6 5.2 2.5
Lettuce 15.0' 773 369 1,159 565 51.5 24.6 77.2 37.7
Pineapples 28.0 289 138 434 211 10.3 4.9 15.5 7.6
Papayas 22.0 96 46 145 70 4.4 2.1 6.6 3.2
Mangoes 16.6 86 41 129 63 5.2 2.5 7.8 3.8
Total
9 crops 3,333 1,590 5,000 2,437 229.3 109.3 343.9 167.7

' Estimated in cooperation with the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture.
Based on 47.7 percent of total Virgin Islands population on St. Croix.
SBased on a 50 percent increase in quantity demanded by 1980 .due to gain in population and income.
'Based on 48.75 percent of projected 1980 Virgin Islands population on St. Croix.
" Based on estimated per capital consumption of 1.5 lbs. cucumbers, 2.0 lbs. peppers, .5 lb. okra., 30 lbs. pineapples and
1.0 lb. papayas.
S75 percent of U. S. winter crop average, 1972.



Table 17.-Acreage of selected fruits and vegetables required to meet Virgin Islands
consumption requirements during favorable production periods, 1973 and 1980

Acerage required to meet consumption requirements
during production periods '

1973 1980

Total Virgin Virgin St.
Commodity Season' months Islands St. Croix Islands Croix

Acres -------
Tomatoes Oct.-Mar. 6 30.6 14.6 46.0 22.4
Onions Oct. May 8 30.3 14.5 45.5 22.1
Cucumbers Oct.-Mar. 6 16.6 7.9 24.9 12.2
Peppers Oct.-Mar. 6 7.2 3.5 10.8 5.3
Okra All year 12 3.4 1.6 5.2 2.5
Lettuce Oct.-Mar. 6 25.8 12.3 38.6 18.9
Pineapples All year 12 10.3 4.9 15.5 7.6
Papayas All year 12 4.4 2.1 6.6 3.2
Mangoes Apr.-July 4 1.7 .8 2.6 1.3
Total 9 crops 130.3 62.2 195.7 95.5

'Estimates supplied by officials of Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture.
'See footnotes Table 16.


1973










ties to meet local needs on St. CLroix were produced.
present marketing facilities appear adequate. Aver-
age daily needs would equal 4,356 pounds, which
could be handled through existing cooler capaci-
ties. With an annual budget of $32,000 (1972 fis-
cal year) the Agricultural Marketing Program
would cost two cents 'per pound of produce mar-
keted. Some shifting of the assembly, grading and
sizing functions back to the producer might be
necessary as volume increases.
If total marketing approach 10,000 pounds per
day, then additional storage and refrigeration facil-
ities would be required to provide space for two
days of production. With enough production, the


agricultural marketing building could be operated
as a cooperative on a self-sustaining basis.
Under the present 5 percent fee, a volume of
3,200,000 pounds of produce would make the
present program self-supporting, assuming a sales
value of 20 cents per pound or $640,000 of gross
sales annually.
An improved market information system would
be desirable such as wholesale reports from Miami,
New York, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo. The
present phone system is inadequate for easy com-
munications with buyers and growers. A system
of gathering retail prices sporadically, say, every
three months would also be helpful.











APPENDIX


Table 1.-Estimated cost per acre for growing
mangoes, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands


Table 2.-Estimated cost per acre for establishing
mangoes, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands-Cont.


Q
Item and

Labor
Pruning (2 hours per tree)
Picking 2500 fruits per 8 hrs.
times 50,000 fruits

Material
Boxes, ladders, poles, etc.
Other
Spray-custom 4 hrs.,
including chemicals
Hauling
Fixed Cost
Land charge
Bookkeeping and misc.
Amortization cost
Annual interest on investment

Estimated production 44,1671 fruits
Cost per fruit-cents


quantity
/or hours Cost


Item


Dollars Other
100 200.00 Land preparation
Fixed Costs


160 3
Sub-total 5


320.00 Land charge (5 seasons)
i20.00 Misc. (5 seasons)
Interest charge at 8%
35.00 on $1200 for 5 years
Total establishments costs
Annual amortization charge-5'
80.00
40.00


25.00
50.00
110.00
97.00
Total $957.00


'Yield with average rainfall is 1000 fruits per tree, and
in drought year about 650 fruits.



Table 2.-Estimated cost per acre for establishing
mangoes, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands


Item a

Labor
Dig and prepare holes
Plant trees
Mulch around trees
Water and care for trees
twice week
Spray trees-2 times by hand

Second year
Water trees
Spray-hand
Third thru fifth year
Water and care
(80 hrs. annually)
Spray-custom
($10 per hour for 8 hours.)

Materials
Plants-$4 each
Spray (1st and 2nd years)
Mulch


Quantity
and/or hours


50 hrs.
15 hrs.
15 hrs.

164 hrs.
16 hrs.
Sub-total


Cost

Dollars
100.00
30.00
30.00

328.00
32.00
520.00


Quantity
and/or hours Cost

Dollars
34.00

125.00
50.00

480.00
$2,197.00
% 110.00


Table 3.-Estimated cost per acre for growing
pineapples, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands


Item


Quantity
and/or hours


Labor
Apply fertilizer, mulch,
and fumigate
Preparation of slips
for planting
Plant
First Season
Fertilizer, by hand-2 times
Spray, by hand-2 times
Harvest
Cut and load (3 times over)
Prepare fruit for market
and haul
Second Season
Fertilizer and spray
Harvest etc.
Third Season
Fertilizer and spray


Harvest etc.


Materials
164 hrs. 328.00 Slips-5' cents per slip for 9,400
16 hrs. 32.00 Mulch paper-5 rolls, $30 each
Sprays for 3 seasons
Fertilizer for 3 seasons-
240 1500 lbs
Containers


160.00
Sub-total 520.00

400.00
8.00
60.00


Other
Land preparation etc.
Truck operation (3 seasons)
Fixed Costs
Land charge (3 seasons)


46 hrs.

16 hrs.
35 hrs.

8 lirs.
6 hrs.

32 hrs.

16 hrs.

14 hrs.
42 hrs.

14 hrs.
38 hrs.
Sub-total


Cost

Dollars

92.00

32.00
50.00

16.00
12.00

64.00

32.00

28.00
84.00

28.00
76.00
514.00


470.00
150.00
18.00

90.00
15.00
Sub-total $743.00

34.00
60.00

75.00









Table 3.-Estimated cost per acre for growing
pineapples, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands-Cont.


Item a


Bookkeeping and Misc.
(3 seasons)
Interest charge 8%
on $1400 for 2 years

Labor
Estimated production 38 tons
Cost per ton
Cost per pound-cents


Quantity
nd/or hours Cost


Table 5.-Estimated cost per acre for producing okra,
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Quantity
Item and/or hours Cost


Dollars Labor
Plant, by hand
50.00 Apply Fertilizer by hand
Hand weed-2 times
112.00 Spray-6 times
Total $1,588.00 Harvest
Pick
Sort and haul


42.00
2.1


'Yield with average rainfall about 14 tons per acre and
in drought year about 10 tons.



Table 4,-Estimated cost per acre for growing
papayas, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands


Labor
Nursery
Field
Lay out hills and plant
Mulch
Screen and thin
Hand Weed
Harvest
Picking
Sort, cull, and size
Haul

Material


Quantity
and/or hours


51 hrs.

25 hrs.
20 hrs.
10 hrs.
45 hrs.

80 hrs.
40 hrs.
40 hrs.
Sub-total


Seed
Spray
Fertilizer
Mulching material
Containers
Other
Land preparation
Truck operation
Grading and packing
5% of 3500 lbs.
Fixed Costs
Land charge
Bookkeeping and misc.
Interest on prod. cost ($800)

Estimated production-22,000 lbs, '
Cost per pound-cents


Dollars
102.00

50.00
40.00
20.00
90.00

160.00
80.00
80.00
$622.00


6.00
33.00
26.00
30.00
16.00

34.00
30.00

84.00

80.00
20.00
64.00
Total $1,045.00

4.75


'Yield with average rainfall is about 26,700 lbs. per acre
and drought year about 13,000 lbs.


20 hrs.
12 hrs.
32 lrs.
12 hrs.


9f
14


6

S


Materials
Seed 8 lbs at $1.25 per pound
Fertilizer
Spray
Containers
S
Other
Land preparation
Truck operation-14 trips,
350 miles 8 cents per mile
Grading and packing
Fixed Costs
Land Charge
Bookkeeping and misc

Estimated production 6.5 tons
Cost per ton
Cost per pound-cents

Estimated yield with average rainfall is
a drought year 5.6 tons.


Dollars
40.00
24.00
64.00
24.00


hrs. 192.00
hrs. 28.00
ub-total $372.00

10.00
21.00
12.00
6.00
ub-total $49.00

34.00

28.00
175.00

25.00
15.00
Total $698.00

107.00
5.4

7.0 tons and for


Table 6.-Estimated cost per acre for producing
tomatoes, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands


Quantity
and/or hours


Labor
Nursery
Field
Plant
Water-2 times
Hand Weed-3 times
Apply fertilizer-3 times
Spray-10 times
Harvest
Picking
Sort and haul

Materials
Seed
Fertilizer (nursery)
Field-500 lbs


9 hrs.


30 hrs
15 hrs.
48 hrs.
24 hrs.
24 hrs.


120 hrs.
24 hrs.
Sub-total


Cost

Dollars
18.00

60.00
30.00
9600
48.00
48.00

240.00
48.00
$588.00


2.00
5.00
35.00














Table 6.-Estimated cost per acre for producing
tomatoes, St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands-Cont.

Quantity
Item and/or hours Cost


Table 7.-Estimated cost per acre for producing
peppers, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands-Cont.


Item


Quantity
and/or hours Cost


Spray
Containers

Other
Land preparation-customu
Truck operation-12 trips
300 miles at 8 cents
Grading and packing-
5% of gross value
Fixed Cost
Land charge
Bookkeeping and misc.

Estimated production' 6.2 tons
Cost per ton
Cost per pound-cents


Dollars
20.00
10.00
Sub-total $72.00

34.00

24.00

175.00

25.00
15.00
Total $933.00


Other-Cont.
Truck operation
Grading and packing
Fixed Costs
Land charge
Bookkeeping and misc.

Estimated production 4.4 tons
Costs per ton
Cost per pound-cents


Dollars
20.00
150.00

25.00
15.00
Total $686.00

149.00
7.4


SEstimated yield with average rainfall is 5.0 tons and for
a drought year is 3.8 tons.


150.00
7.5


' Estimated yield with average rainfall is 7.0 tons and
for a drought year is 4.6 tons.


Table 8,-Estimated cost per acre for producing
cucumbers, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Quantity
Item and/or hours Cost


Table 7. Estimated cost per acre for producing
peppers, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Quantity
Item and/or hours Cost


Labor
Nursery
Field
Plant
Water-2 times
Hand Weed-3 times
Apply fertilizer
Spray-10 times
Harvest
Pick and haul

Materials
Seed -/4 lbs at $10
Fertilizer
Nursery
Field
Spray
Containers

Other
Land preparation-custom


9 hrs.

39 hrs.
15 hrs.
48 hrs,
16 hrs.
24 hrs.


Dollars
18.00

60.00
30.00
96.00
32.00
4800A


50 hrs. 10(
Sub-total $38


25.00
20.00
6.00
Sub-total $58.00


Labor
Plant by hand
Apply Fertilizer by hand
Hand weed-3 times
Spray-8 times
Harvest
Pick-3 times for 8 wks
Sort and haul

Materials
Seed-3 lbs at $3.00
Fertilizer-350 lbs
Spray-$2 per time
Containers


Other
10.00 Land Preparation
.4.00 Truck operation-24 trips
Grading and packing
2.00 Fixed Costs
Land Charge
0 on Bookkeeping and misc.


Estimated production' 2.9 tons
Cost per ton
Cost per pound-cents


20 hrs.
12 hrs.
48 hrs.
16 hrs.

120 hrs.
24 hrs.
Sub-total


Dollars
40.00
24.00
96.00
32.00

240.00
48.00
$480.00


9.00
21.00
16.00
6.00
Sub-total $52.00

34.00
20.00
52.00

25.00
15.00
Total $678.00

234.00
11.7


Estimated yield with average rainfall is 3.5 tons and for
34.00 a drought year is 1.8 tons.


&










Table 9--Estimated cost per acre for producing
onions, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Quantity
Item and/or hours Cost


Labor
Nursery
Field
Plant
Hand weed-2 times
Apply fertilizer
Spray-2 times
Harvest
Pull
Remove top and haul
Haul 10 trips

Materials
Seed-1 lb
Fertilizer-Nursery
Field
Spray-2 times
Containers


9 hrs,

45 hrs.
32 hrs.
12 hrs.
5 hrs.

45 hrs.
10 hrs.
30 hrs.
Sub-total


Dollars
18.00

90.00
64.00
24.00
10.00

90.00
20.00
60.00
$376.00

5.00
5.00
26.00
5.00
6.00


Table 9-Estimated cost per acre for producing
onions, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands-Cont.

Item and/or hours Cost
Quantity
Dollars
Other


Land preparation-customs
Truck operation 10 trips
250 miles at 8 cents
Grading etc.-
5% of gross value
Fixed Costs
Land charge
Bookkeeping, and misc.

Estimated production 9.3 tons 1
Cost per ton
Cost per pound-cents


34.00

20.00

200.00

25.00
15.00
Total $717.00

77.00
3.8


' Estimated yield with average rainfall is 10.0 tons and
for a drought year 8.0 tons.


Table 10.-Monthly wholesale prices of potatoes and onions delivered to St. Croix, Virgin Islands, 19721

Puerto Rico Florida Dominican Republic
Month Santo
San Juan St. Croix Miami St. Croix Domingo St. Croix
------- --------Cents per pound -----------
Potatoes


January
February ---
March ----
April
May---------
June
J u ly . .... . .. ... .. _
August
September
October
November-----------
December
Average ---- _______

January
February
March
April
May--------
June ----------
July
August--------
September
October
November----- --
December -----.---
Average ----- ---


26 See footnote Table 14.


Onions












Table 11.-Monthly wholesale prices of cabbage and melons delivered to St. Croix, Virgin Islands, 1972'

Puerto Rico Florida Dominican Republic
Month Santo
San Juan St. Croix Miami St. Croix Domingo St. Croix

--------------------- Cents per pound -- ------------------------
Cabbage
January __--------------- 4.7 6.9 -.. --
February-------------- 6.1 8.3 15.0 20.3
March ------_ 25.0 30.3
April ------------------ 11.3 13.5 -- --
May .--- -------------- 3.9 6.1 6.4 10.9 --
June ---- ----------- 4.2 6.4 7.8 12.3 --
July _------------------- -- 7.5 12.0 --
August---------------- -- -- -- --
September -------- 3.9 6.1 --
October ----------------__ 5.4 7.6 --
November -------------- -- -- 8.2 12.7 --
December ------------ -- 6.8 11.3 --
Average ------------- 4.8 7.0 7.3 11.8 19.2 24.5
Melons
January ---------------- 13.3 15.5 6.0 10.5 -- --
February --------------- 13.3 15.5 6.0 10.5 ..
March 13.3 15.5 26.2 30.7
April ----------------- -- -- -- --
May ------------------ -- -- -- --
June ----------------- 13.3 15.5 36.1 40.6 --
July ------------------- 13.3 15.5 21.5 26.0 .--
August -------- 13.4 15.6 -- 21.5 26.8
September -------------- -- -- 16.8 21.3 21.3 26.6
October --------------- 15.8 20.3 -- --
November ------ ------- 19.4 23.9 17.9 23.2
December -.------. 28.1 32.6 -- --
Average ------------- 13.4 15.6 15.3 19.8 20.0 25.3

'See footnote Table 14.









Table 12.-Monthly wholesale prices of selected fruits and vegetables delivered to
St. Croix, Virgin Islands, 19721

Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

Month Santo Santo Santo
Domingo St. Croix Domingo St. Croix Domingo St. Croix

------------------------------ Cents per pound ___--------- - --------
Plantains Dasheens Eggplant
January --------------- 12.1 17.4 24.3 29.6 --
February _____________ 13.8 19.1 25.6 30.9 -
March -----------------________________ 14.0 19.3 19.7 25.0 -- --
April ------------------_________________ 12.5 17.8 18.5 23.8 13.0 18.3
May __________________ __ __ 17.0 22.3 12.1 17.4
June ------------------ -- -- 16.0 21.3 11.5 16.8
July ------------------- 7.1 12.4 12.4 17.7 11.2 16.5
August ----------------__________ 13.3 18.6 20.3 25.6 19.8 25.1
September------------ -- -- -
October ----------------- -- 8.2 13.5 18.5 23.8
November __________ 14.0 19.3 18.6 23.9 ----
December -------------- 15.3 20.6 -- --
Average ------------- 13.3 18.6 18.4 23.7 14.5 19.8
Avocados Bananas Mangoes
January _____________ __ -- 14.5 19.8 --
February ------------- 12.9 18.2 -- -
March ----- ---- --- 13.1 18.4 ----
April ____--- 20.0 25.3 12.5 17.8 12.8 18.1
May ------------------ -- -- 13.3 18.6 -- --
June ----------------- 13.2 18.5 --
July -------------------____ 11.1 16.4 13.2 18.5 16.4 21.7
August ---------------- 14.1 19.4 13.1 18.4 21.5 26.8
September -------------- 13.5 18.8 13.3 18.6 --
October ____ ---- 11.1 16.4 13.0 18.3 --
November -------------- 14.5 19.8 13.1 18.4 --
December -------------- 15.4 20.7 13.2 18.5 -- --
Average ____ ---- 13.3 18.6 13.2 18.5 15.8 21.1

SSee footnote Table 14.





















Table 13.-Monthly wholesale prices of oranges, grapefruit and apples delivered to St. Croix, Virgin Islands, 19721

Puerto Rico Florida Puerto Rico Florida Puerto Rico Florida
Month
San Juan St. Croix Miami St. Croix San Juan St. Croix Miami St. Croix San Juan St. Croix Miami St. Croix

------------------------------- Cents per pound ---
---------Oranges __________ Grapefruit _____- _---__ Apples .----------
January ---------- 14.8 17.0 10.4 14.9 22.5 24.7 -- -- 15.6 17.8 21.1 25.6
February -------------- 15.6 17.8 9.9 14.4 16.4 18.6 11.5 16.0 14.1 16.4 18.5 23.0
March ---------------- 14.7 16.9 -- 18.1 20.3 -- -- 15.0 17.2 -- --
April ----- 14.9 17.1 9.8 14.3 16.4 18.6 .- 15.3 17.5 20.0 24.5
May ------------------ 15.5 17.7 -- 7.7 9.9 15.8 18.0 -
June 14.7 16.9 -- -- 9.2 11.4 15.7 17.9 --
July ------------------ 15.4 17.6 13.2 17.7 20.9 23.1 12.0 16.5 14.3 16.5 23.6 28.1
August ----------- 16.8 19.0 -- 14.3 16.5 18.4 22.9 14.8 17.0 -- -
September ----------- 10.4 12.6 17.0 21.5 22.1 24.3 -- 14.8 17.0 21.2 25.7
October --------------- 16.3 18.5 -- -- -- -- 15.3 17.5 -- --
November ------------- 15.3 17.5 8.6 13.1 20.9 23.1 36.5 41.0 14.8 17.0 -- -
December ------------- 12.0 16.5 -- -- -- 20.4 22.6 22.1 26.6
Average ------------- 14.5 16.7 11.1 15.6 12.0 14.2 16.2 20.7 15.1 17.3 21.1 25.6

1 See footnote Table 14.










Table 14.-Monthly wholesale prices of grapes, tropical fruits, and watermelon delivered
to St. Croix, Virgin Islands, 19721


Puerto Rico


Puerto Rico


Month


San Juan St. Croix San Juan St. Croix


Puerto Rico


San Juan St. Croix


Grapes
January ____ 22.6
February --------------- 20.5
March ----------------- 25.0
April ---- ---- --
May ----------- 31.1
June --------------- 25.0
July __-------- -
August ------------ 25.0
September ........-------------... 28.6
October ________ 30.7
November ------- 29.2
December ------------- --
Average -- 26.6


Cents per pound -------..
Tropical fruits
10.6 12.8
9.5 11.7
8.8 11.0
14.5 16.7
10.4 12.6
10.1 12.3
25.2 27.4
19.6 21.8

13.8 16.0
21.4 23.6
18.6 20.8
15.6 17.8


UVI

Library


Watermelon
Watermelon


5.8
5.9
5.6
6.2
5.6
4.9


5.7


Digitally signed
by UVI Library
DN cn=UVI
Library, c=US
Date
2002 0707
150437
-08'00'




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