While the agricultural sector’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) fell from around 15% in 1990 to 9% in 2012, in 2014, the sector was the third largest contributor to Suriname’s GDP, contributing $748 million SRD. The sector remains a significant source of employment in rural areas, and the Second National Communication notes that the agriculture, forestry and fisheries subsector provide a far greater share of the formal employment market than the same subsector’s relative share of GDP. Estimates of agriculture’s contribution to employment range from 8.9% in 2007 to 15% in 2009. Agriculture provides around 5% of the country’s generation of foreign exchange and produces the populations’ main staple food, rice, which occupied 94% of arable land in 2013 and accounts for 60% of total agricultural production. Bananas are the second highest produced crop and, together with rice, accounted for 50% of agricultural exports in the period 2007-2011. Other important crops are plantains, vegetables and cassava. Agricultural activities include crop production (rice, bananas, vegetables), animal production (beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, pigs), fisheries (dominated by deep-sea fish and shrimp with some aquaculture), and most recently cultivation of fruits, flowers and ornamental plants. These activities are found in both young and old coastal areas and are highly dependent on water resources and climatic conditions. The agriculture, livestock and fisheries sector employs outdated technology, increasing its sensitivity to climate change. Saltwater intrusion and variations in rainfall patterns could lead to a decrease in available productive land, which could negatively impact national food security and export earnings. Droughts will increase irrigation needs, and flooding can result in economically significant damages. The total impact of the May 2006 floods on the agricultural sector exceeded SR $42 million, which represented 37.9% of the total impact of the flood on the interior and was equivalent to about 17% of the GDP of agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing for Suriname.
This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. It allows for a quick assessment of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.