The staple diet of the people here is ‘Pilau’, a preparation of rice and pigeon peas to which any meat or fish is added. Because of its volcanic terrain the island soil is fertile, turning it into a natural larder where almost anything will grow. Locally grown vegetables are grown, sold and consumed by the people. The vegetables grown here include yams, sweet potatoes, dasheens, eddoes, tannies and cassava. Fishes of all kinds are hunted and eaten; the most common among them are porpoises, killer whales and pilot whales. Cetaceans are also hunted. The main meal of the people staying in the island is in the evening when the heat of the day has dissipated, whereas the lunch consists of snacks made up of fruits or a light lunch. Breakfast is normally a hearty affair consisting of fried salt fish with onions, bread and a pot of cocoa or coffee.
Saint Vincent and Grenadines is a lush island having a wide variety of rare plants and shrubs, which can be seen in the Botanical gardens. The garden is home to third generation ‘Breadfruit’ tree, which is the symbol of Saint Vincent and Grenadines. They are included not only in meals but also its image is carved in pottery dishes and flowerpots. ‘Arrowroot’ another native crop to the islands is found on the lush side of Owia in the northeast, which is produced for local consumption as well as trade. The Mesopotamia valley is one of the best places in the island to see the flora, as its road passes winding rivers, deep forests and terraced farms planet with nutmeg, cocoa, coconut, breadfruit and bananas. The islands of grenadines feature gardens in and around the main resorts.
Saint Vincent and Grenadines is rich in its wildlife, it is home to species of interesting frogs that include the ‘Lesser Antillean Whistling Frog’, a tiny frog whose call sounds like a whistle. It is also home to the Cane toad, a big ugly beast having its origin from Texas. The Cane Toad can grow up to ten inches long and has huge glands on its back and head that release a secret toxin, having a potential to kill a dog. A variety of beautiful endangered sea turtles including Loggerhead, Green turtle and Leatherback turtle are found in the islands. The islands are also home to the Tree Anole and the Common Iguana. Many bird species like frigate birds, boobies, herons are found in the islands.
Agriculture, dominated by the banana production, is most important sector of this lower-middle economy. The service sector is based mostly on the growing tourist industry. Agricultural production is majorly done in Saint Vincent. Few households solely depend and subsist entirely on farming. The economy is a mixture of subsistence and plantation agriculture. The capital city ‘Kingstown’ has the main market occupied by the women selling ‘ground provision’ produced at their gardens. They also sell their produce to the neighbouring countries. A separate market has been set up for the fishermen too, funded by Japan called ‘Little Tokyo’. All fish products are produced for local consumption. On Saint Vincent, there is a cigarette factory, a plastic factory and various other food-processing facilities directed to the local market. The European and American investments provide jobs to the people in tennis racket factory, clothing manufacturing. Tourism got boosted after the shooting of the Hollywood film ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. And apart from agriculture in Saint Vincent and Tourism in the Grenadines, they are major world producer of arrowroot.
Health care is accessible to people in all parts of the island. Basic health care is free or at low cost for all the people, but any special services and surgery are expensive. The government provides health services at the secondary and tertiary levels. Health care is given to people suffering from chronic illness at general and district hospitals. For specialized services if the person is unable to pay then the ministry of social affairs assist the individual, however no individual is refused emergency care if he or she is unable to pay the medical fees. Health care is free for children below the age group of seventeen years. The Ministry of Health and Environment is currently installing an electronic Health Information System (HIS) with the aim of improving the delivery of health care.