Agriculture in Equatorial Guinea

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Agriculture is the main economic activity in Equatorial Guinea, involving about 70 percent of the economically active population.

An estimated 8 percent of the land is engaged in crop production. The island of Bioko has year-round rainfall, and the prevailing economic activity is cocoa cultivation. In Río Muni (on mainland Africa), where 80 percent of the population lives, food crops are the dominant economic activity, and cash crop cultivation is secondary.

Agriculture (including forestry and fishing) accounts for about 55 percent of GDP and 60 percent of exports. The main food crop is cassava, of which 45,000 tons were produced in 2004. Sweet potatoes are the second-largest food crop, with 36,000 tons in 2004, followed by bananas (20,000 tons).

Before independence, the main cash crops were cocoa, coffee, and palm kernels for palm oil. Guinean cocoa, of excellent quality, had an annual production of 38,000 tons in 1967. However, production experienced a sharp drop in the 1970s, falling to 4,512 tons in 1980. In 2004, production was estimated at 2,400 tons. Coffee of comparatively poor quality is grown in northern Río Muni, along the Cameroon border. The preindependence production of 8,959 tons in 1967 fell to 500 tons in 1978; the decline was mainly caused by forcible transfer of coffee farmers to the Bioko cocoa plantations. Coffee production was an estimated 3,500 tons in 2004. Actual cocoa and coffee production is higher, but official figures do not take into account quantities smuggled abroad rather than delivered to state marketing agencies.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website