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Guinea, Economy

The chief economic activity of Guinea is agriculture; some 87 percent of the people are dependent on subsistence farming, forestry, and fishing. The principal food crops and their production in 2001 were rice (750,000 metric tons); root crops such as cassava (1.12 million metric tons); fruits such as plantains and citrus (994,358 metric tons); and vegetables (476,000). Chief export crops are typically pineapples, peanuts, palm kernels, and coffee. Livestock in 2001 included 2.4 million cattle, 687,000 sheep, 864,000 goats, and 8.9 million poultry.

Mining operations in 2000 yielded 15 million metric tons of bauxite, 410,000 carats of high-quality diamonds, and 13,000 kg (28,700 lb) of gold. Environmental concerns and political instability in neighboring Liberia have delayed exploitation of high-grade iron ore from Mount Nimba.

In 1999 the national budget included $404 million in revenues and $728 million in expenditures. The unit of currency is the Guinean franc, which is divided into 100 centimes (1,747 francs equal U.S.$1; 2000 average).

Guinea has about 1,045 km (about 650 mi) of railroads. The major line links Conakry and Kankan. Other lines link the ports, Conakry and Kamsar, to bauxite mines. Guinea has 30,500 km (18,952 mi) of roads, 17 percent of which are paved. Conakry has an international airport.

In 1997 there were 49 radio receivers and 12television sets in use for every 1,000 inhabitants. Television and radio broadcasting is operated by a state-run company based in Conakry.


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