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Economy, Agriculture

world prices, small plots, world market, cassava, sweet potatoes

Agriculture (including forestry and fishing) makes the largest contribution to the GDP, amounting to 42 percent in 2000. About two-fifths of food crops were marketed, the rest were consumed directly. Almost all farmers work small plots, primarily with hoes, and subsist mainly on their own food crops, notably bananas, cassava, sweet potatoes, and millet. They also grow crops for sale, both for local consumption and export. Historically, almost all foreign exchange was earned by the sale of cotton on the world market. Later, this was accompanied by coffee, which became the most important foreign exchange earner, and tea and tobacco. The economy still is heavily dependent on world prices for these commodities, particularly coffee, although the government has successfully promoted a more diversified foreign exchange basis. The export crops increasing in importance include corn, beans, cut flowers, sesame, cocoa, and vanilla. In 1997 livestock supplied almost one-fifth of agriculture’s share of GDP.

Article key phrases:

world prices, small plots, world market, cassava, sweet potatoes, sesame, bananas, millet, vanilla, cocoa, beans, livestock, farmers, corn, flowers, forestry, tobacco, fishing, hoes, coffee, commodities, tea, economy, percent, government, importance


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