Agriculture has long been the backbone of the Angolan economy. Even though an abundance of arable land is available, less than 3% is cultivated. Agriculture engages over 70% of the population but accounts for 8% of GDP. Diverse climatic conditions favor a wide variety of crops, and there is also considerable irrigation potential. Coffee, primarily of the robust variety, at one time made Angola the world's fourth-largest producer, but during the civil war almost all the main plantations were abandoned, and crop disease set in. Moreover, the widespread use of landmines has discouraged farmers from venturing into their fields.
Marketed cash crops in 1998 included 6,000 tons of coffee (down from 225,000 tons in 1972), 1,000 tons of cotton (48,000 in 1972), and 1,000 tons of sisal. The principal food crops are cassava, with an estimated 3,130,000 tons in 1999, corn, 428,000 tons, and sweet potatoes, 182,000 tons. Other 1999 estimated yields included bananas, 290,000 tons; citrus fruits, 75,000 tons; millet, 102,000 tons; dry beans, 68,000 tons; palm oil, 50,000 tons; potatoes, 19,000 tons; raw sugar, 32,000 tons; rice, 16,000 tons; and peanuts (in shell), 11,000 tons.