Comoros - Economy
The economy of the Comoros is agriculture based, dependent on trade and foreign assistance. Foreign aid accounted for about half of GDP in 2002. Mineral resources are few; there is little industry. Tourism, increased considerably in the 1990s as a result of promotion by South African interests, but political upheaval during 1999 offended potential visitors. Agriculture accounted for nearly the other half of GDP, and employed 80% of the population in 2002. Cassava, sweet potatoes, rice, and bananas are the staple crops along with yams, coconuts, and maize. Meat, rice, and vegetables are leading imports. Comoros is the world's second largest producer of vanilla, with one-third of exports going to France, and the world's leading producer of ylang-ylang, a perfume oil. Cloves and copra are also exported. Land access is a problem, as is overpopulation. The fishing industry has potential but is still largely undeveloped.