Congo, Republic of The; - Agriculture



Agriculture and forestry comprised 12 percent of GDP in 1995, and just 10 percent in 1999. Reliable statistics for a country such as the Congo are difficult to obtain, as most agricultural labor takes place outside of official channels, but most estimates put the percentage of the workforce engaged in agriculture between 60 and 75 percent. In 1998, agricultural exports totaled US$15.3 million, while agricultural imports totaled US$130 million. Cassava is the principal food crop. Other major crops include manioc, plantains, bananas, peanuts, sugarcane, cocoa, coffee, and palm kernels. Agricultural commodities that are exported include tropical and other woods, sugar, coffee, and cocoa. The Congo also produces beef and veal, chicken, lamb, game, and pork. Less than 2 percent of the country's land is cultivated.

Forest products from the Congo's lush rainforests represent 10 percent of export earnings, and once led exports until the country developed its oil industry. But due to high transportation and wage costs as well as low productivity, the forest industry has suffered severe declines in recent years.

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