Guinea-Bissau Agriculture and Fishing Overview

Agriculture and fishing

Guinea-Bissau has a soil and climate suitable for agriculture. Rice, which is the main base crop, is grown mainly in the Tombali region in the south. Other important crops are cassava, bananas, beans, sweet potatoes, jams, millet, peanuts, sugarcane and tropical fruits. The export crops cashew nuts and cotton are grown mainly by small farmers in the northeast.

  • CountryAAH: Comprehensive import regulations of Guinea-Bissau. Covers import prohibitions and special documentation requirements for a list of prohibited items.

The production of cashews was multiplied in 1988–1997, without any major government support or aid money. Cashew nuts sales are often the only source of income for households. Most of the harvest is sold to India.

In 2015, the government announced that the purchase price of cashews would be increased to prevent smuggling to Senegal and Gambia, where farmers are better paid for their goods, taxes are lower and a smaller portion of the money needs to be paid to various intermediaries. It has also tightened the penalties for smugglers and strengthened the surveillance of borders to stop the illegal trade. For Guinea-Bissau defense and foreign policy, please check prozipcodes.

In collaboration with a Chinese consortium, peanut cultivation has regained momentum from 2013.

Rice is grown primarily for its own use, but production does not meet the need and Guinea-Bissau imports ever-increasing quantities of rice. The country was hit by drought in 2011, which mainly affected crops such as rice and other cereals. The cultivation of cashew nuts was not hit as hard as they are not as dependent on rain.

Several projects aimed at increasing risk harvests and improving inventory are underway with support from, among others, Brazil and Spain. Poor transport from the countryside to the cities also creates problems for the farmers who find it difficult to transport their crops to the markets.

In collaboration with, among other things, a Chinese company, crops have also begun to be grown that can be used for biogas production.

Livestock management is important in the interior of the country, especially among the Balant and the Muslim peoples. The number of animals has increased steadily in recent years.2013 there were about 670,000 cattle, 460,000 pigs, 750,000 goats and 470,000 sheep in the country. In recent years, livestock theft has become an increasing problem, especially in the north. In some parts of the country, meat consumption is high. There is also export of skins and hides.

The Constitution states that all land is jointly owned by the people of Guinea-Bissau, but the old system has begun to be loosened, which has led to land disputes in many places. On average, a smallholder family has access to just over three hectares of land. Only a few farmers, so-called pontieros, have more land. The farming methods are simple.

Many young men also leave the countryside, as they cannot see any opportunity to create a better life if they remain.
At the beginning of the 1990s, 58 percent of the country’s area was covered by forest. Only in recent years has felling been done on any large scale. This has led to conflicts between Chinese forest companies and the local people. In May 2015, a five-year stop was introduced for all logging. Over 100,000 logs, which were to be exported to China, took hold, pending clarification on the conditions under which they had been cut. However, few evidence has been presented.

The seas off Guinea-Bissau are rich in seafood, but the stock has declined in recent years due to overfishing. Lack of control of illegal fishing is a major problem.

Fish is an important source of protein in front of the population of the coastal area and along the rivers. Most indigenous fishermen engage in small-scale coastal fishing.

Fisheries agreements have been concluded with the EC/EU since 1980. In 2012, 40 EU fishing vessels were granted the right to fish in Guinean waters. For that, the EU paid $ 11.5 million. Concerns about depletion have led to the EU having to lower its catch quotas. 37 boats from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and France fish in Guinean waters. Part of the money from the EU will go towards strengthening the domestic fish industry.

Guinea-Bissau has also signed fishing agreements with China, Senegal and Ivory Coast, among others. China has built a new fishing port in Bissau that came into use in 2011.

Foreign fishing vessels also carry out extensive illegal fishing in Guinean waters.


Agriculture’s share of GDP

47.5 percent (2018)

Percentage of land used for agriculture

58.0 percent (2016)

  • Offers how the 3-letter acronym of GNB stands for the state of Guinea-Bissau in geography.



Ndafa Kabi new prime minister

Vieira is forced to dismiss Gomes and appoints Martinho Ndafa Kabi (sometimes spelled Cabi) from PAIGC as new prime minister for a tripartite government consisting of PAIGC, PRS and PUSD.


Vieira is forced to dismiss the Prime Minister

PRS and PUSD leave the government and conclude a “national stability pact” with PAIGC. Shortly thereafter, the government loses a vote of no confidence in Parliament. President Vieira must thus dismiss Prime Minister Aristides Gomes or announce new elections within 90 days. In Bissau, thousands of people demonstrate demanding that Gomes be replaced. Behind the protests lies a dissatisfaction that public servants have not been paid their salaries.

Guinea-Bissau Agriculture and Fishing