Economy, Agriculture and Forestry
important cash crop, agricultural cooperatives, roundwood, coffee production, plantains
Only 3 percent of the total land area is used for growing crops. Basic food crops include cassava, plantains, corn, peanuts, sweet potatoes, and millet. In order to increase the wage-earning power of the peasant farmer, the government has organized agricultural cooperatives, placing primary emphasis on introducing new crops that are expected to produce a higher income. The cultivation of tobacco, sesame, and rice is encouraged by the government. The most important cash crop is coffee, once grown mostly on European-owned plantations, but now produced largely on smaller African-owned farms. In 2001 coffee production was 13,000 metric tons. Cotton, which is widely cultivated, is also a leading cash crop and represents a significant portion of export earnings.
Exploitation of forest reserves was slow to develop but has increased in importance. In 2000 some 3.5 million cu m (125 million cu ft) of roundwood were produced. Timber accounted for 8 percent of export revenues in the early 1990s.
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