Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry
Agriculture is one of the engines of the Guinean economy. Natural assets like topography, hydrography and climate bestowed upon the country create ideal conditions for developing dynamic and diversified agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry.
As the most important economic activity, agriculture involves 67% of the active population and accounts for 33% of GNP. Vast domains are irrigable and good farming opportunities exist in the Forest Region, in plains (especially in Maritime Guinea and Upper Guinea) or in bottom lands.
Agriculture focuses on major subsistence crops like rice (population’s staple food), cassava, maize, yam, and peanuts.
Major export crops are banana, coffee, oil palm and cotton.
The formulation of an Agricultural Development Policy Letter (LDPA) has allowed the boosting of rural development, the opening of new prospects in the agricultural sector since 1991 with the support of development partners.
In this way and with the objective of making use and taking advantage of existing synergies, concrete and complementary actions have been taken in the field of agronomic research, agricultural extension services, hydro-agricultural development, feeder roads and product commercialization.
Animal breeding is extensive in general. The Fouta Djallon region is the primary breeding area with more than half the livestock number. Upper Guinea comes second. The livestock is composed of cattle (with the N’Dama breed which is highly valued and trypano-resistant), sheep, goats and pigs (80 % of the latter is found in the Forest region).
Under the Animal Breeding Sector Restructuring Project (P.R.S.F) which started in 1987, the government has devised a set of measures including:
- rational exploitation of all animal stocks;
- development of intensive breeding;
- creation of community breeding centers;
- ranching and feeder ranching development for the multiplication of sires and meat production from slaughtered animals to meet population’s food requirements;
- Providing agriculture with draft oxen and manure.
The country is presently self-sufficient in meat but it depends heavily on imported dairy products. Achievements are particularly significant in the privatization of vet services to address animal health.
As far as fishing is concerned, Guinea, stretching over a coast of 300 km long with an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles, possesses tremendous fish resources but these are inadequately exploited.
Fisheries represent a vital sector of the economy and therefore a source of foreign exchange earnings. At the same time, this activity provides 40 % of animal proteins consumed in the country. In its artisanal form and under projects initiated by the government, reactivation efforts have been undertaken and units equipped with motorized fishing boats along with the provision of modern tools.
Industrial-scale fishing is making headway. It is a very promising activity. The most commonly hauled species include sea breams, threadfins, sharks, and shrimps.