Agricultural activities are hampered by on-going civil disturbances.
Fighting, which started in Bissau on 7 June, intensified and spread
to other towns in late June/early July. No information on crop prospects
has been received from the country but insecurity is likely to impede normal
agricultural activities at the critical planting period. Satellite imagery
indicates that rains started in the east in mid-May, stopped in late May
but resumed in early June, progressing over the entire country from mid-June.
Normally, in June, planting of coarse grains should commence in the east and
the north and that of rice be undertaken in seedbeds. Transplanting should start
in July/August after desalination of swamp rice fields following stronger rains.
It is currently difficult to know how far areas planted will be reduced but
1998 production will certainly be reduced following the crisis (see
further details in box on page 2).