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TABLE 8
Share of main agricultural export commodities in total agricultural exports

Country 1961 1970 1980 1992 Product
Cape Verde ... ... ... ... ...
Gambia 85.5 47.9 54.7 23.2 Groundnuts
Lesotho 50.5 63.8 35.1 26.9 Cattle, wool
Djibouti ... ... ... ... ...
Mozembique 28.7 20.3 34.8 ... Cotton, cashew
Guinea-Bissau 33.2 70.0 29.2 38.4 Groundnuts, cashew nuts
Somalia 49.2 29.2 27.8 20.4 Bananas, sheep, goats
Comoros 59.9 45.8 81.2 93.9 Vanilla, cloves
Sierra Leone 50.8 43.0 45.7 17.2 Palm kernels, coffee
Ethiopia 58.6 64.4 69.6 55.2 Coffee
Burkina Faso 57.8 23.2 49.8 70.8 Cotton, cattle
Togo 35.3 60.4 50.2 62.9 Cocoa beans, cotton
Senegal 43.6 46.0 28.0 ... Groundnut oil
Benin 15.7 19.9 26.0 71.6 Palm oil, cocoa beans, cotton
Rwanda 85.6 87.5 66.8 58.4 Coffee
Mali 28.5 44.3 41.6 60.0 Cattle, cotton
Mauritania 50.9 33.0 46.9 74.3 Cattle, shellfish (fresh, frozen and cured)
Haiti 52.7 63.9 80.5 37.7 Coffee
Nicaragua 32.7 24.1 44.1 23.6 Coffee, cotton
Dominican Republic 46.6 55.7 55.6 40.6 Sugar
Samoa ... ... ... ... ...
Bangladesh 84.5 73.1 58.7 33.3 Jute
Cambodia 32.6 16.8 97.6 69.0 Rubber dry, industrial roundwood (non-coniferous)
Afghanistan 24.1 18.2 41.7 41.9 Raisins, fur, skins
Nepal 18.1 ... 19.7 33.7 Sugar cane, jute, lentils
Laos 32.7 84.6 66.6 41.0 Nutmeg, sawnwood, coffee
Sri Lanka 67.4 58.2 54.9 50.9 Tea
Maldives 100.0 100.0 69.7 ... Copra, finfish
Egypt 81.4 66.3 62.5 12.8 Cotton
Yemen 22.1 23.9 33.7 17.4 Coffee, cotton, water melons
Sudan 52.4 62.5 42.6 31.9 Cotton
ALL COUNTRIES 49.3 49.9 50.5 44.3  

Source: FAO, Country tables, various years, Economic and Social Policy Department, Rome.

The identification of these different types of product is difficult and to a certain extent arbitrary. Here we adopt the definition of "broadly noncompeting" products as used by Riedel4 to refer to those products for which the developing country share of world exports exceeds 80 percent. The products are cocoa, coffee, tea, bananas, spices, copra, groundnuts, palm oil, coconut oil, jute, natural rubber, sisal and silk.

Table 9 shows the widely varying degrees of dependence on non-competing products in FDCs. For some countries, non-competing products account for over 90 percent of total agricultural exports (for example, in island states with very narrow resource bases, such as the Comoros and Cape Verde, and in coffee-dependent Rwanda), while for others the share is insignificant (for example, in the cotton exporters Egypt, Mali and the Sudan). However, a large majority of these countries have recorded a move towards "competing" exports. This tendency, and the somewhat reduced dependence on a few major export products observed above, suggests that opportunities for export diversification are being exploited even by particularly poor and resource-deprived countries. A more diversified export structure should provide opportunities for expanding and stabilizing FDCs' export earnings from agriculture. The fact that this has not occurred and that agricultural export performances have remained generally disappointing in FDCs (Table 10) reflect, in particular, the poor initial conditions from which improvements have been achieved in many of these countries as well as the general market conditions and policy environment that govern agricultural trade (see Part III, p. 199). Whatever headway in efficiency or diversification these countries may be able to achieve, its effective translation into competitive gains will depend crucially on progress in trade liberalization and improved access to developed countries' markets.

TABLE 9
Broadly non-competing agricultural exports as a percentage of total agricultural exports

  1961 1991
Cape Verde 80.1 95.3
Gambia 85.1 46.4
Lesotho 0.0 0.0
Djibouti ... ...
Mozambique 30.8 15.2
Guinea-Bissau 71.2 1.2
Somalia 50.8 8.7
Comoros 100.0 100.0
Sierra Leone 25.5 87.5
Ethiopia 62.8 56.9
Burkina Faso 0.0 0.4
Togo 80.2 26.4
Senegal 43.0 7.6
Benin 67.5 2.6
Rwanda 85.9 92.7
Mali 30.3 0.1
Mauritania 0.0 0.0
Haiti 72.3 49.8
Nicaragua 37.4 42.9
Dominican Republic 32.1 24.1
Samoa 98.1 26.7
Bangladesh 72.2 87.5
Cambodia 2.9 0.0
Afghanistan 0.0 0.0
Nepal 3.3 7.0
Laos 61.0 35.1
Sri Lanka 94.0 85.0
Maldives 100.0 0.0
Egypt 0.7 3 7
Yemen 28.0 22.8
Sudan 9.3 2.2

Source: FAO.

TABLE 10
Selected FDCs: indicators of agricultural export performance

  Export volume, volume, annual rate of change Net barter terms of agricultural trade Purchasing power of agricultural exports
  1971- 1980 1981 - 1990 1992 - 1993 1992 - 1993
 

(.......... %.............)

(....... 1979-81 = 100 ........)

Afghanistan 5.2 -11.6 107 20
Bangladesh 1.7 0.4 71 56
Sri Lanka 1.8 2.2 54 48
Egypt -4.8 -1.9 30 37
Ethiopia 0.8 1.0 87 31
Mauritania -1.4 -3.6 125 78
Mozambique -5.4 -8.5 73 16
Sierra Leone -2.2 -2.9 31 12
Sudan 4.4 3.3 50 57
Dominican Republic -1.7 -4.3 59 36
Nicaragua 5.6 -0.1 56 27

Note: Net barter agricultural terms of trade are agricultural export prices deflated by import prices of manufactures and crude petroleum; the purchasing power of agricultural exports is calculated by deflating export values by import prices. Thus, the difference between the two indices is accounted for by changes in export volumes. For instance, Afghanistan improved agricultural terms of trade by 7 percent between 1979 81 and 1992-93; but the decline in export volumes caused the purchasing capacity of agricultural exports to fall by 80 percent during this period.

Source: FAO.


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