Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau

More than 80 percent of people in Guinea-Bissau – one of the poorest countries in the world – earn a living from agriculture. Rice and cashews are two important crops – the latter contributes significantly to the country’s export earnings – but scarce inputs, erratic weather and weak infrastructure translate to low yields.

The cashew market has suffered serious setbacks in recent years, with farmers’ incomes dwindling as a result. This has made life difficult for many families, especially in light of high food prices and inflation. FAO is helping Guinea-Bissauan farmers ramp up food production – from introducing new rice varieties to raising livestock to planting vegetable gardens – in a bid to lessen their vulnerability to shocks.

High food prices

In general, Guinea-Bissau’s smallholder farmers do not produce enough rice to feed their families throughout the year. They use earnings from cashew nuts to buy imported foods. But food prices skyrocketed in 2008 – the price of imported rice was 68 percent higher than in the previous year – at the same time farmers’ purchasing power dropped. To cushion the blow, FAO has worked to boost farmers’ output, improving their access to quality seeds, fertilizers, tools and technical training. In addition, FAO has supported efforts to diversify production, such as off-season food crops, and to produce certified seed locally.

Diversifying production

Growing one or two main crops is a gamble. A shock, whether market-related or a natural disaster, can seriously dent production and with it, a farmer's ability to make a living. FAO is helping Guinea-Bissauan farmers produce more and varied foods to boost nutrition and incomes. It has helped women’s groups grow and market vegetables and has supported school gardens. It has trained small animal breeders in new techniques in livestock management and animal health, providing veterinary services with medicines and other essentials. Working with producer organizations, it has tested new rice varieties suited to the country’s different ecosystems, and has supported the cashew value chain, distributing kits for shelling and tools for processing and preserving cashew products.

 

More about the country

 - In the context of increasing humanitarian crises, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Food Programme are committed, alongside Member States, ...read more
22/08/2018
 - See the differences between the two analysis moving the slider. Projected food insecurity situation in the Sahel and West Africa: as for June-August 2018 over 10.6 million ...read more
17/04/2018
 - See the differences between the two analysis moving the slider. Food insecurity situation in the Sahel and West Africa: as for March-May 2018 over 7.1 million people ...read more
06/04/2018
 - Key points: The agricultural production is expected to be overall average to above-average in West Africa and the Sahel. Fodder deficits persist in the extreme North-East of Chad, ...read more
31/10/2017
 - Key Points: Expected seasonal forecast of overall average to slightly below average in the Southern Gulf of Guinea countries. Expected seasonal forecast of overall cumulative rainfall in Sudano-sahelian ...read more
09/06/2017
 - See the differences between the two analysis moving the slider. Projected food insecurity situation in the Sahel and West Africa: as for June-August 2017 over 13.8 million ...read more
17/05/2017
 - Food insecurity situation in the Sahel and West Africa: as for March-May 2017 over 9.6 million people are in phase Crisis and above (CH phase 3, ...read more
29/03/2017
 - Key Points: Food situation remains good in the region with new harvests. The off season crop campaign in the region is ongoing. Niger recorded a forage production deficit. Locust ...read more
10/02/2017
 - See the differences between the two analysis moving the slider. Food insecurity situation in the Sahel and West Africa for October-December 2016. The Cadre Harmonisé analysis covers 17 ...read more
09/10/2016
 - See the differences between the two analysis moving the slider. Food insecurity situation in the Sahel and West Africa for August 2016. The Cadre Harmonisé analysis covers 17 ...read more
16/09/2016