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

 - Food insecurity situation in the Sahel and West Africa from 01/03 to 31/05/2015.
13/04/2015
 - An analysis of the Harmonized Framework highlights minimal food insecurity in several areas in the region. However, between March and May 2015 ,4,749,000 persons are identified ...read more
10/04/2015
 - Overview In March 2014, the first Ebola virus disease (EVD) case was confirmed in Guinea and quickly spread to the neighbouring countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia. ...read more
16/03/2015
 - The Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and its partners released a report on the current food security situation in Guinea, Liberia ...read more
16/03/2015
 - L'Essentiel Malgré les bonnes perspectives de récoltes en Afrique de l’Ouest, les estimations de production céréalière au Sahel Ouest (Cap-Vert, Gambie, Guinée-Bissau, Sénégal) enregistrent une baisse de ...read more
20/02/2015
 - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has collaborated with the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) since 2009 to support activities and programmes ...read more
31/01/2015
 - Food insecurity situation in the Sahel and West Africa from 01/01 to 31/03/2015.
18/12/2014
 - Food insecurity situation in the Sahel and West Africa from 01/10 to 31/12/2014.
16/11/2014
 -  The lean season continues in the Sahel, and the poorest households are still facing difficulties accessing adequate food. Floods have caused crop losses and affected livelihoods in ...read more
30/09/2013
 - Afin de passer en revue les actions menées par la FAO face à la crise au Sahel en 2012 et de partager les bonnes pratiques, le ...read more
27/09/2013