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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 03-October-2018


  1. Favourable weather conditions benefited secondary maize crops

  2. Inflation rates at generally low levels (less than 3 percent) in recent years

Favourable weather conditions benefited crops

The main food crops are cassava and plantain, but the country also produces a small amount of maize. Harvesting of the secondary season maize harvest was completed in June. According to satellite images, the secondary maize cropping season was characterized by mostly adequate and well-distributed rainfall favouring crop development and performance. Planting of the 2018 main maize crop is underway, while planting of cassava, one of the main staple crops, was recently completed under generally favourable conditions.

Inflation at generally low levels in recent years

Agriculture contributes to only about 8 percent of the GDP reflecting the predominance of the petroleum industry and the country imports the bulk of its cereal requirements through commercial channels, with cereal imports accounting for about 90 percent of the total consumption requirement. In the 2018 marketing year (January/December), cereal import requirements, mainly wheat and rice, are forecast at about 188 000 tonnes, showing a 6 percent increase from the previous year.

In recent years, the rates of inflation have been at generally low levels (less than 3 percent) due to Government subsidies on many basic goods (including food staples) and the relatively strong local currency which exerts downward pressure on prices of imported goods. According to the International Monetary Fund, the average inflation rates were about 2 percent in 2016, 3 percent in 2017 and are forecast to fall slightly to 2.8 percent in 2018.

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