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Economy, agriculture and food security
In 2013, the gross domestic product (GDP) was US$ 802 million and agriculture accounted for 28 percent of GDP, while in 1993 it accounted for 18 percent.
Subsistence agriculture is the main economic sector in the country. Fishing, offshore financial services and tourism are the other main economic sectors. Tax revenues come mainly from import duties. In general, the agricultural sector accounts for more than 75 percent of exports, of which the most important agricultural product is copra, which is the dried meat or dried kernel of the coconut used to extract coconut oil. Coconut, cocoa and squash are the main cash crops. The production of beef and timber has grown in importance for the economy. Coconut oil is also used as fuel, a trend that has major implications for the cultivation and sale of locally grown coconuts.
The main limitations of the economic development are the few commodity exports, the vulnerability to natural disasters and the long distances from the main markets and between the country’s islands (Sullivan and Guglielmi, 2007).