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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 05-December-2022


  1. Favourable soil moisture levels for 2022 main maize crop

  2. Gross domestic product (GDP) forecast to increase in 2022

Favourable soil moisture levels for 2022 main maize crop

The main food crops are cassava and plantains, but also a very small amount of maize is produced in the country.

Planting of the 2022 main season maize crops, to be harvested from late December, started in mid‑August, two weeks earlier than usual due to the early onset of the rainy season. Planting was completed by early October. According to estimates derived from satellite‑based imagery, precipitation amounts have been adequate and well distributed since the beginning of the cropping season, benefitting soil moisture levels.

Sowing of the 2023 secondary season maize crops is expected to begin in February next year.

Gross domestic product (GDP) forecast to increase in 2022

Agriculture contributes to a small portion (less than 1 percent) of the national GDP, reflecting the predominance of the petroleum industry. The GDP declined by about 2 percent in 2020, owing to the effects of the outbreak of the COVID‑19 pandemic on global oil prices (which fell sharply) and on the country’s economy. In 2021, the GDP increased by about 1.5 percent, mainly due to a surge in crude oil prices. In 2022, economic growth is forecast to rise further to about 3 percent.

The war in Ukraine resulted in rising global food prices and international transportation costs, exerting inflationary pressure in the country. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the annual inflation was estimated at 1 percent in 2021 and is forecast at 3.5 percent in 2022 and 3.2 percent in 2023.

The country imports the bulk of its cereal requirements through commercial channels, with cereal imports accounting for approximately 90 percent of the total cereal utilization. With a population of about 2.4 million, imports of cereals in 2022 are forecast at a near‑average level of 196 000 tonnes, including about 110 000 tonnes of wheat and 80 000 tonnes of rice.

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