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Equatorial Guinea Agriculture and Fishing Overview
Agriculture and fishing
Agriculture was the basis of the economy before the oil boom, which began in the 1990s. Even today, agriculture employs most people. However, many have left the countryside for better paid jobs in the oil industry.
On the fertile island of Bioko, cocoa is grown on large plantations, but production has declined sharply since independence in 1968. One reason has been the uncertainty over who owns the land. Nowadays most of the plantations are owned by people in the circle of President Obiang. The most important crop on the mainland is coffee. Large parts of the harvest are probably smuggled to neighboring Gabon, where growers are better paid for their coffee. The government is trying to get the farmers to invest in the cultivation of vanilla, pepper, coriander, bananas and various medicinal plants for export. For the domestic market, cassava, jams, sweet potatoes, bananas, rice and maize are mainly grown.
Timber is the country's most important export product after oil and gas. It is mainly wood-type gabon (or okoumé) and akoga that go on export. The largest forest company, Rimbunan Hijau, is part of an international business empire controlled by the Chinese family Tiong in Malaysia; the company has often complained about illegal logging, environmental damage and human rights violations. Since the 1990s, much forest has been cut down at a rapid rate, especially along the coast and larger watercourses. In 2004, Equatorial Guinea was one of ten countries that signed an agreement to preserve the Congo basin rainforest, but also protected areas are at risk of depletion as demand for timber is high.
Equatorial Guinea has rich fishing waters in the Atlantic. At independence there was a domestic fishing industry, which exported tuna and seafood. Projects are underway to increase fishing in the country, and plans are underway to build new companies for the production of fish products. Since the late 1980s, fishing has been licensed primarily by the EU, which has also contributed to research and education in the fisheries sector in Equatorial Guinea.
Livestock management is of little importance.
FACTS - AGRICULTURE
Agriculture's share of GDP
2.3 percent (2018)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
10.1 percent (2016)
CPDS changes party leader
Plácido Micó Abogo, who has been imprisoned several times for his opposition to the regime, resigns as party leader for CPDS in favor of Andrés Esono Ondó. CPDS is the only one of twelve approved opposition parties sitting in parliament, with a mandate.
The Obiang family's luxury cars are seized in France
France seizes nine luxury cars owned by the Obiang family and sells them at executive auction for a total of just over € 3 million. The cars have, according to French court, been purchased by the presidential family for money belonging to the Equatorial Guinea state.
Big rolling victory for ruling PDGE
The Presidential Office announces that Obiang's ruling party PDGE has won an overwhelming victory in all districts in the parliamentary elections. As in the 2008 election, the opposition party CPDS gets a seat in parliament. The opposition accuses the government of extensive electoral fraud.
Oppositional grips during electoral movement
Several opposition politicians are arrested during the election campaign before the parliamentary elections later this month. Police disperse a few hundred people trying to conduct a demonstration against President Obiang.