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Ivory Coast Agriculture and Fishing Overview
Agriculture and fishing
Agriculture is the Ivory Coast's most important industry and accounts for just under a quarter of GDP and employs 40-50 percent of the labor force. In many places, agriculture has depended on cheap labor from neighboring countries.
About 60 percent of the agricultural land is used for growing the export crops cocoa and coffee. Most of the crops are small and are found in the southwest. Palm oil, coconuts, rubber, bananas and pineapples (for the EU market) are also grown for export, predominantly in the southeast. In the north, cotton is grown for export, but the violence and political turmoil have created major problems for growers there.
Most cultivation for own use is carried out on small family farms. Cassava, sweet potato, millet, corn, food bananas, corn, peanuts and rice are important food crops. Sugarcane is also grown for the domestic market. The government has tried in various ways to encourage more farmers to grow rice, but the country still has to import large quantities. Other cereals must also be imported to meet the needs.
Livestock management is limited.
Ivory Coast produces over a third of all cocoa in the world. Cocoa production has increased sharply since the mid-1990s. The civil war affected the industry, but relatively high world market prices have kept the cocoa industry running. The 2014 season yielded a record crop of 1.7 million tonnes. But aging plantations, viral diseases on the trees and problems with storage and drying have lowered the quality of the Ivorian cocoa. In addition, climate change is a threat. Warmer weather kills trees and irregular rain gives the roots too much or too little water.
High taxes on cocoa exports mean that parts of the harvest are smuggled to neighboring countries where farmers are paid more for their crops. The state administration of the cocoa trade is bureaucratic and corrupt. The state-owned company that handled the cocoa trade has been replaced by several new companies. However, these have been neglected and it has been difficult to establish a functioning system. The farmers have often objected to low prices.
At the same time, efforts are being made to produce a larger part of the cocoa processing in the country, from chocolate cookies and breakfast cereals to chocolate. A new factory operated by French company Cemoi is being built in San Pedro in the western part of the country. Already in 2014, cocoa production accounted for just over one fifth of GDP.
Most of the cotton is sold without government control over the border in the north.
Palm oil production has increased since 2007. The SIFCA group is the country's largest producer. It plans to, in collaboration with a Swedish company that deals with emission rights, start using residual products from the nearby farms to run its plant. The purpose is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Hardwood is still an important export product, but the supply of timber has decreased due to excessive harvesting and insufficient replanting. Exports have also fallen as a result of increased domestic demand. The forest companies are usually foreign-owned.
Planting, planting and not least logging have drastically reduced the scope of forests. The result has been soil erosion, numerous floods and increasingly severe droughts. Strict rules have been introduced to limit felling and only sawn timber may be exported. Ten percent of the forest population is in national parks. Parc Nacional de Tai is the largest cohesive stock of rainforest in West Africa.
Fish is an export product and is an important source of protein for the population. The country's own fishing fleet is small and the largest catches are taken up by foreign vessels. In 2007, the Ivory Coast signed a six-year agreement with the EU that gives fishing vessels from EU countries the right to collect 7,000 tonnes of tuna in Ivorian waters each year in exchange for money for research and education programs.
FACTS - AGRICULTURE
Agriculture's share of GDP
19.8 percent (2018)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
64.8 percent (2016)
Violence increases, many deaths
Soldiers surround the hotel where Ouattara is located. The hotel is guarded
by UN troops and soldiers from the New Forces. According to media reports,
dozens of people have been killed in election-related violence. Death patrols
are suspected of murdering activists from Ouattara's camp. In Abidjan,
Ouattara's supporters organize protest marches, which are met by security
forces. Military police open fire on protesters, and street fighting requires
many lives. Unrest is also reported from other parts of the country.
Ivory Coast is excluded from Ecowas
The regional cooperation organization condemns Gbagbo's actions and urges him to step down. Ecowas excludes the Ivory Coast, and AU does the same. The EU threatens to withdraw aid and impose sanctions on the Gbagbo government. They should have their assets frozen and denied visa to EU countries. The UN Security Council says Ouattara has won the election, but Gbagbo describes the outside world's reactions as "neo-colonialism".
Two presidents take office
Gbagbo still proclaims electoral victory and will take office as president on December 4. A few hours later, Ouattara does the same at a hotel in Abidjan. Ouattara appoints Guillaume Soro as prime minister and Gbagbo appoints the academic Gilbert Ake as its prime minister. Former South African President Thabo Mbeki is named as the African Union (AU) mediator . Mbeki mediated the peace treaty that ended the civil war (see Modern History), but he now leaves the country after a few days without any glimpses.
Dispute over who wins the presidential election
The Election Commission announces that Ouattara won the election with 54
percent of the vote, while Gbagbo received 46 percent. Gbagbo refuses to
acknowledge the result and asks the Constitutional Council to raise the issue.
Gbagbo faithful forces have a strong position in the Council, which rejects the
result with reference to the fact that it was presented too late and that
cheating has occurred in the north. According to the Council, Gbagbo has won
51.5 percent of the vote.
New acts of violence
Armed men storm a local party office for the party RDR in Abidjan and kill several people.
The EU holds electoral support
The outside world is pressing for the presidential election to really get rid of. The EU decides to freeze the funds allocated for the election.
Opposition politicians take a seat in the government
A new government is formed. It includes politicians from several opposition parties. The parties decide to form a new independent electoral commission and hold presidential elections in April or May
Gbagbo dissolves the government
President Gbagbo dismisses the government and the electoral commission and asks Prime Minister Soro to form a new ministry. Gbagbo accuses the Election Commission of cheating by adding 400,000 new names to the ballot. Most of those added come from the north and are expected to vote for the opposition. In various parts of the country, protests are being held against the decision to dissolve the government. Several people are killed in the unrest.