Guinea

Weak economic development despite abundant mineral wealth and ideal agro-climatic conditions

INTRODUCTION

Guinea is a country in West Africa with a land mass similar to the UK and a population of about 10 million. Having gained independence from France in 1958, the country held its first democratic elections in 2010 appointing Prof. Alpha Conde as President.

Guinea has abundant natural resources which have resulted in high FDI although GDP per capita is still below $500, and average labour wages are less than $2 a day. It is a net importer of basic commodities, as are all the 6 countries that it borders. The President has identified agriculture as a key area of growth.

ADVANTAGES

Guinea benefits from a stable temperature, abundant rainfall and sunshine. Land is freely available with only 3% of its arable land currently under cultivation. Private investment policies revised in the 1990s to promote free enterprise and reduce the role of the state.

The country lacks the capital and technical knowledge needed to benefit from its natural resources. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of rice, maize and cooking oil are imported every year. By scaling up land use and production levels, there is an opportunity to address these shortfalls and export crops via the deep water port in the Capital, Conakry.

SELLING

Agricultural production in Guinea has till now been limited to subsistence and smallholder farming. Yields are derisory for a number of reasons:

  • Poor agricultural techniques and lack of training

  • Lack of agricultural infrastructure and processing facilities

  • Deterioration of land resulting from poor farming

  • Lack of quality inputs

  • Very little, if any, mechanization

  • Traditional land tenure system

  • Lack of access to capital

Farm Lands of Africa is the first company to tackle these problems and pioneer modern commercial farming to Guinea.