Despite an abundance of natural resources, fertile soil and good rainfall, Guinea-Bissau is a fragile state and has been marked by political instability since its independence in 1974, facing recurrent socio-economic and political disturbances. These conditions have had detrimental effects on the country’s food security as well as on poverty and malnutrition rates, which are alarming, especially in rural areas.
The economy of Guinea-Bissau is dominated by agriculture; almost 85 percent of the country’s 1.6 million people depend on agriculture as the main source of income. The cashew accounts for 98 percent of export revenues and 10 percent of government revenues. Other crops—including rice (the country’s main staple), sorghum, millet, maize and cassava—are cultivated largely for subsistence.