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Agricultural Production and Trade Structure Profile in Democratic Republic of Congo

The African region represents the weak point of the world economy. Many African countries have still not finished the process of transforming their economy. Agriculture represents only a minor portion of their economies’ performance – however it is still a key sector of the economy (especially considering the number of people working in agriculture or people representing the agricultural population). The agricultural sector in many sub-Saharan countries is extremely sensitive and its stability affects the stability of the whole region. A very good example representing sub-Saharan Africa is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is a country with a lot of potential, but it is classified among the poorest countries in the world. Its economy is extremely weak (despite its significant share in total GDP formation value), and underdeveloped. The share of agriculture in total GDP formation is over 42.5%. The number of people living in rural areas represents over 45 million out of a total of 75 million. The number of people working in agriculture is over 60% of the total economically active population. The economy of the country is extremely poor and fragile, mainly because of political instability. The aim of this paper is firstly to specify the position of agriculture in the DRC economy, and also to specify the production and trade commodity structure in relation to other African countries. The paper’s ambition is to identify the most perspective commodities (groups of commodities), both for production and also for trade, and to recommend such a production and trade profile which would allow the DRC the possibility of improving its competitiveness – not only in relation to other African countries, but also in relation to the global market. The production and trade commodity structures are analysed through the application of the BCG method and competitiveness analysis. In relation to these objectives, the paper provides the following conclusions. The position of agriculture in the DRC economy is stable one. Furthermore, agriculture probably represents the most stable part of the DRC economy. According to the portfolio and competitiveness analyses, the most important commodity items for the DRC are the following: Rice paddy, Maize, and Cassava. The most competitive trade items are particularly Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa, and Sugar Raw centrifugal. The most notable weakness of DRC agriculture is the production of Wheat, Beverages, Poultry Meat, and Fixed Vegetable Oils.