Guinea-Bissau has become the world’s largest producer of cashew nuts “per capita” as a result of an annual production of over 200,000 tons, the economist and consultant to the Guinean government, Eduardo Fernandes said Monday
The economist was speaking at a seminar on business opportunities in Guinea-Bissau, held in the Portuguese town of Sintra, organised by the Association of Solidarity and Support for the Guinean Comunity in Portugal.
Fernandes warned, however, that cashew nuts cannot be the only product to sustain the economy of Guinea-Bissau, “because it makes the country vulnerable to sudden market fluctuations” and therefore invited Portuguese businessmen to invest in his country .
Fernandes explained in detail the economic plan that the Guinea-Bissau government presented at the Brussels roundtable for the next decade and identified four areas of priority investment – agriculture/agri-industry, fisheries, tourism and mining.
Speaking about the agricultural sector the consultant said that Guinea-Bissau needed to start introducing value in the chain of production of cashew nuts, including through both primary and secondary processing, rather than exporting cashew nuts in their raw state to India.
With regard to fisheries, Fernandes said the Guinea-Bissau government wanted to set up a fishing fleet, either nationally and in partnership, to replace the current system which is limited to the sale of fishing licenses to foreign shipowners.
The Guinean embassy attaché in Portugal, Mbala Fernandes stressed the “political stability” that Guinea-Bissau had achieved, the “confidence of international creditors” as shown at the donor meeting last March, which provided aid of 1.3 billion euros and “close relations between Portuguese and Guineans.” (macauhub/GW/PT)