Sao Tome and Principe raised around 192.2 billion dobras (US$8.3 million) in 2016 with cocoa sales, which accounted for 93.5% of all agricultural exports, the National Statistics Institute (INE) of the archipelago told Macauhub in Sao Tome on Monday.
INE also said that in terms of nominal values in dobras (Sao Tome’s currency) it recorded an increase of 8.8% due to the exchange rate and quality of Sao Tome cocoa in foreign markets.
In terms of quantity there was an increase of 7.4% with cocoa exports rising from 2,794 tons in 2015 to 3,000 tons last year.
The remaining 6.5% on the list of agricultural exports was mostly made up of coconut, flowers, coffee and pepper.
The main cocoa exporting companies in Sao Tome in 2016 were Sociedade Satocoa, the CECAB Cooperative, Agro-Comercial Agricon, Ubua Budo and Belavista.
The main importers of agricultural products from Sao Tome and Principe are Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
The economy of Sao Tome and Principe, where external aid cover more than 50% of public expenditure, is based mainly on agricultural exports, particularly cocoa, which contributes nearly 27% to the structure of GDP.
Introduced in the second decade of the nineteenth century by Portuguese settlers, cocoa production, which reached a record 11,000 tonnes (1963-73), has been falling over the past few decades due to a lack of arable land and lack of funding. (macauhub)