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Guinea-Bissau and the Cashew Economy

The cashew sector forms the core of Guinea-Bissau’s economy. Data from 2010 household survey show that cashew accounts for 26 percent of income (net of remittances) for female headed households and for 35 percent for male headed households. As such, cashew is the most important source of monetary income, and this is especially true for poor households. Although other crops are grown to an extent, they tend not to be exported. Rice is another important commodity in Guinea-Bissau, largely grown on a subsistence basis and increasingly imported. Cashew is traded for rice, with considerable reliance on a barter system. The cashew sector is thus at the core of both economic performance and poverty reduction. This note lays out some of the ways in which cashew matters for the Bissau-Guinean economy