Congo, the Democratic Republic of the - Country Commercial Guide
Democratic Republic of the Congo - Agriculture
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Overview

With 80 million hectares of arable land, 4 million hectares of irrigated land, and many rivers with important fishery resources, the DRC has the potential to become a global agricultural power.  Although the agricultural sector employs over 60 percent of Congolese and comprises 19.7 percent of GDP, it fails to ensure food security and generate sufficient revenues and sustainable employment.  The main cash crops include coffee, palm oil, rubber, cotton, sugar, tea, and cocoa.  There has been some success developing cocoa and coffee for export.  Food crops also include cassava, plantains, maize, groundnuts, and rice.  Commercial agricultural production remains limited, with most producers engaged in subsistence food agriculture. To cope with the food shortage, the GDRC is supporting the creation of agro-industrial parks in different areas of the DRC. 

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Crop planting
  • Cultivation
  • Fishery, land, and wildlife conservation
  • Fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides
  • Farm equipment leasing and financing
  • Agricultural industrial park

Opportunities

The DRC offers several investment opportunities in the agricultural sector, from production to marketing, to create a competitive value chain in the sub-region.  With its exceptional agronomic potential and an area of agricultural land unequalled in Africa, if properly developed the DRC could feed 2 billion people.

Indeed, the DRC has more than 80 million hectares of arable land, of which less than 10 percent is currently exploited. The diversity of climates, supported by an important hydrographic network, allows the practice of a varied range of agricultural speculations.  The grasslands and savannahs can support a livestock population of about 40 million head of cattle. Tropical forests, which occupy 135 million hectares, or 52 percent of the territory, constitute an important reserve of biodiversity and potential for forest-friendly products.  While the potential for irrigation is estimated at 4 million hectares, this practice is currently still modest.  The fisheries potential in the Congolese parts of the Atlantic Ocean, the Congo River, and all the lakes is estimated at 707,000 tons of fish per year.

To develop the agricultural sector, the GDRC has launched a program whose objectives are to strengthen its contribution to economic growth, restore the country’s food security, reduce poverty and insecurity in rural areas and increase the production of food and durable goods.  To achieve these objectives, the program seeks to develop agricultural and rural strategies and policies that affect awareness, production, collection, storage, processing, and marketing.

Additionally, the GDRC intends to build new, and expand existing, agro-industrial projects.  These projects will benefit from the participation of foreign agricultural firms with tolerance for risk, experience operating in complex or fragile environments, and with access to capital to finance their participation.

Resources