A vast, fertile, mineral-rich land, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has tremendous potential for agricultural and economic growth, but faces many development challenges. It is one of the largest countries in the world, but only one per cent of land is cultivated, and poverty and malnutrition are rife. Even before the latest civil disturbances in the east of the country life expectancy for adults was just 42 years, and two thirds of the population was malnourished.
Agriculture supports two thirds of the DRC’s population, with around 40 million people depending on farming for their livelihoods. The principal crops are cassava, yams, plantains, rice and maize. Cash crops – usually grown on plantations by smallholders – include coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, cotton and rubber.
Plantwise has worked in the DRC since 2004, opening the country’s first plant clinics in 2006. Now there are 10 clinics running, attracting hundreds of farmers every week – around three quarters bringing queries about cocoa and banana crops. The results have been outstanding, given the small initial investment and difficult working conditions. Read Plantwise Democratic Republic of Congo brochure.
Knowledge Bank page for DR Congo