National Geographic : 1982 Jul
call for self-sufficiency in oil by 1983, and even a surplusfor export. For decades coffee, cacao, and timber have been the mainstays of the nation'seconomy and have given the country a favorable balance of trade, seldom seen in the Third World. The government regulates the marketingof coffee-here ware housed in sacks in San-Pedro (be low)-cacao,and otherexport crops at guaranteedprices. Worldwide re cession and falling coffee prices in the late 1970s short-circuitedgov ernment projects, including plans for a monorailand an expanded air portin Abidjan. Other projects reap rewards. In the north, cotton has become a cash crop, and new food-processing Petrodollars in its future, the Ivory plants in the countryside may take Coastdevelops offshore oil at a care- population pressure off Abidjan. fully measured pace. A field called Opened a decade ago, the deepwater Espoir (Hope) may hold a 500- port of San-Pedro booms (right), million-barrelbonanza. Drilling in handling timber and coffee ship the smallerBelierfield (above) ush- ments. Denseforests covered a third ered the country into the ranksofoil- of the Ivory Coast25 years ago; with producingnations in 1980. Offshore less than 10 percentwooded now, re wells nowyield 10,000 barrelsa day, forestationprograms have assumed 120 a third of the nation's needs. Plans top priority.