Guinea's ruling junta has suspended the export of several agricultural products, including rice, potatoes, and palm oil, for six months to preserve its "food sovereignty" and "social peace".
This decision is linked to the concern to preserve stocks before the next harvests, and "not at all" to the expiry on Monday of the agreement between Moscow and Kiev, which allowed Ukraine to export cereals, notably to Africa, despite the war, the Guinean Ministry of Trade said.
"We are entering a (lean) period. We need to replenish our reserves to ensure food sovereignty and social peace", a trade ministry official told AFP on Tuesday.
The suspension of exports concerns around fifteen staple foods (rice, onions, potatoes, dried chilli peppers, fresh chilli peppers, aubergines, okra, fresh tomatoes, taro, cassava, maize, cassava, and maize flours, yams, sweet potatoes, and palm oil), the ministry said in a statement dated Monday and sent to AFP on Tuesday.
Exports of these products are "prohibited for a period of six months", on pain of fines or even criminal prosecution, it warned.
Guinea, one of the poorest countries in the world despite its rich subsoil (iron, bauxite, and gold in particular), usually exports these agricultural products to many West African countries.
On Monday, Moscow refused to extend the cereals agreement signed with Ukraine in July 2022 under the aegis of the United Nations and Turkey, and subsequently extended several times, denouncing the obstacles to trade in fertilisers and Russian products.
This agreement allowed Ukrainian cereals to be exported via the Black Sea despite the Russian invasion, to the benefit of African countries in particular.
Guinea has been ruled since 2021 by a junta that seized power in a putsch. Under international pressure, the military agreed to hand over power to elected civilians by the end of 2024.