Accounting for around a third of the 1996 Goss Domestic Product (GDP) of US$ 9 billion (second only to oil), and almost three-fourths of all employment, agriculture is a dominant sector of the Cameroonian economy. Also, as in most African countries, poverty in Cameroon is concentrated in rural areas, with more than 80 percent (approximately 5.5 million) of all poor people living in such areas. The Government of Cameroon's objectives include the need to create a sectoral environment favorable to reviving agricultural production; ensure food security; increase farm incomes by improving productivity and reducing the costs of production; and render agricultural products competitive in domestic and international markets. It is committed to progressively liberalizing the marketing's of inputs and traditional export commodities, and privatizing agricultural development activities. Consequently, inasmuch as poverty reduction and economic growth are at the core of the World Bank's Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Cameroon, they necessitate a strategic focus on the agricultural and rural sectors.