ecuadorEcuador is a Spanish-speaking country located in South America, considered as one of the smallest countries of the region. It has about 2,237 km (1,390 miles) long coastline of the Pacific Ocean on its western border. Ecuador’s population is 15.5 million, and the name of its capital is Quito, located in the Andes mountain range on the equator at an altitude of 9,350 feet (2,800 meters). The country is known for its impressive biodiversity. Ecuador is one of the first countries to include the Right of Nature (Derecho de la Naturaleza) in its constitution. It also has oil reserves, which accounts for about 40 per cent of the national exports. In 2000, Ecuador adopted US dollar as its national currency. Not long ago, a significant portion of Ecuador’s population suffered from extreme poverty apparently leading to huge migration, but the situation has improved since then.

title=Context

Context

For administrative purposes, Ecuador is divided into 24 provinces, each of which has its own capital. There are several climatic zones in Ecuador because of its varied topography that comprises desert like southern coast, very high Andes Mountains, and flat landscape of the Amazon River Basin.  Temperatures are high in the plains and coastal areas, but low in the areas at high altitude.

Agriculture is an important economic sector for Ecuador. Agriculturally, the country is divided into three distinct regions: the Sierra (the mountainous Andean area; highlands); the Costa (the Pacific coastal plain); and, the Oriente (eastern slopes between the Andes and the headwaters of the Amazon). Food crops like maize, soybeans, manioc, potatoes and vegetables are cultivated in the highlands while cash crops such as coffee, bananas, sugarcane, cacao, palm oil and rice are grown in the coastal plains. Ecuador is the biggest producer and exporter of bananas and white fleshed shrimp in the world. Other agricultural exports are coffee, cut flowers and fruits like citrus, cacao and mangoes. Coffee is grown mostly on small farms of one to 10 hectares. Livestock are reared throughout the country, main animals being cattle, pigs, sheep and goats. Lately, organic agriculture has been gaining popularity. 

Key Statistics and Indicators

Indicator

Value

Year  

Agricultural land (sq. km)

Agricultural land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares)

Arable land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares per person)

73,460

29.57

1,155,700

4.65

0.07

2011

2011

2011

2011

2011

Fertilizer consumption (kg per hectare of arable land)

252.07

2010

Agriculture, value added (% of GDP)

Food production index (2004-2006 = 100)

Food exports (% of merchandise exports)

Food imports (% of merchandise imports)

10.06

119.32

29.99

8.60

2011

2011

2011

2011

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)

5200

2012

Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)

Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)

Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)

Ratio of young literate females to males (% ages 15-24)

Ratio of female to male secondary enrollment (%)

91.85

98.85

98.46

100.39

101.51

2010

2010

2010

2010

2011

Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)

Internet users (per 100 people)

110.70

35.13

2012

2012

Population, total

Population density (people per sq. km of land area)

Rural population

Rural population (% of total population)

Agricultural population (% of total population)*

Total economically active population

Total economically active population in agriculture*

Total economically active population in agriculture (in %

    of total economically active population)

Female economically active population in agriculture (% of

     total economically active population in agriculture)*

15,492,264

61.38

4,960,096

32.01

18.50

7,235,366

1,228,000

16.97

24.83

2012

2011

2012

2012

2011

2011

2011

2011

2011

Sources: The World Bank; *Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO

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Acknowledgements

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (November 2013)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson

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