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16.08.2007

Rural economy

Multistructural character of country economy is typical for the country. Along with large enterprises there are plenty of small craftspeople and peasants’ commodity economies, acres, and on the east still exist “forest” Indians’ natural economy. Significant value for the country consists in agricultural reform execution aiming at finishing off with large land-owning. But the law adopted in 1973 does not stipulate the free acres allotment for peasants and does not limit sizes of landed property.    


During last years the government started to encourage peasants’ migration to Oriente at the state lands. Aim of his campaign is twofold: firstly, to draw attention away from the fight for land in the regions where there are many large-scale farms, secondly, to increase population quantity in the frontier with Peru regions and to secure them for Ecuador more safely. Agricultural reform made life of several tenth of thousand peasants’ families easier, but still nearly half of peasants’ families do not have their own land, and among those who have four of five peasants own only small sections of land and are nor able to earn their living.

Agricultural estates occupy 6 millions hectares. Main Ecuador agricultural cultures are bananas, coffee, cacao. They form 30% of Ecuador export. Significant areas are intended for such numerous cultures as oranges, lemons, grape-fruits, pineapples. Sugar-cane and cotton-plant are also grown there. Among cereals the most important ones are rice, barley and maize. Their quantity equals 80 % of all the cereals yield.

But still there is lack of own corns, that is why plenty of barley, wheat, oats and maize are imported. Potato and manioc are of great ration significance. Crop capacity of majority of cultures is not very high as there is lack of fertilizers in the soil. Cattle’s breeding is on the low level of development though lately the livestock of cattle, especially of pigs and sheep is increasing rapidly. Goats and llamas are also breaded.  Horses, mules and donkeys are used as draft animals. Poultry keeping is also important. Cattle’s breeding productivity is low.  

There are three strictly distinguished agricultural zones in Ecuador: Costa with clearly defined prevailing tropical cultures, Sierra that is characterized by prevailing of cultures for internal market and development of pasturable cattle breeding, and Oriente, where the agriculture is in embryo, where the large importance belongs to gathering of tagua nuts and wild cinchona tree bark.


Costa orientation toward export cultures is caused not only by natural conditions suitable for the culture, but also by convenience of region transport-geographical location. In Oriente, that is distant from coast and bed-connected with it by transport, tropical farming is of no importance though natural conditions for it are rather auspicious. In Costa, in Guayaquil region, along with export cultures production, grain growing, truck farming, meat and milk stock-raising were developed under the influence of large town market.  But all these branches of farming are more typical for Sierra  with its larger amount of cities and natural conditions that do not let tropical cultures growing.

Country farming does not provide main foodstuff for its needs. Corns and albuminous provision import costs are hard burdensome for Ecuador balance of payment.

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