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Ecuador Agriculture and Fishing Overview
Agriculture and fishing
Until the 1970s, Ecuador was a distinct agricultural economy and the sector still employs a large proportion of the population. Most are small farmers, but the country is also the world's largest exporter of bananas grown on large plantations. Shrimp and other sea products are other important export goods.
About half of the agricultural land is used as pasture. The thin soil layer is easily eroded and damaged by the grazing animals. Severe storms sometimes cause great damage to the crops. In agriculture, many chemicals are used, and the concentration on a few crops risks depleting the soil.
Bananas account for around 15 percent of the country's total export income. The bananas are grown on large modern plantations on the coastal plain.). Coffee and cocoa are also important export crops, as are cut flowers. Other fruits, rice and sugar cane are also grown on the goods - most of them for export.
Wheat, maize, potatoes and vegetables are grown in the highlands. There, most of the milk production also takes place. New products such as cut flowers, medicinal plants, tropical fruits and oil palm trees have become increasingly important.
Rich fishing waters are found off the coast and around the Galápagos Islands. Among other things, tuna, sardines, mackerel and anchovies are caught. Ecuador is one of the world's largest exporters of shrimp and other seafood. The shrimp farms in the coastal country are largely run by small and medium-sized companies.
The extensive forests are also valuable. Ecuador is one of the world's largest exporters of balsa wood, but economically the forest industry plays little role.
FACTS - AGRICULTURE
Agriculture's share of GDP
9.2 percent (2018)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
22.2 percent (2016)
Clear sign of trade agreement with the EU
The National Assembly and Correa ratify a free trade agreement with the EU, which replaces a tariff agreement that expires in the New Year and which gave the country certain benefits. Ecuador now joins the same free trade agreement that Colombia and Peru have with the EU since 2013.
Opinion survey shows a head start for Moreno
A poll before the February election shows that the party's candidate Lenín Moreno has a good chance of winning already in the first round, with nearly half the votes. In the survey, Lasso gets 12 percent, Viteri 9 percent and Moncayo 8 percent.
The opposition is split before the election
Cynthia Viteri, presidential candidate for the Christian Social PSC MG, states that a political alliance entered into in 2015 to form a united front against Correa and País has now been dissolved. Other opposition candidates in the presidential election are the party of Creo's representative Guillermo Lasso, who came second in the 2013 election, and Pablo Moncayo, who represents the Democratic Left, ID. The indigenous Pachakutik party has joined Moncayo.
The government's presidential candidate ready
The País Alliance Government appoints former Vice President Lenín Moreno as its candidate in the 2017 election. Moreno has been Vice President (2007-2013) and UN envoy for disabled persons. The 63-year-old Moreno himself is wheelchair-sized.
Oil recovery begins in the Yasuní Reserve
The extraction of oil in the Amazon Nature Reserve begins, despite the massive criticism from environmental groups and indigenous peoples (see May 2014).
Protests against dissolved trade union
Thousands of protesters protest in Quito and elsewhere that the Ministry of Education has ordered the UNE teacher union to be dissolved because it has not registered since 2013. UNE, which has been around since 1950, has about 100,000 members.
Correa: "A victorious decade"
24th of May
In his annual speech to the nation - probably the last - the president emphasizes progress made during his nine years in power rather than last year's setback, with a deep economic downturn as a result of the oil price collapse as well as the severe earthquake.
Hundreds of dead in powerful earthquake
The worst earthquake since 1979 shakes the country. The quake has an epicenter in northwestern Ecuador and measures magnitude 7.8. At least 670 people are killed, over 6,000 injured and nearly 30,000 become homeless. President Correa announces an emergency permit and a rescue operation with thousands of soldiers and police officers begins. The government later notes that $ 3.3 billion is needed for reconstruction, primarily along the coast.
The Minister of Defense resigns
Defense Minister Fernando Cordero leaves his post. His departure is part of an ongoing conflict involving, among other things, military pensions. Cordero has been an important weapon bearer and "problem solver" for President Correa but has now become a burden to the president who has been confronted by the military leadership. A few days later, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño is appointed new Minister of Defense while Minister of Culture Guillaume Long takes over the post of Foreign Minister.