Ecuador Agriculture

By | December 14, 2021

Ecuador is essentially an agricultural country. The differences in the relief and in the climate allow very varied crops, from tropical and subtropical ones to those of temperate and cold regions.

The soil is generally very fertile, and it is only for this reason that all the Ecuadorian cultivated fields have a very flourishing aspect; man can be said to contribute almost nothing to this prosperity, because the agricultural methods generally in use are completely rudimentary. It is estimated that only 2% of the territory of the republic is cultivated; 20% would then be pastures, 50% covered by forests, and the rest made up of barren land.

The most important agricultural product of Ecuador is cocoa which, needing a warm climate (with average temperatures not lower than 24-28 °) and with abundant rainfall, thrives especially in the coastal region, where it seems there are more than 6000 haciendas with over 100 million trees in production. The largest plantations are usually found along rivers, because the alluvial soil is particularly suitable for this crop. The main Ecuadorian qualities of cocoa are: “Arriba” excellent among all, which comes almost entirely from the province of Los Ríos; “Balao”, “Manabí” and “Esmeraldas”, intermediate qualities, and “Machala”, ordinary qualities. Until a few years ago Ecuador was at the head of the cocoa producing countries, both for quantity and quality; in quantity it was then surpassed by the Gold Coast, Brazil, Nigeria, Trinidad, etc. Before the World War, an average of 400,000 quintals were exported annually. cocoa; in the period 1914-1918 the average was 420,000 quintals, and in the years 1919-22 it was 446,000 quintals. After 1922 the production has been decreasing considerably due to the spread of diseases that ruin the plants or destroy the flowers; in 1929 only 182,000 quintals were exported. of cocoa. Currently Ecuadorian cocoa exports represent only 4-5% of the world total, while in 1900 it represented about a third and around 1920 still 15-16%. The cocoa produced is partly consumed in the country, but most of it is exported, especially to the United States.

An attempt was made to compensate for the decrease in cocoa production by intensifying the production of coffee, grown especially in the coastal area and in the valleys of the mountainous region up to 1500 m.; the largest plantations are located in the SE. of Guayaquil. In 1922 Ecuador exported 35,440 quintals of coffee, which in 1926 rose to 60,000 quintals. and in 1930 to about 90,000 q. (56,000 q. Exported from Guayaquil 28,000 from Manta, 5,300 from Bahía de Caráquez). For Ecuador business, please check cheeroutdoor.com.

Considerable development has taken, in recent years, the cultivation of tobacco, especially in the alluvial soils around Guayaquil, Esmeraldas and on the Loja plateau. The quality is excellent; production for now is mainly for internal consumption, and the quantity exported is small. Not only sufficient for internal consumption, but also partly available for export (31,000 q. In 1930) is the production of sugar; the cane is grown in the coastal area with excellent results; there are 13 sugar factories. The cultivation of cotton is taking ever greater development, largely thanks to Italians. The province of Manabí is the one that best lends itself to this crop, the product of which undergoes strong fluctuations from one year to the next. The export, which takes place almost entirely from Bahía de Caráquez, was 14,800 q. in 1924, of only 1030 q. in 1926, of about 7000 q. in 1930. Cotton seeds are also exported. The cultivation of rice is very profitable, especially in the lowlands of Daule-Caracol, in the Esmeraldas basin and in the coastal lowlands of the Gulf of Guayaquil. Significant quantities of rice are exported: 28,000 q. in 1927, about 100,000 in 1930 (almost all from Guayaquil). The expansion of banana cultivation (completely, it can be said, in North American hands), which is now one of the most important agricultural products of the republic, has been very rapid; in 1913 40,000 q. were exported. of bananas; in 1927, 210,000 q. The export is mainly directed to Peru and Chile. The cultivation of other tropical fruit plants (pineapples, mangoes, papayas, etc.) is also very widespread. about 100,000 in 1930 (almost all from Guayaquil). The expansion of banana cultivation (completely, it can be said, in North American hands), which is now one of the most important agricultural products of the republic, has been very rapid; in 1913 40,000 q. were exported. of bananas; in 1927, 210,000 q. The export is mainly directed to Peru and Chile. The cultivation of other tropical fruit plants (pineapples, mangoes, papayas, etc.) is also very widespread. about 100,000 in 1930 (almost all from Guayaquil). The expansion of banana cultivation (completely, it can be said, in North American hands), which is now one of the most important agricultural products of the republic, has been very rapid; in 1913 40,000 q. were exported. of bananas; in 1927, 210,000 q. The export is mainly directed to Peru and Chile. The cultivation of other tropical fruit plants (pineapples, mangoes, papayas, etc.) is also very widespread. export is mainly directed to Peru and Chile. The cultivation of other tropical fruit plants (pineapples, mangoes, papayas, etc.) is also very widespread. export is mainly directed to Peru and Chile. The cultivation of other tropical fruit plants (pineapples, mangoes, papayas, etc.) is also very widespread.

On the highlands, wheat, barley and maize are grown especially, the latter also widely cultivated in the coastal region. Production is only for internal demand. In the surroundings of Ambato the vine produces very good wines. Important for India is the cultivation of coca, easy and very profitable. In the transition zone between the warm and temperate regions, yam is widely cultivated, due to its edible tubers, and the batata, or sweet potato.

Half of the Ecuadorian territory is occupied by forests, which, although not rationally exploited, now give one of the most important products of Ecuador, the tagua, or vegetable ivory, very hard seed of the Phytelephas macrocarpa and microcarpa palm., mainly used in the manufacture of buttons, in orthopedics, etc. The production and export of tagua have been decreasing: in 1913 the export (which takes place mainly from the ports of Manta and Esmeraldas and is directed to the United States, Italy, Germany and France) was 320,000 quintals, in 1927 249,000. The production of rubber, supplied especially by the coastal region, has been declining considerably in the last decades, above all due to the competition from that coming from the South Asian plantations, and the attempts made to revive the fortunes of this cultivation have not given satisfactory results. The export since 1900 has varied from a maximum of 5000 q. to a minimum of 320. The cultivation of the various plants that give kapok has recently started with good results. The lack of communication and transport routes does not yet allow us to conveniently exploit the excellent woods of the Ecuadorian forests, in which there are also numerous medicinal plants.

Ecuador Agriculture