Poverty headcount ratio at $5.50 a day (2011 PPP) (% of population)
Different legal minimum wages in the agricultural, non-agricultural and garment sectors
Equivalent to 337 Ecuadoran US dollars per worker per month.
Global Living Wage Coalition, 2020
Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate)
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP)
The population of Ecuador is roughly 17 million people, with nearly 64% of the population living in urban areas. Approximately one third of the population is employed in the agricultural sector, a sector that constitutes just about 9% of the nation’s GDP. 
Smallholders account for roughly 75% of farmers in the country, yet only hold roughly 17% of all agricultural land in Ecuador. In addition, smallholders provide nearly 60% of the basic food basket of Ecuador, greatly contributing to local food security for millions of Ecuadorians in both rural and urban areas. Following the global trend, issues of land grabbing and unequal land distribution are prominent in Ecuador and are a significant threat to the livelihoods of many smallholder farmers. Ecuador is the number one exporter of bananas in the world, making banana production very important to Ecuador’s national economy and a core commodity for income generation.
The top produced commodities in Ecuador are sugar cane, bananas, fresh cow milk, palm oil fruit and maize. As for the top export commodities in terms of quantity, these are bananas, cocoa beans, plantains, palm oil and prepared fruit.
The official minimum wage for unskilled labor in Ecuador is 400 USD (326 EUR) per month. Agricultural labour in banana, coffee and cocoa plantations and other tropical fruit is largely paid per piece. Approximately half of the workers in Ecuador are employed in the informal sector, where minimum wages and social protections are not effectively enforced.
The Global Living Wage Coalition has developed a living wage benchmark based on the Anker methodology, which focuses on the banana sector of the Southern Coastal region of Ecuador.
According to the benchmark, the living wage for a worker in the Southern Coastal Region of Ecuador is 462 USD (376 EUR) per month. This calculation focusses on the rural areas of the main banana growing regions and it is based on a family of 4 with 1.61 workers. In Ecuador, workers with formal contracts who are part of the National Social Security System (IESS) receive the nationally enforced minimum wage plus 13th and 14th month bonuses. Because many banana plantation workers are informally employed, the estimated living wage from the Global Living Wage Coalition benchmark was developed considering the lack of additional bonus payments.