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World bank, 2020
Poverty headcount ratio at $6.85 a day (2017 PPP) (% of population)
Population below international poverty line

Equivalent to 400 Ecuadoran US dollars per worker per month. 
Wage Indicator 2023.

per month
National minimum wage

Equivalent to 475 Ecuadoran US dollars per worker per month.
Global Living Wage Coalition, 2022

per month
Rural living wage
World bank, 2019
Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate)
Agricultural workforce
World bank, 2021
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP)
Agriculture share of GDP

ITUC Global Rights Index, 2022
No guarantee of rights

very high
Risk to workers' rights


The population of Ecuador is roughly 17 million people,[1] with nearly 64% of the population[2] living in urban areas. Approximately one third of the population is employed in the agricultural sector,[3] a sector that constitutes just about 9% of the nation’s GDP. [4]

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.[5] 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.[6] Ecuador is the number one exporter of bananas in the world,[7] making banana production very important to Ecuador’s national economy and a core commodity for income generation.[8]

The top produced commodities in Ecuador are sugar cane, bananas, fresh cow milk, palm oil fruit and maize.[9] As for the top export commodities in terms of quantity, these are bananas, cocoa beans, plantains, palm oil and prepared fruit.[10]

  1. ^ World Bank. (2020).
  2. ^ World Bank. (2020).
  3. ^ World Bank. (2019).
  4. ^ World Bank. (2020).
  5. ^ FAO. Family Farming Knowledge Platform.
  6. ^ Córdova, R., Hogarth, N.J., and Kanninen, M. (2018). Sustainability of Smallholder Livelihoods in the Ecuadorian Highlands: A Comparison of Agroforestry and Conventional Agricultre Systems in the Indigenous Territory of Kayambi People.
  7. ^ FAOSTAT. (2018).
  8. ^ Global Living Wage Coalition. (2019). Bananas in Ghana and Ecuador.
  9. ^ FAOSTAT (2019).
  10. ^ FAOSTAT (2019).


Minimum wage

The official minimum wage for unskilled labor in Ecuador is 400 USD (352 EUR) per month.[1] Agricultural labour in banana, coffee and cocoa plantations and other tropical fruit is largely paid per piece.[2] Approximately half of the workers in Ecuador are employed in the informal sector, where minimum wages and social protections are not effectively enforced.[3]

Living wage

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 475 USD (419 EUR) per month[4]. 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. [5]

  1. ^ WageIndicator Foundation. (2022).
  2. ^ WageIndicator Foundation. (2022).
  3. ^ U.S. Department of State. (2019).
  4. ^ Global Living Wage Update Rural Ecuador. (2022)
  5. ^ Global Living Wage Coalition (2016). Living Wage Report Rural Ecuador.

What's happening


Living Wage Update: Rural Ecuador, Southern Coastal Region

Update in the living wage estimate for the southern coastal region of Ecuador, focussing on banana workers. Global Living Wage Coalition.


Living Wage Advocacy Initiative

Pilot project in Ecuador and Ghana to establish living wage benchmarks to improve wage negotiations for banana workers.


Living Wage Benchmark, rural Ecuador

Living wage estimate for the southern coastal region of Ecuador, focussing on banana workers. Global Living Wage Coalition.


Tracking living and minimum wages in the banana sector

A report commissioned by the World Banana Forum in May 2015 with information for 9 banana producing countries.


Sweet fruit, bitter truth

Report on the working conditions in the banana and pineapple sectors in Costa Rica and Ecuador. Oxfam Germany, 2016.

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