Country Profiles

Country Profiles

Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, both physically (272,031 km2) and in terms of population. In 2010 it was estimated to have 14.2 million inhabitants, the majority of whom reside in urban areas. According to the 2001 Population Census, the bulk of the population considers itself to be mestizo (77.4%), followed by white (10.5%), indigenous (6.8%) and Afro-Ecuadorian (5.0%).

Ecuador has traditionally been an agro-export economy, but since the 1980s petroleum has been the main export. The top five exports in 2008 included petroleum, bananas, shrimp, cut flowers and cacao. Its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009 was $24 billion, and it reported an economically active population (EAP) in early 2010 of 4.6 million. At that time, 9.1% of the EAP was unemployed and 51.3% underemployed.

Ecuador is divided into three natural regions: the highlands, coast and Amazonian regions. The last contains less than 5% of the population, but is the largest region geographically. The Amazonian region is also the poorest region of the country. In 2006, 38.3% of the population nationally was considered to be poor, measured by consumption levels. Whereas 33.7% of the population of the highlands was classified as poor, and 40.3% on the coast, 59.7% of the Amazonian population was so classified. A similar trend is apparent in terms of unsatisfied basic needs, with the share of the population nationally falling under this threshold being 45.7%.

Politically, the country is divided into 22 provinces. These in turn are sub-divided into cantons (districts or municipalities). Source:

Ghana is a West African nation of approximately 25 million people, the majority of whom live in rural areas. It is home to approximately 44 major ethnic groups. The main systems of inheritance are matrilineal and patrilineal regimes, which has implications for the asset acquisition of men and women.The country is divided into ten administrative regions and practices a democratic presidential system of governance. The country’s economy is dominated by agriculture, which accounts for about 36% of GDP and 54% of total employment. The country’s Gross National Income per capita is estimated at $510. About 28.5% of the population is estimated to be living below the national poverty line. The major export commodities are cocoa and gold, but with the recent discovery of oil in commercial quantities, the country’s export composition is expected to change.


India, located in South Asia, is the second most populous country in the world, with a population of over 1.18 billion. One among 29 states, Karnataka is located in the southern part of India and is the eighth largest in the country in terms of geographical area and the ninth largest in terms of population. Karnataka has 30 districts across the four natural regions – the West Coast, the Western Ghats, the Southern Maidan and the Northern Maidan (Table 1). The Northern Maidan is comprised of two regions: the Hyderabad Karnataka and Bombay Karnataka.

Table 1: Agro-climatic Regions of the State of Karnataka

Regions Total Number of Districts Distinctive features Districts
Northern Maidan (Northern plateau) 12

Elevated at 300 to 600 metres above sea level.

Includes the Deccan plateau, rich in black cotton soil.

Agriculture sustained by River Krishna and tributaries.

Low rainfall area with jowar, cotton, oilseeds and pulses cultivation. Sugarcane grown in irrigated areas.

Bidar, Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal, Bellary (Hyderabad Karnataka); Bijapur, Bagalkot, Belgaum, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri (Bombay Karnataka)
Southern Maidan (Southern plateau) 11

Lies in the basin of the River Cauvery.

Irrigated by Cauvery and tributaries.

Elevation between 600 and 900 meters above sea level.

Rice, sugarcane, ragi, coconut and mulberry are principal crops.

Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Mandya, Bangalore Rural, Ramanagaram, Bangalore Urban, Kolar, Tumkur, Chikkaballapur, Chitradurga, Davangere
Southern Malnad (Western Ghats) 4

Rainfall between 1,000 mm to 2,500 mm.

Dense rainforest, rich in teak, rosewood and bamboo.

Commercial crops include coffee, arecanut, pepper, cardamom and rubber.

Shimoga, Chikmaglur, Hassan, Kodagu
Coastal Karnataka (Northern and Southern coast) 3

Average width of 50 to 80 km., and a length of 267 km.

Heavy rainfall, in the range of 2,500 mm to 3,000 mm.

Coconut groves and paddy fields typically dominate the landscape.

Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Udupi
Total 30