Ecuador, the center of both hemispheres is on the brink of an agricultural problem that can lead up to a food crisis if not attended properly. With a population of over 13 million people and a growth rate of 1.56%, is a country divided by its biodiversity and the different regions located in the astonishing nation.
Twenty-two provinces rich in culture and traditions compose Ecuador four significant sectors. The mountain range, the coast, the insula or the Galapagos and the jungle (or Eastern Ecuador) are particular by their gastronomical offer and divided by the ideal of which represents Ecuador’s gastronomy.
For years citizens and local chefs have been battling over with which of the three regions is the standard bearer of Ecuador’s traditional gastronomy.
Eastern Ecuador has oils wells and deltas that leads to the Amazonian river which is home of a diverse variety of microclimate conditions making their soil very fertile.
On the other hand, the political uncertainty and the devaluation of their currency made the lives of local farmers harder. With the dollarization, if the country, produce became expensive and the middle man took advantage of the ingenuity and humbleness of the countryman, to fill their pockets and declare instability that market.
Marco Moya, a local chef, currently living in Spain, explained in an interview that “the middle man, big corporations and dollarization of Ecuador, is affecting agriculturalist across the region.” He mentioned that farmers, in order to sell their produce, had acquired a very unhealthy diet, which is damaging and affecting this population.
After the devaluation their currency, the typical grocery basket has risen to over 713 dollars, for a family of four. Sadly, Moya affirms that a kilo of potato is sold for over $5 buck, with a weekly allowance lower than the minimum grocery basket. Local farmhand is having trouble selling their products, and local supermarkets and other corporations are taking advantage of this economic instability.
Moya plans to returns to Ecuador and opens his restaurant which will serve as a hub for the local agronomist to sell their products and connect the different and diverse regions of the country.