Country Focus Data: Colombia

by Melissa Alexander
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Capital: Bogota.

Demography: Population 40.5 million, 1.64% growth rate (2001 estimates); Spanish language; 90% Roman Catholic religion.

Geography: Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean; tropical climate along coast and eastern plains; flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains.

Government: Republic. Chief of State and head of government is President Andres Pastrana.

Official agricultural agencies: Ministry of Agriculture under Minister Rodrigo Villalba Mosquera.

Economy: Colombia is poised for moderate economic growth after recovering from a severe 1999 recession, when gross domestic product dropped by about 4%. President Pastrana’s economic team has implemented reforms and is taking steps to improve fiscal health in accordance with IMF loan terms.

Pastrana’s Plan Colombia is designed to help resolve social and economic problems by ending the country’s nearly four-decades-old rebel insurgency, which in turn depends on cutting the link between illegal drug trade and guerrilla and paramilitary groups. The collapse of negotiations with the insurgent groups has led recently to renewed violence, and the outlook for peace remains uncertain.

Agriculture accounts for about 19% of G.D.P. and employs 29% of the workforce, although this proportion is decreasing.

G.D.P. per capita: U.S.$6,200 (purchasing power parity), 3% growth rate, 9% inflation, 20% unemployment (2000 estimates).

Currency: Colombian peso. May 4, 2002 exchange rate: 2,288 pesos per U.S. dollar.

Exports: U.S.$14.5 billion (f.o.b.,2000), coffee, bananas, cut flowers, petroleum.

Imports: U.S.$12.4 billion (f.o.b., 2000), industrial and transportation equipment, consumer goods, chemicals.

Major crops/agricultural products: Coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, maize.

Wheat: Five-year annual production (1997-2001) averaged 28.2 million tonnes in a range of 30 million in 1997-98 to 25 million in 1998-99. Imports averaged 1.11 million tonnes a year, with total use averaging 1.17 million.

Maize: Five-year annual production averaged 949,800 tonnes, in a range of 1.06 million to 800,000; imports averaged 1.8 million; total use averaged 2.8 million.

Rice: Five-year annual production (milled) averaged 1.15 million tonnes, in a range of 800,000 to 1.39 million; imports averaged 124,000; total use averaged 1.3 million.

Transportation: Highways, 110,000 km, 26,000 km paved; railroads, 3,304 km, 3,154 km 0.914-m gauge; Barranquilla, Cartagena, Bahia de Portete are major ports.

Internet: Country code, *.co; 18 service providers; 600,000 users (2000 estimates).

Data

(1,000 tonnes)

Production

Consumption

Exports

Imports

Wheat

30

1,230

0

1,200

Maize

1,060

1,900

0

1,800

Rice

1,330*

1,375

0

50

*milled basis

2001-02 marketing year estimates

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

 

 

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