Publication: Uruguay : The Rural Sector and Natural Resources, Volume 1. Main Report

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The report reviews the macroeconomic perspectives of Uruguay, focused on its rural development and natural resources intensive sectors, to form the basis for expanding agricultural production, and increasing productivity. It reviews the country's sectoral composition, exports of natural resource intensive products, and labor and capital use, as well as the tax burden. Although agriculture represents less than ten percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Uruguay, the combination of agriculture, and agro-industry makes up twenty three percent of GDP, of which half of the output is exported, which represented in 2000, seventy three percent of the country's total export earnings, with the composition of exports, significantly diversified. Nonetheless, the agricultural sector remains vulnerable to both external shocks, and domestic factors, and, while the government's ability to ameliorate the impacts of these shocks is limited, the likely increasing importance of international trade calls for a long-term approach to agricultural, and agro-industrial development. Regarding the socioeconomic dimensions of the rural economy, its income distribution is the least-skewed in the region, but, regardless of the relatively small number of rural poor - highly dependent on wage labor - given the high levels of literacy, future efforts should be oriented towards improving secondary, and technical education. Although the agricultural sector has demonstrated a capacity to innovate by adopting technology, and diversifying both production, and markets, production expansion, and productivity increase must be compatible with the protection, and conservation of its natural resource base, with a supportive public framework in promoting rural areas, encouraged by the private sector.
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World Bank. 2002. Uruguay : The Rural Sector and Natural Resources, Volume 1. Main Report. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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