The country Bolivia is situated in central South America to the Southwest of Brazil. It is the 28th largest country in the world with an area of 1,098,581 km2 as of 2018 and a total population of 11, 306,304.
Largely because of the utilization of the natural resources in Bolivia, Bolivia is recognized as one of the top 100 economies in the world which fetched her recognition by the world bank as a lower-middle-income country.
Over the years now, researchers have revealed that the Bolivian economy relies heavily on natural resources such as cocoa, soybean, tin, lithium, arable land natural gas, etc.
As of 2017, the Bolivian gross domestic product rated at approximately $37.51 billion which was the 92nd highest in the world. In the same year, the country’s per capita gross domestic product grew approximately to $3,394 which was the 118th in the world as of then.
Bolivia is indeed very rich in natural resources of which many are yet to be exploited. Natural resources such as tin, salt, arable land, livestock, natural gas, oil, lithium, soybeans, etc., have continued to enhance the agricultural sector as well as the Bolivian economy over the years now.
Top 5 Natural Resources in Bolivia and Their Uses
Here are the top five natural resources you could find in Bolivia:
1. Arable land
Agriculture has remained one of the most significant natural resources in Bolivia. According to an analysis of the Bolivian government data In 2014, the country’s farmland was roughly 4.13%. Bolivia had its arable land in 2009 when it constituted about 4.15% of the country’s total land mass.
Due to the country’s need to diversify its economy, in 1980 the agricultural sector garnered much prominence. It’s on record that the agrarian sector contributed 23% to the nation’s gross domestic product in the year 1987.
This contribution was a significant decline from its output in 1960 which was approximately 30% of the gross domestic product at the time. Some of the products gotten from Bolivian arable land are crops such as coffee, soybeans, sugar, etc., of which a good quantity of them are sold to neighboring South American countries such as Brazil and Peru.
Since the year 1980, soybean has been one of Bolivia’s most vital crops which has shaped the agricultural sector and transformed her economy.
In 1970, Bolivian farmers invested massively in soybean after the global craving and demand for soybean increased rapidly.
The farmers increased the amount of land under soybean cultivation. In 1980 soybeans were grown on more than 250 square miles of Bolivian area and so to other nations, particularly in Europe.
The livestock industry is one of the country’s most well-enhanced agricultural sectors. Bolivian Livestock Farmers keep a wide range of livestock such as pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs. Statistics had it that in 1980, there were close to 6 million beef cattle in the country.
Most of the beef cattle were reared in the Eastern section of the country, particularly in the Beni and Santa Cruz region, and sold to neighboring nations like Chile, Peru, and Brazil. Presently, Bolivia has a diary sector that is mainly centered in two of the country’s departments, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba.
Lithium has remained a very significant mineral resource in Bolivia, especially in this present dispensation. According to geological research, Bolivian lithium reserves are approximately 5.5 million tons. Also, data indicates that Bolivia has the highest concentration of Lithium in the glove.
The country’s lithium resource is located in the deserts within the salt flats. The salt flats attract a huge number of tourists which has made the Bolivian government unwilling to develop the deposits and ruin the salt flats. The government of Bolivia has partnered and still partnering with other nations particularly those in Asia to develop and exploit the lithium reserves.
Bolivia remains one of the countries in South America with oil reserves. Research indicates that Bolivia’s total oil reserves are estimated at 2,475,558,137 cubic feet and they are primarily located in the Eastern and Southern edges of Bolivia.
The Bolivian government controls a larger portion of the oil industry. As a result of this, the government endeavored to make the oil sector more profitable by privatizing it in 1990. The government later shifted the oil sector from government ownership to private ownership.
List of all Natural Resources in Bolivia
The following is the list of all the natural resources in Bolivia
- Arable land
- Natural gas
- Iron ore
All these years Bolivia has enjoyed a massive economic boost ( although there have been ups and down in her economy) as a result of her massive dependence on these natural resources that have been mentioned so far which has brought Bolivia’s economy to the limelight in the world especially South America.
These natural resources especially livestock, soybean, and arable land have massively enhanced the Bolivian agricultural sector and boosted its economy.
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