Pais Pesca was founded on October 16, 1945 after a peaceful struggle against a foreign ruler. The country was named Pais Pesca, because of the vast abundance of fisheries resources (be it inland or marine) and the importance of these resources for the population (Figure A.1).
The country is situated a few degrees north of the equator. In the northeast it is bordered by the Republic of Bodor, in the northwest by the Federal State of Kadini and its southern border is made up by the Sea of Bodor (Figure A.2).
The Pais Pesca flag
Pais Pesca and her neighbours
Pais Pesca has a tropical climate. Three distinct seasons can be distinguished: A mild winter from October to March followed by a hot, humid summer (March to June), after which the humid, warm rainy monsoon from June to October forms the third season. Maximum temperatures range between 25-35 °C and the minimum temperature is about 10 °C. The lower temperatures tend to occur in the north and east. Rainfall ranges from 1 400 mm to 3 500 mm on average annually. The monsoon brings the majority of the rains during five months from the end of May to about mid-October. These rains and the resulting flooding of the low lying floodplains are a major driving force behind agriculture practices and inland fisheries in Pais Pesca.
The lowest point of Pais Pesca is at the Sea of Bodor, at 0 metres, while the highest point is in the northwest at 650 metres (Figure A.3). The natural resources of Pais Pesca are gas, coal, arable land, and, of course, water resources.
The country is prone to several natural dangers: inundation during the summer monsoon season, drought during the winter season, and cyclones during the start of the monsoon season.
The total population consists of approximately 23 millions people (1999 est.). Seventy four percent of these people live in rural areas. Population is not distributed equally throughout the country. Densities are between 527 people per square kilometre (Tara district) and 83 people per square kilometre (Pepedas district).
Despite sustained domestic and international efforts to improve economic and demographic prospects, Pais Pesca remains one of the worlds poorest, most densely populated, and least developed nations. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the service sector, nearly two-thirds of Pescans are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single most important product. The main export products are garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood (Figure A.4).
Elevation map of Pais Pesca
Main land-use in Pais Pesca
Major impediments to growth include frequent cyclones and floods, inefficient state-owned enterprises, inadequate port facilities, a rapidly growing labour force that cannot be absorbed by agriculture, delays in exploiting energy resources (natural gas), insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms.
The Pescan agriculture consists mainly of large-scale subsistence farming, which is labour intensive and heavily dependent on monsoon rains. The main crops are rice, jute, wheat, and tea, while forestry products, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit beef, milk, and poultry form also an important part of the agricultural production.
Fourty percent of fisheries production in Pais Pesca is produced by aquaculture. Aquaculture has a long tradition in Pais Pesca. Lately the Department of Fisheries has tried to increase the production of aquaculture farms by propagating modern techniques, which would result in a doubling of aquaculture production. The last ten years shrimp farming gained in popularity, because of its high returns. In 1999 only 13 percent of the aquaculture volume consisted of shrimps, while the value of these shrimps made up 26 percent of the total aquaculture production value.
Besides aquaculture, inland capture fisheries are important for the Pescans. It forms 38 percent of the total fisheries production. This number can be an underestimation, because, like in many developing countries, statistics on inland capture fisheries form a problem. Inland capture fisheries form an important source of protein for the poorest segment of the Pescan population. Like most other floodplain fisheries the Pescan floodplain fisheries are very productive in the period when the floods are receding (October to January).
Marine fisheries form 22 percent of the total fisheries production. Because of the preference of the Pescans for freshwater fish, most of the marine production is being exported.
The hills in the northwest of the country are covered by dense forests from which the local population extracts fire wood. The larger timber is of high quality and is being exported.