Public investments on Family Economy

New opportunities in Mexico and Central America

Friday 24 May 2013

All the versions of this article: [English] [Español]

Authorship: Clay Boggs and Geoff Thale.

Editorial and Canal: Washington Office for Latin American Affairs (WOLA).

Type of document: Annual Report.

Theme: Agriculture.

Key words: Land grabbing, Agriculture, Food crisis, Economic crisis, Right to food, Right to health, Economic, social and cultural rights.

Country: Mexico.

Description: . Non agricultural employment, urbanization and migration, they used to say, will foster economic growth and will lead to the reduction of poverty. Please, refer to the full text report on the attached document.

During recent years, there has been a renewed interest among donors and governments on the role played by family agriculture in contributing to rural development. During the decades of 1980 and 1990, the Latin American governments and international donors make all sort of efforts to reduce the public expenditure in agriculture, and the interest of small scale farmers seemed doomed to decrease constantly. A new report by the Washington Office for Latin American Affairs , Public Investment in Family Agriculture: New Opportunities in Mexico and Central America, goes through the emergence of family agriculture in the political discourse.

The report is focused in Mexico and Central America, where persistent poverty and underdevelopment in the rural sector have helped to foster immigration to the USA in recent decades. It says that the governments of Mexico and Central America have designed several initiatives for family agriculture in recent years and that they have attached importance to small agricultural workers within the official rhetoric and in the development strategies. Nevertheless, the report also shows a discrepancy between the mode in which new initiatives are framed and the program it really contains.

Public investment in agriculture is still low, especially when compared with the 1980s and the public expenditure quite often favors affluent agricultural workers. Even when public expenditure is aimed at family agriculture, it basically consists in assistance support, either as direct subsidies or in the distribution of cattle, seeds or fertilizers. Although it is positive for governments and donors to express a renewed interest on family agriculture, this interest still has not yielded comprehensive strategies to help agricultural workers in achieving success.

See online : Public investments on Family Economy

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