By Scott Fisher
Have you ever heard of a small country that is afflicted by the struggle of political, social and economic hardships? From the deprived land reform to natural disasters it seems El Salvador gets all the terrifying things in such a small country. El Salvador is a small populated country in Central America. In the past 30 years, El Salvador has suffered tremendously due to the instability of its agricultural sector which takes care of 40% of its labor force. Instability of El Salvador’s agricultural sector applies to environmental conservation by helping to preserve resources before they get destroyed by war or by natural disasters. Destroyed resources in any country not only affect that country but also the whole world in some way. For example, other countries cannot get imports because that country could not export the resources like oil. The major troubles that El Salvador experiences are the security of its poor farmers. The major events that hurt the agricultural economy in El Salvador the most are: deprived land reform program and the damage caused by natural disasters.
In the past 30 years, El Salvador has suffered from many economic problems. El Salvador, a country that is a size of Massachusetts seems to be vulnerable to bad externalities. In spite of these bad externalities the El Salvador economy has started to recover and has pegged its currency to be the same as the U.S. dollar. On a good note, El Salvador has free market commitment and careful fiscal management. The privatization of banking systems, public pensions, telecommunications, and some electrical regeneration as well as the reduction of imported duties, the elimination of price controls on a large portion of consumer goods, and enhancement of investment climate through the enforcement of intellectual property rights have all contributed to the recent strengthening of the economy of El Salvador.
Unlike some countries El Salvador’s agricultural economy cannot be neglected. El Salvador’s farm labor composes of around 40% of the country’s labor force and helps out about 25% of El Salvador’s Gross National Product (GNP). In society El Salvador uses about 2/3rds of its land for pastures or for farming. Like the United States, corn is a major crop of El Salvador but El Salvador also has coffee as a main export and chief crop. The achievement and minimal failures of the coffee production has help improve El Salvador’s economy.
The El Salvador community was affected by three factors: the unequal allocation of land and failures of reform the loss of crops, cattle and farmland to natural disaster; and lastly the destruction of property during the civil war time period. First, the faulty land reform left promises of redistribution largely unfulfilled, which means landless farmers remained landless. Next, the natural disasters destroyed the crops and the soil. Lastly, the guerilla warfare that swept the country destroyed valuable farmland and enthralled Salvadorans in the era of violence. These preoccupation helped production rates but it caused the economy to decline. These and some other small issues caused El Salvador to run into economic hardships.
Due to the change in El Salvador’s farming leads to the creation of nationally and internationally sponsored rehabilitation programs to help these environmental conservation issues. The La Coordinadora, an organization founded in 1996, has helped reestablish sustainable, environmentally conscious economy overtime. Of course La Coordinadora faced challenges from floods, poverty, insufficient food production, illiteracy, community violence, and lack of skills, dependency, and the lack of infrastructure. La Coordinadora is a diverse organization that continues to grow in members. Some accomplishments from La Coordinadora include training of farmers in green architecture, development of local leadership, and help organizing over 400 cottage chicken businesses, 150 community farms, and over 10 shrimp farms. The main goal of La Coordinadora is to consolidate the collective and individual organization, participation, capacities, and the abilities in order to advance the process of transformation in the communities of the Bajo Lempa.
From the land reform to natural disasters it seems El Salvador gets all the terrifying things such a small country could experience. El Salvador which is a small populated country in Central America has suffered from instability and needs a more powerful government to help protect its citizens from land reform and natural disasters. Natural disasters cannot be stopped but they can be prepared for. The El Salvador government needs to realize that organization groups are not coming up with good plans to help El Salvador so they need to step in themselves and preserve their country. The major events that hurt the agricultural economy in El Salvador are the deprived land reform programs and damage caused by hurricanes.
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