El Salvador’s disappearing farmers

It’s not that the work is too hard or the city is more glamorous.

The problem is that the money just isn’t there.

El Salvador’s rural youth don’t want to be stuck in the subsistence agriculture trap, growing the same foods as numerous generations before them, earning just enough cash to live on — but never enough to prosper.

In cities, in the United States, or in non-farming professions, they have a good chance at getting ahead.

So what does a rural, agricultural society do to make farming attractive again?

One strategy is to bring more infrastructure to the countryside, which is in many cases lacking basic necessities such as healthcare and electricity.

Another is to provide more government support for small farmers.

The Canasta Campesina cooperative believes that the answer lies in organics, cutting out the middleman, and technological innovation.

Its young farmer-entrepreneurs make much higher profits taking their own produce to market in the national capital rather than paying someone else to do it.

They’ve been able to increase their market share and impact through online sales and by sharing farming resources on the Internet.

Source: Al Jazeera

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