Family Farming Newsletter for Latin America and the Caribbean, October- December 2012
Family farmers produce more than 70% of Central America’s food. Between 80 and 90% of corn and bean farms are run by family farmers and they, in turn, produce 75 to 80% of these crops.
Most of the households in Central America that produce staple grains live in poverty and experience food insecurity: six out of ten rural households suffer from food insecurity. Paradoxically, family farms in Central America are also where the greatest potential exists for increasing productivity and revitalizing the agricultural sector, contributing toward a steadier supply of food and price stability.
Poverty levels in Central America (51%) are significantly higher than in Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole (33%). The situation is even worse in rural areas where an estimated two thirds of the population lives in poverty. With almost 15% of its population undernourished, Central America is well above the average for the entire Latin America and Caribbean region (8%). Infant malnutrition rates are also above those for the rest of the continent, the highest being registered in Guatemala where half of children under five suffer chronic malnutrition.