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Based on official figures (Agricultural Census 2011, Survey of Living Standards Measurement 2009, Census Fishermen 2009 and Urban Economic Survey  2010), in Nicaragua there are about 189.183 economic enterprises that make up the household economy. The main feature of these enterprises is that they are managed primarily with the workforce of the family, where women and youth play an important role, although not always made visible. Most of these enterprises are families with farms engaged in agricultural production (82%), another proportion to the scale fisheries and aquaculture (17%) and the rest are families with agribusiness enterprises in the field of food (1 %). It is emphasized that a good part of the family economy in Nicaragua is composed of indigenous and African descent families, part of them, located in indigenous territories in the Caribbean of Nicaragua.



Agricultural Home Economics (EFA) consists of households owning at least one fifth of a hectare of land and perform some agricultural activity. These families have great weight in the agricultural sector of Nicaragua. Together they represent 60% of all farms in Nicaragua and control approximately 20% of the total area of farmland in the country. These families make a wide range of agricultural and non-agricultural activities to generate their livelihood. According to the National Agricultural Census 2011 and Survey of Living Standards Measurement 2009, it is estimated that 66% of the Agricultural Home Economics obtains more than 50% of their total family income from agricultural activities. While the remaining 44%, derives its revenue mainly from non-agricultural activities. However, its agricultural activities -especially food production- mean an essential part of their livelihood.

According to calculations based on official sources (National Agricultural Census 2011, Survey of Production First, Hereafter and Apante MAG-BCN-2010/11, Surveys of Coffee Production (MAG-BCN-2012/13) and Surveys of Production Dairy and Livestock Herd MAG-2013), the contribution of these families to the national economy and food security is essential: 56% of maize production and 66% of the bean production is performed by these farms.

Family Farming also plays a major role in the sown area of vegetables (38%), on the surface of cocoa (31%), coffee (28%), fruit (55%) and root crops (33%). In addition, 30% of the cattle herd and milk, 44% of pigs and 26% of poultry is produced in plots of the EFA.

To promote the development of these families and their contribution to the national economy, the Government of Unity and National Reconstruction of Nicaragua (GRUN) has made the Ministry of Home Economics, Community, Cooperative and Associative (MEFCCA), which is part of a new model of comprehensive care for the micro and small production, recognizing the different capacities of families and different forms of participation in the national economy. MEFCCA strategy is to assist these families to encourage and support their different forms of organization: unions, solidarity centers, indigenous and other forms of association.


This text is kindly provided by the authorities of this country.

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