Family Farming Knowledge Platform


Farms in Panama are classified according to size in small, medium and large. Farmers depending on the level of technology and investment are classified subsistence farmers -small, medium and large producers-. According to the Agricultural Census of 2011, there are 245.105 farmers, of which 156.652 have 0,10 hectares and more. The total number of farms is 248.560, of which 159 885 have 0,10 hectares and more. The total area of farms amounted to 2.698.841 hectares, the area of farms of 0,10 hectares is 2.696.079. These figures indicate that the country is dominated by small farms, whose owners engaged in Family Farming (FF) for subsistence, and others, for home consumption and the market with the sale of surplus.



In Family Farming it has not defined a typology of producers, however, in the National Plan for Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) 2009-2015, on Axis 1 of Family Farming three major population groups include: the first, consisting of 150.000 small producers who live on farms smaller than 2 hectares; the second, composed of 225 laborers; and the third, consisting of 205.000 Indians. Many industries do not share this group formation. There are inconsistencies in the size of farms, since the FF segment includes producers from 0,10 to 4,99 hectares.

There is no formal definition of family farming as in other countries, however, it means practiced agriculture by small farmers characterized by: resource constraints; small farms (under 5 hectares); live on the farm or in a community near the same; the vast majority of them is producing for home consumption; a growing number of them produce for consumption and the market; there are other that are grouped in associations in changes process; the predominant use of labor is familiar; the head of household (male or female) is directly involved in the production process, generally does not hire labor except in periods of increased production; they sell their labor to other farms; and they are engaged in agriculture, livestock, aquaculture and/or forestry, where agricultural production is the main household income, also integrates crafts activities.

Currently there are no laws, decrees and differentiated public policy for the promotion, development and implementation of family farming. The country does not have a National Plan for Family Agriculture programs and budgets for implementation. The Territorial Rural Development and Family Farming are part of the Government Strategic Plan and policy guidelines of the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA). Further, there are a variety of international organizations supporting the development of family farming.

MIDA, through the Rural Development and Program of Agro ecological Orchards United Families, supports the establishment of orchards for FNS and FF. Also, with the Permanent Crops Development Project 200 indigenous women were supported with the planting of 400 hectares of cocoa and 403 farmers with the planting of 403 hectares of coffee. Finally, through the ECADERT with the Spain-SICA Fund and the Government of Taiwan recently, they have implemented four family farming projects with chain approach.


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

Family farming lex

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