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Plateforme de connaissances sur l'agriculture familiale

  Paraguay

In Paraguay, family farming has been defined within the framework of the Special Meeting on Family Agriculture (REAF), National Section of Paraguay, as "rural productive activity that is executed mainly using family labor for the production of a property; also does not hire in the year more than 20 employees temporarily in specific times of the production process, which reside on the farm and/or in nearby communities, but not running under any conditions is owned, leased, or another relationship, over 50 hectares in the eastern region and 500 hectares in the western region of land regardless of the production category" (REAF. MERCOSUR, May 2007).

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According to the National Agricultural Census 2008 (DCEA.-MAG), the largest concentration of family farmers are located in the department of San Pedro with 43.860 farms (17%); in the department of Caaguazú with 38,205 (15%); in the department of Itapuá 31.049 farms (12%), in Paraguarí 23.472 farms (9%) and finally in the department of Caazapá with 22.195 farms (8%).

In Paraguay, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, at least 145,000 agricultural farms (50% of the total) are handled on plots where the total area does not exceed 5 ha. Another 70,000 in land properties (24% of the total), range from 5 to 10 ha.

Production

Data from the last National Census of Agriculture indicate that farms belonging to the strata currently defined as family farming generate important contributions of scale in the production of food items.

More than 80% of the foods served at the tables of all Paraguayans are from family farming with its diversified production of orchards, fruits, animals, poultry, eggs, beans, maize, beans, cassava and sweet potato.

The FF produces 11 of the 19 food items considered (58%), allocating them to both domestic consumption and export markets. Among the horticultural area, local supplies include: strawberries, tomatoes, locates, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Among the items produced for local consumption and for export, processed and unprocessed foods include : Ka'a He'e (Stevia rebaudiana), sesame, mint and sugar cane. Of the latter, sesame and mint are preferably exported in crude form,  cane sugar in organic form , and Ka'a He'e in forms of leaves, extracts and syrups.

According to the National Agricultural Census 2008, the production unit of 50 hectares also presents the transformation of primary products at the farm, excelling in the production of cheese and cassava starch.

As for areas of the livestock sector, it can be noted that more than 199 000 farms of the Family Agriculture produce pigs. 81% of families produce cattle. Fowls are another sector that involves 97% of family farmers. Finally, 69% of family farmers work in the production of horses, 56% sheep, 57% goats and 86% other birds (ducks, guineas, turkeys, geese, ostrich and quail).

Disadvantages being experienced by the FF in Paraguay

Paraguay combines on one hand a growing sector of development in production and exports, and on the other, a sector with a social situation characterized by poverty that affects an extended proportion of its rural population. These extremes give the guidelines the challenges that must be addressed in the country.

With regard to family farming in the country, just over a third of the farms (38%) have a definitive title in the stratum of less than 5 ha and 44% in the stratum of 5 to less than 10 ha . On farms of 10-20 ha that proportion rises to 50% and reaches 70% in farms of 20-50 ha (Census 2008).

From sources of the Ministry of Agriculture, FF is identified as access to credit and technical assistance (including official and private sources) reaching 10% of producers with farms of up to 5 ha; producers with farms of among 5 and 10 have access proportions that are slightly higher: 14% of technical assistance and credit of 18%. In the area of FF, coverage of technical assistance does not exceed 25% credit and 30% of farms.

As a primary example, the levels of education for producers reflect low percentages. On farms up to 50 ha, the subgroup with the highest rate of basic education completed are the producers , as are producers with farms of between 20 and 50 ha (9%), while everyone else is below 7%.

Thus, Family Farming in Paraguay requires support to ensure access to land, water and other resources, spaces that help articulate the markets, together with credit, investment and specialized technical assistance services to family farmers.

Family farming lex

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