For your weekend reading, I highly recommend the article Free Markets and the Food Crisis in Central America by Carlos G. Sanchez at CIP Americas. The article describes the transformation of the economies of Central America and the loss of food sovereignty. The countries of the region, including El Salvador, have been transformed from ones where enough food was grown to feed their own populations to countries which rely on imported food and are subject to the swings of prices in the global food and commodity markets. The impact of free trade policies, an emphasis on cash export crops, and economic forces which have driven people out of the countryside and into crowded urban areas has resulted in widespread food insecurity throughout the region.
Sanchez includes a call to action in his article:
The starting point should be that every Central American has adequate access to food, and for this to happen, the structure of production and commerce must change. National and regional production should, first and foremost, attend to the needs of local markets. We must produce to cover the food and nutritional needs of Central America. But it’s not only about guaranteeing food, which could be achieved in the short term through imports. It’s about creating and strengthening the production chain of local and regional markets.Read the entire article here.