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El Salvador Agriculture and Fishing Overview
Agriculture and fishing
The conditions for profitable agriculture are good, with fertile soils and a generally favorable climate. Agriculture has long been the backbone of the economy, but since the middle of the 20th century its share of gross domestic product (GDP) has been halved. In 2012, agriculture accounted for 15 percent of GDP and employed about one-fifth of the working population.
The four most important food crops are maize, millet, beans and rice, which are mainly grown by the country's many small farmers. But production is not enough. El Salvador imports 30 percent of the food consumed, especially rice but also beans.
The major export products coffee and sugar are mainly produced on plantations. Both coffee and sugar incomes vary greatly depending on world market prices and weather conditions with outbreaks of storms, drought or other. In 2012/2013, about three-quarters of the country's coffee crops were affected by a fungal attack, which meant that small farmers and seasonal workers lost their work with the coffee harvest.
New export products such as animal feed, melons, pineapples and peanuts have become important since the end of the 21st century, especially for exports to other Central American countries.
Nearly one-third of the land is cultivable and is fully utilized in the densely populated country, but the uneven distribution of land that was one of the causes of the civil war remains partly. In 1980 a land reform was initiated which meant that no individual citizen could own more than 245 hectares of land. Due to great opposition among the land-owning elite, the reform was only partially implemented. In connection with the 1992 peace, it was stated that the reform would continue and 45,000 families - returning refugees and former guerrilla and government soldiers - were given land to help return to civilian life. The reform ended in 1998, but the small farmers received no support from the state and many of them failed. At the end of the 1990s, more than half the rural population lacked legal access to land, but by the end of 2013, the Funes government had distributed about 47,000 speeds on land. In addition, the government provided support to small farmers, including seed.
Livestock management is only a small part of the agricultural sector. In essence, you breed cattle.
Commercial fishing has grown rapidly since the 1960s, but varies depending on weather conditions. Primarily, tuna is caught. In 2011, 59,000 tonnes of fish were caught, which is an increase of 50 percent since 2009. Shrimp cultivation also provides important export income.
FACTS - AGRICULTURE
Agriculture's share of GDP
4.9 percent (2018)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
76.4 percent (2016)
The murder rate increased by 78 percent
The murder rate is now reported to have increased by 78 percent during the year. The number of murders will exceed 6,000 "unless a miracle happens," says the head of the country's forensic institute. In 2014, 3,924 murders occurred in El Salvador.
Impaired security situation - the gang is pushing the government
Violence has escalated considerably in recent months and the murder rate has reached its highest level since the end of the civil war. The seriousness of the deteriorating safety situation becomes evident when seven bus drivers are murdered in San Salvador in the course of three days - because they defied an order from the gang on strike in public transport. The gang is trying to pressure the government to recognize them as a party and involve them in political issues. The gang demands to be included in the Security Council, a government agency that works with citizen groups to counter the widespread violence. But President Sánchez Cerén rejects the proposition and the government calls the murders of bus drivers "terrorism". The president promises more soldiers on the streets, in support of the police. He and other leaders within the FMLN claim that the right-wing Arena is behind a destabilization campaign.
Great celebration at the Annunciation of Romero
Over 200,000 people attend celebrations in San Salvador when a Vatican envoy blames former Archbishop Óscar Romero, who was assassinated by military in 1980. Blessing is the step before Saints' declaration. Many people find it ironic that Romero is blissful at the same time as domestic violence has escalated to the worst level since the Civil War, with rumors of death patrols re-operating in the country. Romero, a sharp critic of the military regime, was shot dead in a chapel where he had just held a high mass. The murder is seen as a trigger for the civil war. At his funeral, when up to a quarter of a million people gathered in San Salvador, gunfire erupted and dozens of people died.
Eugenio Vides Casanova expelled from the United States
The United States expels former General Eugenio Vides Casanova who has lived in Florida since 1989. An American court has found that he has been tortured and murdered under his command in El Salvador, and that he must therefore not stay in the United States where he has lived since 1989. The amnesty law which exists, the 77-year-old, who was Minister of Defense from 1983 to 1989, does not risk prosecution in his home country (see Political system).
Contested elections for parliament and municipalities
Elections are held for the 84 seats in Parliament as well as the mayor and close to 3,000 members of the municipal council in the 262 municipalities. The vote count extends over time, partly because voters for the first time can vote either on a party list or on an individual candidate. In addition, the TSE electoral authority decides to skip the preliminary vote and go directly to the final results, which raises sharp criticism. Accusations of cheating and sabotage occur, but no evidence exists. The results are presented at the end of the month and show that the Arena is progressing slightly and remains the largest in Parliament with 35 seats. 31 for the FMLN. Ghana gets 11. Arena also wins most mayoral elections but FMLN takes control of San Salvador.