By Wim Pelupessy, Reurd Ruben
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Extra info for Agrarian Policies in Central America
After the Second World War, the agro-export crops were modernized by new technologies, higher input intensity and improved seeds. Coffee yield per hectare reached the highest levels in the world. Growth rates had also been enhanced by import-substituting industrialization and regional economic integration. The dynamics of these strategies lasted only one decade. The extremely skewed distribution of land and the accelerated expansion of rural poverty restricted the possibilities for further growth and made the economy vulnerable to temporal shocks.
The scant information about agricultural technology in the 1980s indicates the persistence of under-utilization of land in El Salvador in both large private estates and reformed cooperatives (Pelupessy 1997). In the 1960s and 1970s, agriculture experienced a sharp increase in the use of improved seeds and modern inputs. Its use of NPK fertilizer became the highest in the Americas. However, use in Taiwan, which before reform was 20 per cent lower, was more than 50 per cent higher than El Salvador at the end of the 1960s.
The choice of instruments could serve economic as well as political objectives, both of which should be considered. On the other hand, the character of implementation and the different stages of the process will be mainly affected by speciﬁc and short-term economic and political considerations at the start. External political agents were important in both cases where the reforms had an anticommunist motivation and the United States was an important stakeholder. Social turmoil was a common feature when the reforms were introduced.
Agrarian Policies in Central America by Wim Pelupessy, Reurd Ruben