Poverty – 16.3% of rural families in El Salvador cannot afford the basic food basket (the essential food required by a family as determined by the Salvadoran Government). Hunger keeps people in poverty by decreasing their ability to work, learn and care for their families.
Malnutrition - Chronic under-nutrition of children aged under five is 25.6% in rural areas and nearly 50% in the most vulnerable and marginal locations.
- Increasing food and seed prices – El Salvador only produces 15% of the food it needs so the rest is imported or comes as food aid, leading to high prices.
40% of the land is unsuitable for cultivation because of steep slopes, serious soil erosion (60 to 77%), infertile soil and/or severe risk of flooding. Most farmers have to grow crops in these fragile areas as the most productive land is used for cash crops and sweatshops.
Environmental degradation – Since 1945, successive Salvadoran governments have promoted ‘green revolution’ farming techniques using agrochemicals which strip the soil of its nutrients, causing low crop yields whilst high soil humidity caused by climate change leads to more contamination by fungi, pests and mould.Buying single-use hybrid imported seeds means Salvadoran subsistence farmers are vulnerable to price rises for the seeds and the pesticides and fertilisers they need to grow them.