Tuesday, December 2, 2008

CONFRAS Criticizes the Right in a Press Release

In a press release from 27th of November 2008, the farmers association, CONFRAS, stated their dissatisfaction with the right-wing neglect of their demands. During 2008 they have made a series of proposals to the Legislative Assembly for changes in agricultural laws. None of these proposals have neither been discussed nor approved by deputies from the conservative parties.

Salvadoran farmers are facing hard times due to the vulnerable state of the agricultural industry. CONFRAS states that the Salvadoran government is not willing to put much effort into protecting them, and an increasing amount of food products in El Salvador are being imported from abroad. 81% of all rice in the country comes from other countries, and 42% of the corn.

CONFRAS says that the agricultural sector is in crisis due to several factors: free trade agreements like CAFTA, high food production costs, lack of access to credit, lack of technical support, and speculation in grain prices.

Rural areas in El Salvador provide few stable job opportunities for farmers and the salaries are very poor. Many of the farmers here live in poverty, which encourages the rate of immigration to larger cities in El Salvador and abroad.

CONFRAS addresses this press release specifically to the conservative deputies, claiming that they don't care about the poor farmers. They urge them to do something to reactivate the agricultural sector and secure the agricultural conditions in the rural areas.

Here is the link to the press release

- Lars Joon Flydal, Grassroots Education and Advocacy Intern

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