Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Charles Curry-Smithson


The purpose of this study is to explore the potential impacts and benefits of the Free Trade Agreement between Central America and the United States (CAFTA), for agricultural production in El Salvador. The research carried out for this study consisted of in-depth document review, focusing on the result of the Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada -- NAFTA -- and its impacts on the lives of farmers in Mexico and an extensive field study in El Salvador. The study also includes recent analysis of possible results of CAFTA for El Salvador’s agriculture sector. The purpose of the field work portion of this project was to answer, from a farmer’s point of view the following research question: What local and national agricultural initiatives will be essential in the context of CAFTA to strengthen the most vulnerable farmers of El Salvador? It was found that a very real threat exists for this sector, which receives little to no governmental investment provoking high levels of poverty and which will soon face competition with the largest agricultural producer in the world, home to the most economic and political powerful agribusiness companies on the globe. However there is much work to be done and Salvadoran farmers have the interest and intelligence to make real change as long as governmental policies are implemented to support a strong productive sector. The results of this study can serve as an important tool for NGO’s, governmental institutions and farmer’s organizations as an informational base for developing advocacy plans and organizational priorities to ensure the survival of a sector crucial to the economic and social stability of the country.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | International Relations


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