The Slow Displacement of Smallholder Farming Families: Land, Hunger, and Labor Migration in Nicaragua and Guatemala
2. Slow Displacement from the Land
3. Land and Displacement in Nicaragua and Guatemala
4. Study Sites and Methods
5. Results and Discussion: Slow Displacement from the Land and Widespread Food Insecurity
5.1. Guatemala: Extractivism and Tightening Land Markets
The problem is that some estates (‘fincas’) used to rent out their land, so people used to get more land at a lower price. But they [the ingenios] started to grab up those large extensions of land, since they offered to pay much more rent.
One thing we’ve mentioned to each other [with respect to the reason why people migrate] is land rents—not everybody here has their own land. So the majority of them rent land, and in the past years, rents have really gone up. People are willing to pay [a lot] for a manzana2 of land to plant on.
…there’s no way to live. That’s what people [migrants] are looking for. They go so they can send their families food, even though they won’t get rich or make good money, at least they’ll [send money] for some beans.
5.2. Nicaragua: Working to Stay on the Land Through Subsistence Migration
Participant 1: The bank that financed our production at low interest rates was confiscated, and that’s when we saw ourselves obligated to sell our property.
Participant 2: At least one of the cooperatives owed a lot of money and they had to sell the whole 100 manzanas that they had, [in order] to be able to pay.
Researcher: To whom did they sell?
Participant 2: To the same powerful people [who had it before], because a poor person wasn’t going to buy 100 manzanas!
Conflicts of Interest
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Sugar mill operators.
Guatemalan Quetzal, with an exchange rate of 1 GTQ = 0.13 USD.
|Somotillo, Nicaragua; n = 121||Caballo Blanco, Guatemala; n = 196|
|Non-Migrant(n = 65)||Migrant * (n = 56)||Significance (Chi-Square/t-Test)||Non-Migrant(n = 88)||Migrant * (n = 108)||Significance (Chi-Square/t-Test)|
|Households with land holding||79%||93%||p = 0.027||77%||96%||p = 0.000|
|Mean land holding (ha)||7.9||11.5||p = 0.248||0.3||0.6||p = 0.031|
|Median land holding (ha)||3.2||5.2||--||0.13||0.17||--|
|Households renting land||26%||25%||p = 0.885||42%||33%||p = 0.210|
|Mean rented land (ha)||1.4||1.2||p = 0.590||1.27||1.61||p = 0.429|
|Median rented land (ha)||1.4||1.1||--||0.70||0.70||--|
|Somotillo, Nicaragua n = 121||Caballo Blanco, Guatemala n = 196|
|Non-Migrant (n = 65)||Migrant * (n = 56)||Significance (Chi-Square)||Non-Migrant (n = 88)||Migrant * (n = 108)||Significance (Chi-Square)|
|Last 4 weeks, household member|
|Skipped a meal||17%||21%||p = 0.529||17%||7%||p = 0.037|
|Went to bed hungry||11%||7%||p = 0.491||32%||22%||p = 0.001|
|Poor availability or complete scarcity of food in the home|
|January||12%||5%||p = 0.185||67%||55%||p = 0.077|
|February||42%||34%||p = 0.390||82%||66%||p = 0.012|
|March||77%||57%||p = 0.020||85%||71%||p = 0.020|
|April||86%||73%||p = 0.075||83%||72%||p = 0.076|
|May||86%||79%||p = 0.272||78%||66%||p = 0.051|
|June||82%||80%||p = 0.831||72%||48%||p = 0.001|
|July||83%||75%||p = 0.274||71%||40%||p = 0.000|
|August||77%||64%||p = 0.126||64%||33%||p = 0.000|
|September||82%||68%||p = 0.082||55%||20%||p = 0.000|
|October||74%||66%||p = 0.351||51%||21%||p = 0.000|
|November||26%||23%||p = 0.709||44%||55%||p = 0.000|
|December||6%||5%||p = 0.852||40%||19%||p = 0.002|
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Carte, L.; Schmook, B.; Radel, C.; Johnson, R. The Slow Displacement of Smallholder Farming Families: Land, Hunger, and Labor Migration in Nicaragua and Guatemala. Land 2019, 8, 89. https://doi.org/10.3390/land8060089
Carte L, Schmook B, Radel C, Johnson R. The Slow Displacement of Smallholder Farming Families: Land, Hunger, and Labor Migration in Nicaragua and Guatemala. Land. 2019; 8(6):89. https://doi.org/10.3390/land8060089Chicago/Turabian Style
Carte, Lindsey, Birgit Schmook, Claudia Radel, and Richard Johnson. 2019. "The Slow Displacement of Smallholder Farming Families: Land, Hunger, and Labor Migration in Nicaragua and Guatemala" Land 8, no. 6: 89. https://doi.org/10.3390/land8060089