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Vulnerability to food insecurity among Honduran maize farmers: Challenges for the 1990s


  • Hazel Johnson

    (Development Studies, Systems Department, Open University, UK)


This paper argues that government and related institutional approaches to increasing agricultural output and improving rural livelihoods in Honduras in the 1980s were limited in their abilities to reduce the vulnerability The concept of vulnerability refers to the inabilities of many maize farmers to produce or consume adequate quantities of maize without ongoing debt relations and potential or actual entitlement loss (Johnson, 1995, p. 15). of small maize farmers to food insecurity. During the 1980s, the Honduran government and other institutions attempted to improve the productive capacities of individual and collectively-organized small farmers by credit and technical assistance packages to encourage diversification, as well as increase national output of marketed food staples to reduce the need for food imports. However, such policies did not always take into account structural obstacles to change, such as the social relations of production and exchange in the countryside which affected access to and control over resources for and benefits from food production. The following analysis suggests that if such considerations are not addressed, it is doubtful whether small maize farmers will be able to sustain and improve their productive capacities in the longer term.

Suggested Citation

  • Hazel Johnson, 1996. "Vulnerability to food insecurity among Honduran maize farmers: Challenges for the 1990s," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(5), pages 667-682.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:8:y:1996:i:5:p:667-682
    DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1328(199609)8:5<667::AID-JID410>3.0.CO;2-Y

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