Exchange relations and food security: maize and maize markets in Honduras

Johnson, Hazel (2000). Exchange relations and food security: maize and maize markets in Honduras. In: Bastiaensen, Johan and Ruben, Ruerd eds. Rural Development in Central America: Markets, Livelihoods and Rural Governance. London, UK: Palgrave McMillan, pp. 21–38.



About the book: Rural development is nowadays considered as almost synonymous with engagement in market exchange. Agrarian policies in Central America focus attention on market liberalization. When market and institutional failures prevail, rural communities rely increasingly on local contractual arrangements to guarantee their subsistence. Livelihood strategies become increasingly complex, since farm households are engaged in a broad number of simultaneous exchange relations on different markets and maintain institutional linkages with several agents.

This book offers a comprehensive review of the current debate on the importance of 'real markets' in the Central American rural development process. The contributions address the performance of agrarian commodity markets, the structure of rural land and financial markets, and the dynamics of rural labour markets. Major economic, socio-cultural, political and institutional dimensions of market and non-market configurations are highlighted. The detailed analysis of the understanding of markets by the peasantry reveals the importance of multiple exchange relations for peasants' livelihood strategies.

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