5667 - Agricultural change in Nicaragua. 1950-2010

For my master thesis I work on agrarian change in Nicaragua (1950-2010). I realise my project in the context of global history, which tries to create a awareness for global relations (Conrad 2007). In the case of my master thesis this is the global relation of agrarian change in Nicaragua, population growth and export economy. For the research I stay since July 2011 (until 4/2012) in Nicaragua. In this time I also work for the Centro de Estudios Históricos of the UNAN León under the direction of Dr. Monika Strasser. The thesis is supervised by Dr. Norbert Ortmayr (University of Salzbourg). 

Without theoretical discussions the historic work on the agrarian development in Nicaragua would be only a descriptive collection of statistical data. Therefore I use the historic demography (Malthus 1798; Boserup 1981; Paddock 1969; Clark 1975; Komlos 2006;) and parts of the dependency theory (Kerner 1999; Nohlen1999;) as a theoretic bracket for my thesis. The analysis of the agricultural history of Nicaragua is based on the fact that 1950 1.200.000 people were living in Nicaragua. Right up to now the population increased to 5.142.098 (2005). A question of particular importance is therefore, how this enormous growth could be nourished. Especially on the background of the traditionally strong export agro economy of Nicaragua this is a pivotal question. Thus, the main focus is on the transformation of relations of production, land tenure, focal point of production (crop production/livestock breeding) and the influence of global dependencies and national stimulating factors on this development. According to this my hypothesis are that population growth and dependency on the export of agricultural products were the main factors which stimulated the change of Nicaraguan agriculture.

My research questions are therefore, which role assumed population growth in agrarian change? How was the structural composition changed under this effect and the export-oriented economy? How changed cultivation and stock farming? Which influence had this process on the rural society, mainly on personal income, land tenure and relations of production?

Palabras claves: nicaragua, agriculture, population growth, economy, history,

Autores: Reisinger, Christian (Universität Salzburg, Austria / Österreich)


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