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Export Agriculture and the Crisis in Central America$
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Robert G. Williams

Print publication date: 1986

Print ISBN-13: 9780807841549

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9781469615882_Williams

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

. The Beneficiaries of Beef

. The Beneficiaries of Beef

(p.99) 5. The Beneficiaries of Beef
Export Agriculture and the Crisis in Central America

Robert G. Williams

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter presents the beef boom as a prime example of how the private sector can bring about economic development when the government removes obstacles to trade and investment. The favorable access to the protected U.S. beef market pumped excess profits into Central America's traditional beef business. At the same time, the U.S. government, Washington-based development banks, and the governments of Central America reduced the private costs of beef production by building roads into potential grazing areas, providing technical assistance to ranchers, and lubricating the business with subsidized credit. Multinational corporations responded to the profit incentives and tapped wealth from every phase of the business, modernizing as they went. Agribusiness supply houses increased their sales of improved grass seed, barbed wire, fertilizer, pasture-clipping equipment, frozen semen, veterinary medicines, feed supplements, and other modern inputs. Fruit companies and other corporations with access to large blocks of land turned previously idle properties into money-earning pastures.

Keywords:   beef boom, private sector, economic development, U.S. beef market, multinationals, beef production

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