Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

William Ascher

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© 2013 Isabel Harbaugh


For many of Latin America’s small farmers, a future in agriculture may be short lived. Due to increasing mechanization, land consolidation, and globalization, the demand for agricultural labor is declining, and small landowners are feeling the brunt of this change. Given this reality, the non-farm rural economy should become a much greater priority on the rural development agenda. Many non-farm positions demonstrate significant potential for poverty alleviation, but these jobs often present substantial barriers to entry. In order for smallholders to access these positions rather than low-skilled, low-productivity, and low-paying jobs, government involvement is essential. By helping small farmers build non-farm skills and knowledge, facilitating profitable land transactions, and fostering a business environment that supports rural job creation, governments can ensure that small farmers are not only able to transition to non-farm employment, but that they are able to do so in a way that maximizes the impact on overall rural welfare.


  • 2013 Keck Center Prize for Senior Thesis with Best Original Idea

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.