The graying of rural El Salvador

The young are leaving rural El Salvador for the country's cities.   The result is rural farmers who are getting old with no one to take their place.  According to the country's agriculture ministry, the average age of farmers is now 57 years old.

The exodus of the young seems to be driven by rural poverty.   56.1% of households in rural El Salvador suffer from multi-dimensional poverty compared to less than 22% of households in urban areas. 

The government of El Salvador has a program of scholarships for young people in rural areas, as part of its "Amanacer Rural" (Rural Dawn) program.   The scholarships are aimed at giving young people the skills to make farming a profitable occupation and an alternative to leaving for the cities.