By Wim Pelupessy, Reurd Ruben
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The agrarian cooperatives of El Salvador were closely monitored and controlled by the state institute ISTA, while technical and ﬁnancial assistance came from USAID. In the 1980s the US had spent about $800 million on the land reform, though a signiﬁcant part was used to repair infrastructural damage caused by the civil war and to compensate big landowners. 28 Land Reform in El Salvador and Taiwan Large and medium landowners who were potentially affected by Phase III of the reform used death-squads and other paramilitary gangs to expel tenants who might qualify for land purchase.
Despite the difference in total area, the size of the respective farmlands was 1 089 000 hectares of livestock and cropland at the end of the 1970s in El Salvador and 870 000 hectares cropland in Taiwan at the end of the 1940s. El Salvador still had a reserve of 200 000 hectares of potential farmland. 2 hectares for Taiwan, with 665 000 rural households. 7 hectares per family. This point had been already reached in the 1940s in Taiwan. Before reform, one-ﬁfth of the Taiwanese farmland (181 000 hectares) was owned by the state as a consequence of the expulsion of Japanese landlords after the second World War, before which Taiwan had been a Japanese colony since 1896.
With the peace settlement, two years later, a new program was introduced. Land reform without a follow-up tends to fail. As the Taiwan experience showed, less than ﬁve years of swift implementation of reform programs were followed by thirty years of follow-up policies by newly established institutions, during which the results were widened and deepened. In effect, after more than forty years, there is still a need for some adjustment to enhance rural productive capacity and efﬁciency in the 1990s (Huang, 1993: 43–65).