Many countries in South America have economies that are still heavily centred on agriculture. Farming accounts for most of the employment in rural areas, where a high percentage of the population lives.
Despite large areas of fertile land, challenges including political instability and interference as well as the prevalence of pests and diseases mean that crop production is far from what it could be, and the importing of food is necessary. The high use of pesticides in some countries, meanwhile, has led to poor soil quality, environmental damage and health issues.
Knowledge Bank page for South America