Agricultural production in Venezuela increased by 40 percent. Last Minute WORLD, CURRENT headlines and events
According to the Venezuelan Confederation of Agricultural Producers (Fedeagro), the production of corn, rice, sugarcane, coffee and dried beans, which are among the most consumed agricultural products in the country, has increased by an average of 40 percent this year. .
According to official data, the country has 34 million hectares suitable for agriculture and animal husbandry. Research by the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) shows that although the total area of directly cultivated agricultural land is 7 million hectares, the cultivated area is less than 2.5 million hectares.
Speaking to VOA Turkish, Juan Marrero, an expert on agricultural economics at UCV, said that reasons such as dollar price indexation and exemption of imported materials used in agricultural production from customs tax in a country where the problem of a permanent exchange rate appreciation has increased agricultural production.
Marrero said that despite the increase in agricultural production, problems such as the fuel crisis in agricultural areas, the lack of credit facilities, the inability to implement agricultural policies that protect domestic production, are forcing producers and the country far from food security.
An agricultural expert noted that the cost of production has increased as the fuel used by agricultural producers, especially small farmers, for irrigation, tillage, transport and power generation, has entered the black market.
Marrero also noted that production growth will not be sustainable without addressing issues such as inflation, which has increased in the last quarter, reduced consumption due to purchasing power, difficulties in the process of purchasing agricultural materials and financial problems.
In addition to fuel, the factors negatively affecting agricultural producers include interruptions in water and electricity. For example, professional organizations report that this year the amount of discarded vegetables in three vegetable-producing countries has reached 300,000 tons.
400 thousand hectares allocated to Turkish investors
Despite being one-third of Turkey’s population, which is 130,000 square kilometers larger than Turkey’s, Venezuela can only meet 35-40 percent of its food needs despite rich water resources, a climate suitable for two three crops a year, and fertile soil.
Fedeagro’s research shows that about $9 billion of investment is needed to repair the damage caused by the crisis to the agricultural sector.
The government allocates part of the arable land to foreign countries in order to increase agricultural production, and one of these countries is Turkey.
As part of the agreements with Venezuela, it was announced that 400,000 hectares of agricultural land will be allocated to Turkish investors on the condition that they leave 30 percent of their production in Venezuela.
After that, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Vahit Kirishchi visited Venezuela with a delegation and conducted an investigation.
Experts following the process say Turkish investors are more interested in soybean, corn and rice production in Venezuela, but they are working on issues such as how many years will be allocated for agricultural production, the legal framework and guarantees that will be provided to investors. .
This year, Venezuelan corn production is up 46 percent to 1.1 million tons, while rice production is up 118 percent to 525,000 tons, according to Fedeagro.
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