Maduro Creates Council To “Revolutionize" Food Production in Venezuela

On Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the formation of a presidential council of farmers, fishers and rural producers working alongside a state-run food distribution company, aimed at addressing nutrition, food scarcity, and rural production in Venezuela.

By Cory Fischer-Hoffman

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Venezuelan farmers will benefit from the increased production network, Maduro said. (archives)
Venezuelan farmers will benefit from the increased production network, Maduro said. (archives)
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Caracas, September 8th 2014. (venezuelanalysis.com)- On Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the formation of a presidential council of farmers, fishers and rural producers working alongside a state-run food distribution company, aimed at addressing nutrition, food scarcity, and rural production in Venezuela.

The new council, tasked with advancing public policy in the field, is due to begin operations on October 14th. The Venezuelan leader noted that it will “revolutionize” how decisions are made in regards to agrarian issues and food production.

Johan Hernández Lares, vice-minister of the Ministry of Popular Power of Food Production, last week was also appointed to head up the new state-run Corporation of Production, Distribution and Marketing of Foods (Corpo Pdval-Mercal). This new corporation will work alongside other government institutions to improve efficiency. In it's first phase, Corpo Pdval-Mercal will distribute between 130,000-200,000 tons of food to the private and public sector, Maduro announced.

State-owned newspaper Correo del Orinoco reports that further details are forthcoming, including the manner in which agricultural producers can register to take part in the new distribution methods that are equally aimed at guaranteeing markets for their crops.

The council was launched to combat food shortages and speculation but, Maduro said, it forms part of a broader strategy to increase production and improve nutrition in Venezuela. “Our formula is to plant productive capacity in our country, not only in the countryside but in the city too... so that it permits us to climb and climb towards an optimal food situation.” He also noted the importance of the Ministry of Nutrition's public education campaigns to discourage Venezuelans from eating junk food.

Maduro called upon state-run dairy company Los Andes to set the example; “We have no explanations to why we are not producing at the highest capacity. Whatever is needed, ask me for it, but let's take Los Andes Dairy to the maximum productive level.”

Luis Moreno Sevilla, the recently ratified president of Los Andes will continue on to oversee the company's expansion and increased production.

As a part of the recent government shake-up, the Corporation of Suppliers and Agricultural Services (CASA) has also been placed under the new Ministry of Foods. Maduro concluded Sunday’s address by affirming “if there is any revolution that our country should make, it is a productive revolution in the countryside of Venezuela.”