Caracas, Venezuela, October 2, 2006—According to the president of the National Confederation of Ranchers and Farmers (Confagan), Venezuela has tripled the amount of land that is under agricultural cultivation in the past eight years.
“When Chavez arrived in the government in 1998, 700,000 hectares were sown and today we are sowing more than 2 million hectares,” said Confagan President José Augustín Campos during a pork expo.
Campos also pointed out that interest rates for farmers and ranchers had dropped significantly in the past few years, from over 50% to 13%, thus making agriculture far more profitable than it used to be.
According to Campos, “In the next five years Venezuelans will be complete masters over agro-alimentary security in the areas of milk, meat, and food oils, due to the economic support that is being provided to workers in the fields, the struggle against latifundios [plantations], and the investment and confidence of the private sector in the government.”
Campos also pointed out the pork production increased by 40% between 1999 and 2006.
According to government data, Venezuela’s land reform program, which was launched in 2001, has distributed over 2 million hectares of land to over 200,000 families.
Confagan is generally considered to be the pro-government ranchers’ association, while Fedenaga (National Federation of Venezuelan Ranchers) is considered to be the anti-government association.