Mérida, January 24th 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Communal grain packing company Hijos de Bolivar (Bolivar’s children) in Los Guayos, Carabobo state, inaugurated six months ago, is packaging 16 tonnes of sugar per day as well as beans, and soon rice, which it then sends on to communal councils.
The government invested 16 million bolivars (US$ 3.7 million) in the construction of the plant’s storage infrastructure, equipment, and trucks, according to the president of the Socialist Agriculture Development Fund (Fondas), Ricardo Sanchez, speaking on national television on Sunday.
Sanchez said the plant employs thirteen people directly and twenty people indirectly, and the machines pack 35 kilograms of sugar per minute. He explained that sugar farms bring the produce to the state’s sugar centres for processing, “and they are paid a fair price, then the centres send the primary material to the packing plants so that it can be distributed to the people”.
Lidia Torres, coordinator of the Hijos de Bolivar plant said, “The idea [of the plant] came out of a citizens’ assembly, and we took it to Fondas, and that’s how we created this great project”.
“What we produce goes to the socialist units of the community, to communal councils, 130 councils… directly to the community, to Mercals, food houses,” Torres said.
“There are many projects like this one [in the region], a protected cultures house, a distribution centre for Alba companies, and the construction of 143 houses through the housing mission… There are more than 500 people involved in these productive projects and they even have a radio, 103.3 FM (Radio Vanguardia Popular) which can be heard in Los Guayos, Guacara, and San Joaquin. It is run by them and it is mainly for reporting on what is being developed there,” said Sanchez.
There are currently eleven more communal owned packing companies under construction around the country.
“The plants aren’t administered by the state, they are the people’s property…in the people of the communal councils’ distribution plan…they run the plant and the surplus goes back to the community,” Sanchez explained.
He said Fondas is currently financing 1,800 communal councils with supplies and machinery.