Venezuela unveils plan to increase its domestic food production by 80% to reach 42 million tonnes/year; 2013 production forecast to be about 23.2 million tonnes

LONDON , December 12, 2013 () – The government plan submitted by Hugo Chavez, at the CNE [National Electoral Council], in July 2012, included plans for a 45 per cent increase in domestic food production (crops, livestock , aquaculture, fisheries thus "going from 29.4 million tonnes to 42.7 million tons per year."

The new text proposes to increase domestic production by 80 per cent in order to achieve the same 42 million tons per year. It also eliminated the starting point for measuring the growth of production.

At the end of 2012, according to figures reflected in the Report and Accounts of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (MAT), the national food production closed at 24.23 million tonnes, 17.5 per cent less than previously estimated to be produced that year.

Rethinking the production target in the Plan of the Fatherland means that a greater effort will havbe to be made to achieve the estimated production for 2019, which signifies almost doubling the current figures.

Now the goal is to grow 80 per cent in order to produce 42 million tonnes a year because the 2013 production would be of about of 23.2 million tonnes of food.

The text of the Plan also redesigns the production target of cereals (rice, maize and sorghum). Initially, it was proposed to increase it by 75 per cent "going up from 5.13 million tons to 8.73 million tons per year."

Now , it is estimated to increase production by 100 per cent to achieve a production of 7 million tons per year. This means a reduction of 15.6 per cent compared with the initial goal of the Chavez' plan.

The goal for the production of leguminous is to increase from 65 per cent to 90 per cent, while that of soybean was reduced from 73 per cent to 30 per cent; the estimate growth of 40 per cent was maintained. Regarding roots and tubers, expectations were reduced from 46 per cent to 25 per cent.

The goal of livestock production fell five points and it is anticipated a 40 per cent growth per year.

Thus, the government of Nicolas Maduro proposes to boost the production of beef by 50 per cent to reach 4 million tons per year. As to table eggs, the goal is to grow 40 per cent and 43 per cent with regard to chicken production. The production of pigs has to increase by 45 per cent to achieve 66,000 tonnes per year.

In fisheries and aquaculture the target is to achieve an increase of 20 per cent in order to produce 300 thousand tons per year.

The Homeland Plan also proposes to completely eliminate the large estates and to increase the areas planted with vegetables cultivated for short cycles by, "at least," 43 per cent, from 2.88 million hectares to 4.12 million hectares per year.

The plan grants special attention to peasant organizations, and to small and medium producers.

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