MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, September 20th 2018 - 11:26 UTC

To silence rationing rumours, Venezuela announces 760.000 tons of imported food is on the way

Tuesday, June 18th 2013 - 02:25 UTC
Full article 15 comments
Minister Osorio made the announcement but did not say when the first shipments will arrive  Minister Osorio made the announcement but did not say when the first shipments will arrive

Venezuela is awaiting the arrival of 760.000 tons of food from different associated countries and which are destined to build a national reserve of food, according to Food Minister Felix Osorio. The announcement follows strong suggestions that rationing of certain food and toiletry items was in the pipeline.

“We are working in coordination with allied countries. The food reserve is arriving, we’re talking of 760.000 tons of different food items” added Osorio who did not give details of the shipments arrival date, during a tour of several cities that are suffering serious shortages.

Venezuelans have become accustomed in recent years to periodical shortages of different staples and other items such as coffee, sugar, cooking oil, butter, milk, flour and most recently toilet paper, but the situation instead of improving has worsened.

“This administration has taken all the necessary measures. We are not going to restrict the sale of food items. We’re going to challenge face-on those rumours (on rationing); we’re addressing a temporary situation in the midst of an economic war”, said the minister in an interview with national radio and television.

The government blames shortages to lesser production from private companies, of which it accuses of helping generate an overall feeling of discontent to debilitate the already weak administration of President Nicolas Maduro.

However the private sector argue that the lesser supply is caused mainly because of the lack of dollars at the official rate (6.3 Bolivar) to import finished goods and inputs for the local plants and processors.

In Venezuela there is a strict foreign exchange control and the only way to have access to dollars at the official rate means a long cumbersome peregrination along the different bureaucratic offices. Meanwhile the dollar in the parallel market costs five times more, over 30 Bolivar.

Because of the shortage of goods, the Venezuelan parliament recently approved a credit line of over 500 million Bolivar (80 million dollars) to help re-establish normal levels of supply in such basic items as tooth-paste, toilet paper, soap, diapers and sanitary towels.

After attacks on the private sector and certain corporations for allegedly boycotting the domestic market, the government opened a round of talks with business leaders from the different sectors of the economy.

Ironically on Sunday President Nicolas Maduro during a visit to Rome and the Vatican was awarded a special prize from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, for Venezuela’s initiatives against hunger and lack of nourishment.
 

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Anglotino

    God where do I start?

    “President Nicolas Maduro... was awarded a special prize from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, for Venezuela’s initiatives against hunger and lack of nourishment.”

    Any wonder the UN Decolonisation Committee is so ineffective if this buffoon gets awards like this.

    ”We’re going to challenge face-on those rumours (on rationing); we’re addressing a temporary situation in the midst of an economic war”

    The war was started and is being fought solely by the Venezuelan government against free and fair trade and then it wonders why there are shortages? Who wants to run a business at a loss? This only makes sense if you are the Venezuelan government which runs at a huge loss every single day.

    “760.000 tons of food from different associated countries and which are destined to build a national reserve of food”

    How big a reserve would that be? With 30 million people it wouldn't be much of a reserve now would it. Even at a conservative 1kgs of food per person per day is 30,000 tonnes per day.

    So congratulations Venezuela, you just imported 23 days worth of food!

    That is hardly food security. I probably have that amount of food in my pantry and freezer right now.

    Jun 18th, 2013 - 05:49 am 0
  • LEPRecon

    @1 Anglotino

    When you break it down it isn't much is it?

    Also it doesn't say exactly what kind of food stuffs they are importing. What is their shelf life? Can you actually make a meal of the food? I mean importing coffee is fine, but it isn't a vital food item, you won't starve to death if you can't have your morning cup, but butter, milk, meat, vegetables; which are perishable items are vital. You can't really store them for that long, even freezing them only gives you a few months extra.

    And as you say it is hardly food reserve if it doesn't even stretch to a month. All of these imports will be gone within days, there will be no reserve. Either that or they'll rot in their food reserve and it will be a waste of money.

    But I suppose 760,000 tons sounds impressive to the lay person who won't be able to break it down quite so eloquently as you have.

    Jun 18th, 2013 - 06:31 am 0
  • Redrow

    Jam tomorrow.

    Jun 18th, 2013 - 06:42 am 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!