At present, the importance of agriculture in Venezuela continues to be key to the country’s development. This despite the fact that Venezuela’s main economic income continues to come from oil.
During the last decades, the phenomenon of the Bolivarian revolution promoted by Hugo Chávez tried to pay greater attention to the neglected agricultural activity of the country. Although the efforts made then seemed to shield Venezuela from the food crisis that the world was experiencing, this trend does not seem to be sustained today, when the country faces a severe economic crisis.
With some exceptions, agriculture and agribusiness have declined in the country. It is estimated that Venezuela currently imports about 65% of its food.
Key points of the importance of agriculture in Venezuela
1- Inclusion and protection of rural communities
Despite the unfavorable outlook for Venezuelan agriculture, the government of this country continues to make significant investments in the sector, including debt relief and the provision of equipment for agricultural projects.
This with the argument of the strategic role that agriculture plays in the inclusion of rural communities.
Through democratic participation programs, the Government of Venezuela has tried to politically empower citizens.
An important part of this program has been community councils, where communities monitor their food needs, formulate policies for agriculture, and control food production systems.
These efforts are also aimed at maintaining rural communities with adequate conditions so that they are not forced to migrate to the cities in search of opportunities.
2- Conservation and growth of traditional industry
Since colonial times, Venezuela has had a long agricultural history. During the 19th and 20th centuries, large areas of Venezuelan territory, especially the valleys in the north of the country, were used for agricultural activities.
For most of those times, agriculture was one of the main economic engines of Venezuela.
The preservation of customs and the extensive knowledge of the country’s farmers in the production of coffee, cocoa and sugar cane is one of the reasons why agriculture continues to be important for Venezuela.
3- Food sovereignty
Since the times of Hugo Chávez in the presidency, the Bolivarian revolution has considered the development of agriculture as a strategic priority to achieve food sovereignty in Venezuela.
This implies that communities can determine their own agricultural and food policies.
The importance of agriculture as a way to achieve food sovereignty has been reflected in various government programs.
Among them, those who allocate portions of land exclusively for the development of strategic agriculture projects that are aimed at achieving said sovereignty stand out.
4- Importance in the domestic economy
The main economic activity in Venezuela has been oil exploitation for several decades. Of every 100 dollars that enter the country, 95.50 come from the sale of hydrocarbons.
Beside this, agriculture does not seem like an important point of the Venezuelan economy. However, Venezuela continues to consider agriculture as a fundamental factor for the development of the country’s internal economy.
According to the conception of Bolivarian policies, the knowledge and experience of farmers can reduce the need for imported products to satisfy the needs of the nation.
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