Growing imports show the failure of Venezuela's agrarian model
In 2012, more money (107.3%) was required to bring more food into the country
The president has placed special emphasis on the need to recover lands good for agriculture and "democratize" prices by fighting against large estates to guarantee land's efficiency and enhance production. It all aims at self-sufficiency, import substitution, and food export.
However, over the last 14 years, imports of agriculture raw materials and food itself have shot up whereas domestic production continues falling year after year.
Venezuela's oil boom has allowed the Government to keep its massive import policy to meet food domestic demand and, therefore, fill the gaps in domestic production.
However, expenditure skyrockets as imports are paid for at historically high prices.
According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), imports jumped from USD 1.47 billion in January-July 2011 to 3.06 billion during the same period in 2012. In other words, in 2012, more money (107.3%) has been needed to bring more food into the country.
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.