A lot is being discussed regarding the situation in Venezuela and what the "economic war" means for economic development toward the future, just as international relations and possible political fences. There is always a series of arguments that others must be held accountable for the entire situation the country is going through, not the government.
Let’s start by talking of agricultural production, which is the sector that provides raw materials for any company in the agro-industrial sector. Its situation is very difficult due to multiple factors and we can start this article by talking about the inputs needed for production not available in the market and, if available, its exorbitant prices for which they will inevitably have an effect on the final product price. It turns out that Agropatria, the country’s largest agricultural input distribution company, is today empty with no supplies and depends on a national government body, starting with fertilizers that have been produced by Pequiven, an industry today in decline dependent on the national government, for many years and that not only used to supply Venezuela but exported its production surplus to neighboring countries.
On the other hand is packaging, whose prices have skyrocketed – and guess who takes care of the production of plastic bags in the country? Another government-dependent company: Pequiven. However there is talk of an economic war going on and we should ask ourselves: who is making this economic war? Perhaps the heads of these companies? Maybe because of their poor management they haven’t been able to overcome all the failures and generate greater quantity of raw material so that packaging manufacturers do not have to import the raw materials and, hence, not spend foreign currency?
Then are the supplies for vehicles and tractors, starting with the oils and lubricants manufactured with the raw materials obtained by the domestic industry (PDVSA to be precise) with some of the factories owned by the national government. So what’s with those companies that do not make available these supplies to producers? Is it the economic war? Or is it the lack of efficient management that enables them to generate more production and lower costs?
Another serious problem that agricultural producers have been dealing with for a long time is mounting insecurity. In earlier times, insecurity was felt in agricultural areas next to major communication routes and that made wrongdoers move from major cities to the field in order to steal agricultural or livestock production. However, now insecurity is being felt in all agricultural areas, and these wrongdoers are no longer outsiders but residents in the same agricultural areas who, due to the current economic situation, have been forced to steal in order to survive. Many years ago, there were some National Guard brigades known as "Rurals" which undoubtedly were great allies of the producers because they kept all agricultural areas safe as were feared by criminals. These brigades are believed to have disappeared or are in danger of extinction, since no security force has been seen patrolling the agricultural areas lately.
In the past few days, a group of peasants and small producers marched from Portuguesa state to the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas with a few approaches that would raise their current situation. These are people linked to the government party or to some of the diverse actors linked to the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP), an electoral alliance of Venezuelan political parties created in 2011 to support the re-election of Hugo Chávez in the 2012 presidential election, and all their requirements are valid for any agricultural area in Venezuela, because when compared with the approaches of producers from small cities in Miranda state such as Higuerote, Río Chico, and Ocumare del Tuy, or states of the Andean region such as Mérida or Táchira all have similarities and from there a great reflection on finding the necessary corrective actions to help meet the requirements of the agricultural producers should be produced.
A sustainable and self-sustaining country should be built on deep-rooted principles and family values, on governments that set an example of austerity, commitment, humility, and transparency. Unfortunately this has not been the case of Venezuela where corruption reigns throughout the national territory, where we all know each other and see how people with no money make it into the public administration and suddenly become rich in only a few months or years. Sadly, that’s the example being set right now and not the way to build a country.