Barinas, December 02, 2022 (Press MinComunas) – On Friday, the People’s Power Ministers for Communes and Social Movements, Jorge Arreaza, and Productive Agriculture and Lands, Wilmar Castro Soteldo, held an assembly with agricultural producers of the “Ezequiel Zamora” municipality, Barinas state. Both addressed their proposals and agreed on alternative solutions to the raised needs during a constructive dialogue.
In the context of the Santa Barbara de Barinas agricultural fair and after listening to the participants, Minister Arreaza acknowledged the struggle and resistance of the producers, community members, and peasants. “This is the homeland that produces; they are the reason why we are still steady and standing before the world, despite all the aggressions suffered by the Venezuelan people.”
He reaffirmed his willingness to set up a work table with all the sectors involved to make a plan for the municipality of Zamora within the Barinas plan, which should be the first state in practically all the agri-food items of Venezuela due to its capacities.
Regarding financing, Arreaza agreed with the meeting proposed in the assembly: “where not only the producers’ associations, the public and private banks, the National Assembly (NA), but also the Ministries of Economy, Industry, and Finance must be present because we have to generate new formulas, new ways of doing it.”
The head of the Communes welcomed the proposal made by Nelson Garcia Mora, Mayor of Zamora, to build jointly, government-producers a bridge over the Caparo River. “We build it together, work together,” as part of the integral plan that we must build for the state, with quantifiable objectives and goals, to follow up, “a plan to know how much is needed and the financing sources we are looking for” In response to the request.
Arreaza responded to the request made in the assembly to fight the intermediaries in the commercialization chain of the items. He specified that they are trying to cut with them in the communal economic circuits so that the production of those who raise and sow the crops gets directly to its destination and later distribute to the consumers.
Minister Castro Soteldo described the lands of Barinas as the most prodigious of Venezuela: “We can produce all the food of the nation here. We can produce everything here.” He said that, in terms of financing, it is about creating a financial structure between all producers and the state. An alliance, a great partnership with the appropriate financial vehicle and technological platform, “where you are participants, partners, overseers, supervisors and direct the credit.”
“We assume the commitment to push that bridge project and will look for ways,” he referred to the request to build a structure that communicates both banks of the Caparo River. In addition, he warned about molecular studies that were positive for avian influenza in Puerto Píritu, Anzoátegui state, a virus introduced by migratory birds: “be attentive to the hens, chickens, turkeys, pigs behavior”; in case of any irregular symptom, “let us know so we can make the investigations.”
At the beginning of the assembly, Mayor Nelson Garcia emphasized that Barinas is the first producer of milk, cheese, and buffalo cattle and competes with Zulia in meat production in the country. Zamora is the first meat-producing municipality of the plains entity. He pointed out that they have an operational asphalt plant and a stone crusher to support the towns of Socopó and Andres Eloy Blanco.
Freddy Rojas, president of the Association of Cattle Breeders of the Zamora Municipality (Agroza), affirmed that they exhibit pure genetics produced by the “people who did not want to leave Venezuela” in the great Santa Barbara de Barinas agricultural fair. He also requested the Government’s support for a larger livestock park and the direct opening to import machinery.
The veterinarian and producer, Luis Ramon Figueroa, added that 85% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Barinas depends on agriculture and cattle raising, and, in this sense, he demanded support to eradicate the most important disease in Venezuelan cattle raising, which is foot and mouth disease.
“The Venezuelan Government, through the National Institute of Integral Agricultural Health (INSAI), and the major producers’ associations coincide with the Venezuelan State in the great legal framework of the Venezuelan Foundation for Animal Health (Funvesa). We are willing to eradicate foot-and-mouth disease because it prevents us from exporting meat, milk, and derivatives; if we manage to eradicate it or certify an eradication program by 2025, we will have access to international markets,” he explained.
As for the financing of the animal health program, he showed two ways: The Parafiscal Funds Law, “where we producers, could create a percentage to return it in the sanitary plans for the eradication of foot and mouth disease in our herds through the milk that is collected, the meat or the cattle that benefit, and secondly, the release of international funds, through the United Nations (UN).”
Daysi Carrero, a representative of the Union of Small and Medium Producers, pointed out that they have 80 hectares of water mirror in the Ezequiel Zamora municipality, of which more than 50 ponds are only 10% productive. There are sheds ready for chicken production and more than 6 thousand producers. He requested official support to consolidate a direct meat and milk commercialization route without intermediaries. “We have 70% of facilities ready for the national government to come and support us small and medium producers”.
Finally, Willians Virigay stated: “The most important producer is a noble farmer who produces food so we can eat three times. We do not want anything to be given away. Because what is given away is not valued. We have to sweat things out”.
As for the financial requirement, he announced that they requested a meeting of all the producer associations of the country with all the public and private banks to Deputy Jesus Faria of the Finance Commission of the NA. The objective is to build a public-private fund to finance the agriculture and livestock of Venezuela. “We have discussed it with all the presidents of all the associations, and they have all the willingness,” he assured.