to the point that in some markets they die folks fingers to make sure they can buy only two pounds of milk in a given day, that is, when powder milk arrives. As for pasteurized milk the price increase has not helped because, well, there are no cows, people stopping renewal of the flock since they cannot recover their investments. In San Felipe my dairy shop has told me that the INTI is on their case because they are not "productive enough", even though they are about the last ones in the area still producing....
Thus Chavez decides to blame the current agricultural problems on the few people that still manage to produce some feed stuff (El Mundo calculates that we are now importing 70% of our food). Today he expropriated 14.000 hectares in the Aragua Carabobo axis.
I do not know whether these farms were as productive as they could. For one thing the deterioration of roads makes production more difficult and more expensive. Also, since the sack of Agroisleña it is more difficult to find the supplies you need. And amen of workers who find it less stressing to depend from "Mision Vaina" where they may get less money but do not need to do any work for it. But if they indeed are not productive enough the regime should share the blame.
On paper it is of course crazy for Chavez to jeopardize even more the food supply of Venezuela, no matter how many dollars he has stashed away for next year electoral subsidized imports for el pueblo. He cannot rely on increasingly erratic imported supplies, at increasingly higher prices. But that is not a concern, the only thing he cares is to be reelected and then we'll see. Hence today's show of force.
Though I suspect that part of the reason in today's expropriation is to get some land for free to build housing next year. But I digress.
And if that were not enough Chavez announces that Agroflora, from UK Vetsey, will be expropriated outright. See, they had the nerve to demand payment from previous expropriations (EL Charcote) in foreign currency. So to punish them they lose everything and will be payed, partially, overtime, in state bonds and junk bolivares. Imagine that, they did not want to receive bolivares!!! As if Vetsey had a way, any way, to invest them in Venezuela!!! Another measure that is going to diminish, if still possible, further private agricultural investment in Venezuela.
And there comes the demagoguery. Chavez today, destroying further private enterprise, as his previous nationalizations have field since we have to import much more food than when he started expropriating, announces a new Mision, pompously and idiotically titled "saber y trabajo Venezuela" knowledge and work Venezuela. I am not making this up.
Certainly it is a hurried response to the latest survey of the Centro Gumilla (1) who went to the lower social class sectors only and discovered that even before crime, their main concern was lack of real job. Within days a new Mision was created which cannot possibly work. Why?
We are talking here of +/- 350.000 jobs per year. Let's be generous and say that the regime will try to create 300.000 jobs a year for a grand total 2.400.000 jobs.
Now let's give a little bit of perspective as to what 300.000 jobs mean in Venezuela, namely in the agricultural sector. So let's start by getting to the largest agribusiness concern of the country: Empresas Polar (under constant threat by the way). In 2010 we are told that the Polar group effects 1.5% of the country's work force by adding 25.000 Polar workers and 160.000 contractors and services to the business.
Roughly: CHAVEZ NEEDS TO CREATE AT LEAST TWO INDUSTRIAL GROUPS POLAR SIZE A YEAR FOR THE NEXT 8 YEARS. This for a regime that has been unable to create even a single self sustaining arepera in Venezuela, which consumes Polar products, by the way.
|Leonardo Raymond, colonel|
1) post coming soon on that fascinating Gumilla survey.