Gov't rebuts the claims of consumption mostly based on import
In the first half of 2012, the production of tomato and onion surged 20%-25%, among others, according to the Vice-Minister of Agricultural Economy
"I categorically refuse that 80% of what we consume in Venezuela is imported," Kassen said during the discussion of the 20013 budget at the National Assembly Finance Committee.
The senior officer contended that under the government of President Hugo Chávez, food production has grown.
He added that in 1988-1998 the domestic output barely went from 15 million tons to 17 million tons, compared to up to 24 million tons in the past 12 years.
Kassen underscored that the agricultural policy undertaken by the Executive Office has helped to recover the production of several items, such as sunflower and cotton.
According to him, in the first half of 2012, the production of tomato and onion jumped 20%-25%.
Translated by Conchita Delgado
The price of a package of precooked corn flour used to make corn cakes called arepas, a staple food in Venezuela, has been regulated at VEB 19, but production cost exceeds VEB 26. At present both state-run and private plants face the same difficulty of having to produce at a loss. But that's just one of the many obstacles facing those involved in putting the arepa on the Venezuelans plate.