Venezuela among the best nourished countries in Latin America


Caracas, Apr 20. ABN.- Venezuela is among the top five Latin American countries with more progress achieved in the food area and lower nutritional deficit in children under an age of 15, thanks to the implementation of diverse plans and projects promoted by the Venezuelan Government to incentive domestic agriculture, livestock and fishing.

According to the Venezuelan nutrition institute (INN), by 1990 the global nutritional deficit on children under an age of 5 was 7.66; in 1998, was 5.3; and in 2007, was just 4.19.

According to both the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the daily consumption of kilocalories for Venezuelans should be around 2,300.

Nevertheless, by 1998 the INN registered that Venezuelans consumed 2,203 kilocalories; that is, 97 kilocalories below daily needs. In contrast, by 2008, the consumption increased to 2,717.

Likewise, the Malnutrition Prevalence Index, a study carried out every three years, was reduced considerably from 21 percent in 1998 to 6 percent in 2007, which represents a fall of 71.42 percent.

These indicators prove that Venezuelans have better access to food thanks to some governmental policies, such as the price control on basic need products, re-nationalization of lands, support to small and medium producers through financing, construction of processing plants and the Socialist Production Units.

In addition, the government has given support to the farmers that work at the denominated Zamoranos’ farms, the national plan of seeds, free vaccination cycles for livestock, prohibition of the industrial trawler fishing, support to traditional fishing and national aquiculture.

Also, the Venezuelan State offer consumers a alternate option where to get their supplies, in which it worths mentioning the food network Mercal; the Venezuelan food producer and distributer Pdval; and 6,000 food houses that benefit around 900,000 people, who receive lunch and an afternoon snack from Monday to Saturday.

At the same time, the Venezuelan Government puts at consumers’ disposal the Corporation of Socialist Markets (Comerso), attached to the Commerce Ministry, through which Government commercializes quality goods and services at fair prices.

Additionally, the minimum wage of Venezuelans has been increased every year in the last years. According to the data from the National Statistics Institute (INE), by 1998, Venezuelan minimum wage was 120 bolivares (US$ 46.15) plus 76 bolivares (US$ 29.23) on food tickets. In 2009, the minimum wage reached Bs. 1,064 (US$ 409.23) plus Bs. 528 (US$ 203.08) on food tickets.

These policies have made possible to reduce poverty from 49 percent in 1998 to 23.08 percent until the second semester of 2009. While extreme poverty homes feel from 42 percent during the second trimester of 1999 to 23 percent until the second semester of 2009.

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