United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Venezuela

Mr. President,
At the outset, we associate ourselves with the statements made by Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of G-77 and Mexico on behalf of the Group of Rio, we allow to present some considerations about the policies developed by the Government of the President Hugo Chavez Frías to implement the commitment of the Sustainable Development Summit.
Since 1999, the government had taken urgent measures oriented to increase agricultural activity and to provide equally access to men and women to food, water, land, credit, and technology, as essential instruments to generate income and to create employment opportunities for poor people, and consequentially to contribute to the reduction of the poverty and hunger.
In the framework of the Agriculture Development Plan 2008-2009, the Venezuelan government expects to plant 2 Million 300 Thousand hectares to be able to generate 21 Million Tons of food, benefiting more than 30 Thousand farmers through the supply of certified and guaranteed seeds.
In the case of the small farmers, the Venezuelan Agricultural Bank guarantees financing with a social interest rate of 4%, giving a grace period for payments between 180 days to 1 year for produce with short cycles as rice and corn, and 3 to 5 years for produce with longer cycles. The requirements to grant credits are very simple. One only needs a copy of the identification documents and a certification of the possession of the land.
On the other hand, the government had granted 2881 credits, of which 50% approximately had been designated to strength the small and medium agricultural enterprises and cattle farms, in the areas of genetics, pastures, and cattle feed production units. Simultaneously, the government had been taking measures to improve farming techniques, to facilitate the existence and availability of agricultural equipment and improve the infrastructure, including water storage for summer.
These actions had been facilitated by the government?s exoneration of income and value-added taxes to some important productive sectors, and the development and establishment of agricultural credit accounts for private financial institutions -with a maximum interest rate of 14% and for the public financial institutions at an interest rate between 9% - 0% (for special projects).
Mr. President,
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as an oil producing country, has faced its role in the supply of energy with responsibility. To this end, it has designed a regional integration policy in which all are benefited, based upon a solidarity of cooperation with the objective of resolving the inequities in the access to energetic resources, by channeling a new favorable exchange strategy, fairly and equitably between the Caribbean countries. This policy ensures the coordination and articulation of the energy policies, its efficient used, technological cooperation, training, developing an energy infrastructure, using alternative sources.

Developed countries refuse to take responsibility on the commitment of technology transfer towards developing countries, an action that will help greatly to endure the high cost of fuel, which it is nothing more than a consequence of the patterns of production, and consumption of the industrialized countries, along with oil company speculation.
In this context, we reject the strategy of trying to mask the agricultural reality of the countries of the south through a campaign oriented to blame the high price of the oil. This framework allows us to remember that in 1995 when the average oil price was US$14.91, the world price of the cereals raised up a 50%. At the time, the specialists of FAO, World Bank and Investigation International Institute of Food Policy indicated that the price of the food would decrease following the basic tendency of the last two decades while other specialists prognosticated that the world price of the of feed grains would double by 2010, and wheat and rice prices would also increase more than double, due to the decreased of the availability of farming land, water, erosion, and soil degradation and the consequential reduction of agricultural productivity.
Also, we must add the concern of some specialists. A study directed by 1985 Nobel Chemistry Award winner, Paul Crutzen, about the effects of the agro bio-fuel on the environment, including the agriculture stage, the distillation process, and its final combustion, assures that increasing gas emissions produced by agro bio-fuel generate almost twice the amount of nitrogen oxide (N2O), a gas that increases the greenhouse effect, with serious and damaging effects, which eradicates any type of benefits produced by using fossil combustibles.
Mr. President,
The considerations stated above allow us to observe that developing countries have been victims of the erroneous diagnostic offered in relation to the reality of the world. It is for this reason that as longer as the agriculture problem is not analyzed from a developmental perspective and international organizations continue applying policies that benefit a minority of major agriculture companies, with detriment of the small or medium scale family producers, we will continue on the road of incremental systematic misery in the rural field.
To the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the liberal model that supports agriculture subsidy programs for the producers of the developed countries while conditions that prevent the development of its agricultural sector have been imposed over the poor countries, fails as a model of development, because it renders these countries dependency on the agricultural excesses from the industrialized countries.
Through a South-South cooperation mechanism, based upon favorable, equal, and fair trade, in access to the resources, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has applied policies to achieve food independence, within the framework of the Bolivarian Alternatives for the Americas (ALBA), by the cooperation and integration of its members (Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) through the establishment of integral agroindustrial development programs with an initial capital of US$100 Millions, which includes a chain of commercialization to avoid intermediaries and speculators, as a mechanism to combat the artificial prices that prevent millions of poor people from having access to necessary food items.
This policy of integration and solidarity is presented to the world as an alternative to the failed capitalist model based in goods, revenue, and capital gain, that eliminates the hope of millions of human beings through its unsustainable modalities of consumption and production with the severe consequence of the environmental destruction of the planet.
Thank you very much.