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Vice Minister Can?n: Government guarantees availability of white rice on the national market

The measure to intervene in rice processing plants seeks to guarantee the availability of white rice on the national market for all Venezuelans, emphasized Richard Canán, Vice Minister for the Agricultural Economy.

“There is a guarantee for the availability of white rice during the application of these measures of intervention,” he said.

Canán explained that the Polar Foods Rice Plant, located in the state of Guárico, was processing less than 50% of its production capacity with no rationale.  “They were making flavored products, which is a violation of regulations,” he added.

The Vice Minister noted that the intervention in the plant “is not an expropriation, but it is a way to guarantee that plants produce what is established.”

During the procedure at the plant, he emphasized that the return of workers is guaranteed.  “There were no acts of violence; we guaranteed all their labor rights,” he affirmed.

Furthermore, Canán congratulated the Polar workers for the proactive attitude they displayed.

He announced that on Monday visits are planned for various plants in the state of Portuguese to review who is complying with rice production measures.

Canán reiterated that the measure seeks to increase the production of white rice, that there is no break in the line of production, and that consumers are guaranteed they will find rice in markets.

Américo Mata, President of the National Institute of Rural Development (Inder), an agency which is part of the Ministry of People’s Power for Agricultural and Lands, characterized as farcical the claim that these interventions would lead to rice shortages.

He noted that the intervention measures were neither arbitrary nor an imposition of a dictatorial government.  “It is in compliance with Article 305 of the Constitution, which states the right to food for Venezuelans,” he explained.

Finally, Mata stressed that on the one hand, this measure brings out into the open the fact that some sectors refuse food to Venezuelans, and on the other, it highlights a system based on socialism, which designs policies that guarantee the right to food for all citizens.

Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / March 2, 2009

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