Venezuela maintains its goal of reducing malnutrition to zero by the year 2019, said President Nicolás Maduro said Wednesday during events for his “Street Government” program in the Gramoven sector of the parish of Sucre in Caracas, the capital city.
On the occasion of World Food Day, October 16, the President said that the public policies of the Venezuelan government as part of its Bolivarian Revolution have led to achievements in access to nutrition as a fundamental human right for all.
“Venezuela is celebrating World Food Day thanks to the Bolivarian Revolution and thanks to the work of an extraordinary man, our leader and eternal commander, Hugo Chávez Frías. Thanks to him, our people have had the right to nutrition and to advances in social development,” he said.
Chávez created a social program known as “Mission Food” in 2003 after a damaging oil industry sabotage carried out by right-wing sectors in 2002 and 2003.
In the last 10 years, the program has distributed 20,000,000 tons of food, assisting 82% of the population, Maduro said. Also, 97% of the population currently has access to animal proteins such as chicken, meat or fish, compared to less than 50% under previous governments before 1998.
Meanwhile, 97% of Venezuelans now have access to three meals a day, Maduro said the government aims to increase to a full 100%.
Venezuela was recently recognized by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization for reducing hunger and infant malnutrition.
According to the latest estimates by the FAO, Venezuela had a rate of under nutrition of 13.5% in 1990-1992, which was reduced to less than 5% by 2010-2012.
FAO data indicates that Venezuela has the third-highest rate of caloric intake among all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (3,290 calories per day on average).
During the event, the President called for doubling the urban agriculture sites in the country, which currently number 39,109.
“In exactly a year, on October 16 of 2014, I want to be inaugurating our 80,000th organoponic agriculture establishment,” he said.
He asked Food Minister Félix Osorio to move forward with the necessary actions to approve a plan to expand Industrias Diana, a food company nationalized in 2008 that has shown positive results within the new socialist production model promoted by the government.
The plan would broaden the production of margarine and open new plants for the production of palm oil and sunflower oil.
Maduro also suggested that alliances should be created with Brazil, China, Russia, India and South Africa to train teams to boost the country’s productive capacity without leaving aside popular organizations.
“All the tasks of the Revolution are possible only if the people are the protagonists,” he said.
In this sense, he announced that agricultural development programs financed by the FAO have been launched in 80 municipalities throughout the country.
Meanwhile, 320 Venezuelan technicians were trained by the FAO in methods designed to elevate the quality and capacity of food production.
AVN / Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the US / October 17, 2013