Is Bolivia going to become like Venezuela? Looking after food and toilet paper? An Editorial from El Diario:
Food sovereignty in coma
Notable food shortages in markets across the country and the consequent consumption climbing inflation have come to demonstrate that food sovereignty that existed until a few years ago in the country, is in a state of agony and is likely in the short term, that we have to consider it as a distant memory, with little chance of return.
According to official data, several staple food production has fallen in proportion so remarkable, that the Government has been forced to make large imports of products to sell them with subsidized prices and avoid consumer protest. Not only the Government is forced to import food from foreign countries, but also authorized private firms proceeding in the same direction, especially in what refers to the acquisition of wheat, flour, tomatoes and others.
According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE) between 2006 and 2012 on food imports grew at nearly 70 percent, with a tendency to keep going, what would be to say that we do not produce essential food items. At the same time, that State Agency noted that last August food imports totaled $163 million dollars on the purchase of 257 thousand tons. In the meantime, during all the year 2012 imports reached 470 thousand tons worth $253 million dollars.
Increased domestic production of food falling produced an inflationary stage opening, which forced legal imports, as well as the smuggling of countries like United States, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, as well as others, but in smaller amounts. The main imported foods, or result of smuggling, intended for popular consumption are wheat in grain, flour of wheat, apples, onions, tomatoes, potatoes and rice.
A remarkable aspect of the fall of the country’s agricultural production is the fruit referral. To that regard, to date the Bolivian population either consume up to ten times more expensive fruit that ten years ago or either already does not consume it. The INE statistics says that between January and August 2013 imports of fruit came to $13 million dollars for 29 thousand tons. Imported fruits were apples, fresh and dried grapes, almonds, pears, peaches, chirimoyas, lemons, cherries, mangoes, pistachios and blueberries, which wants to say that Bolivians only we exhale a sad goodbye to the vaunted “food sovereignty” and to the national fruit, cheap, delicious and abundant, whose production has been replaced by crops of coca or either those fields have ceased to produce them, due to the inability of officials officers and agrarian current legislation (INRA law), as well as “Socialist” measures of “revolutionary” countries, have led their people to live on the brink of famine.
Need say more? The evidence is the market places…