Luis Antezana writes in El Diario:
The catastrophic collapse of agricultural production
The dramatic announcement that the import of rice increased fifteen times! last year, it has been the coup de grace for the non-traditional and traditional agriculture of our country. In addition, nobody thought that such an outcome would be the work of the current Government, unconditional continuer of agrarian and agricultural policies of previous Governments.
The unfortunate news joins others that anticipated the disaster of the economic activity in the rural environment of the country, which should make reference to the collapse of the production of wheat, corn and potato. Likewise, it should be noted the catastrophe in the production of vegetables, fruit, and various types of food that previously filled, so at least there would be no scarcity at the cities’ consumer markets.
The most alarming of the agricultural crisis fact was given by the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Commerce (IBCE), which bluntly said that the value of the purchase of rice last year was 15 times more than the year 2012 and went from 1.6 million tons to nothing less $16.7 million dollars, truly spectacular reference and reveals the magnitude of the food problem facing the Bolivian population.
In other broadly terms, that crisis manifests more crudely, by showing that the Bolivian people can fill their stomach, they need around one billion dollars to import food, which are purchased with high prices to be sold for half of what was spent, or to subsidize the population.
Hence it doesn’t end this situation, bordering on catastrophe, then, if we were not to have the dollars that produce gas exports and some minerals with high prices, thanks to the rise of prices on the world market, the Bolivian people would be passing by a true state of famine and not product of climate problems, shortages of seeds, etc., but by the incredible technical and political failure of bureaucracy responsible for attending the country’s agricultural sector.
The problem of the agrarian crisis in which is located the Bolivian people, food insecurity, and the inefficiency of enforcement officers to attend the country’s agriculture were repeatedly reported by the press, but only found deaf ears and often the repetition of lies and imaginative programs that mocked the most elementary common sense.
What’s more, not only showed that the country was marching towards a critical situation in food production, but also insisted on showing the causes that determined that catastrophic effect. Likewise, it was emphasized at every opportunity that the measures of Government that was adopted in some opportunities were destined to fail, as they were confirmed by the facts.
Now facing the catastrophic result of the officers that serve the rural economy, we can only keep insisting on solutions already mentioned in press columns for years and without any variation, remedies which consist, first of all, to modify agricultural measures included in the existing Constitution and a series of agrarian laws passed in recent years to fund and, second, remove all bureaucracy and land in the country from the Ministry’s case, legal agencies, technical offices, parliamentary mechanisms and all the useless appliance related to agriculture, although it is too late.