Juan Carlos Parra, President of the Pan-American Cattlemen’s Association (Aganapa) and candidate of List 2 of the Táchira State Cattlemen’s Association (Asogata), denounced the serious situation that the dairy sector is going through in northern Táchira, where 350,000 liters of milk are produced per day.
Anggy Polanco // Correspondent lapatilla.com
“We are the most sensitive sector of the economy, we are responsible for producing the food that all Venezuelans consume,” said Parra, who also referred to the high state taxes, which directly affects the supplies needed in the production units.
Parra explained that their herds are decreasing every day, because they do not have the cash flow to operate or financing of any kind. That is why he asked the deputies of the National Assembly who are debating on the Tax Harmonization Law, their help to receive financing.
He assured that the credit has not been able to be reactivated, because the banking sector’s legal reserve is too high and that is suffocating the economy.
In addition to these problems, the fluctuations in electricity cause damage to the motors of the farms, since the blackouts last up to 24 continuous hours in municipalities such as Panamericana, which complicates agricultural work.
They cannot turn on autonomous power plants due to fuel shortages and, therefore, cannot run on cold rooms and storage tanks to refrigerate milk and meat on transit.
Isidro Uribe, president of the Association of Ranchers of the North Zone of Táchira, (Asoganort) reported that they lowered the price of their products by 35%, even when they are the ones who take on all the production costs of cow and buffalo milk.
Three months ago, cow’s milk was paid at 0.50 US cents a liter, and 0.70 US cents per liter for buffalo milk. They are now down to 0.35 US cents and 0.50 US cents respectively, but prices to final consumers remain the same or have increased in some cases.
Uribe assured that if the businessmen who process milk lowered prices, consumption would increase, sales would improve, and they would compete with products from Colombian brands.
Meanwhile, he confirmed that the supermarket shelves are full of dairy drinks from Colombian brands, which he considered to be not pure milk and which is being consumed by children and adults as if they were milk.
For now, farmers are waiting for a restructuring of Funvesa to achieve foot-and-mouth disease clear certification, since the northern area of Táchira is free of this disease, in order to start formal export processes for meat and milk.