Jul 7, 2019

In oil-rich Venezuela, fuel shortages spark man-made famines

Maduro looking to his right.

Photo: Matias Delacroix/Getty Images

Fuel shortages amid Venezuela's ongoing economic crisis are threatening what's left of the country's agriculture industry, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: "Venezuela is an oil-rich nation. But years of mismanagement and corruption in the oil industry, worsened by American sanctions, have dried up gasoline pumps at a crucial moment. First, the shortage prevented farmers ... from getting their produce to markets. Now, it is making it hard for them to sow new crops," the Times writes.

Why it matters: Venezuelans are already suffering widely from hunger and malnutrition as the mismanagement of its oil industry created difficult financial conditions for citizens. A thinning agriculture industry further threatens the population.

By the numbers:

  • Fedeagro, the nation's main agricultural association, is estimating that total area planted with corn and rice this year will shrink by approximately 50%.
  • According to a sugar cane association, the sugar output in regional-stronghold Portuguesa has fallen from 12 million tons in 2018 to 5 million tons this year.
  • Maduro promised $35 million in new farming credits in May, which Fedeagro has criticized as being too small.
  • As of December, only 55% of Venezuelans were eating three meals a day, according to Delphos.

Go deeper: Trump wants increased protections for Venezuelans fleeing to U.S.

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