Socialist plan for Venezuela's cocoa sector
The government plans to release a list of all related organizations, companies, private associations and public associations within the next two months, the story reported.
The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the move came after Venezuelan government officials criticized the cocoa industry's dedication to export markets and reservation for privileged social classes.
El Universal reported Venezuela has now decreed cocoa as a 'first need' or staple product, with the new socialist corporation set to administer all aspects of the supply chain.
Presidential decree 8157 states Venezuela's Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Planning and Finance will need to "establish special financing terms that are more favorable...for granting credits to activities related to production, exchange, distribution, commercialization, storage, imports and exports of cocoa and its derived products, to establish economic incentives for its production".
Venezuelan Chamber of Cocoa president Alejando Prósperi, told El Universal those involved in the industry needed to work closely with the government to increase domestic production, to avoid the industry repeating the coffee industry's shift from exporter to importer.
He said between 20% and 25% of national cocoa production was affected by rains in December, the story reported.
The story reported farmers were positive about the new initiative.