Agriculture is the mainstay of many countries in the developing world. Unfortunately, farmers are often left to their own demises by agencies mandated to improve the sector. This situation is prevalent in Venezuela. Despite the country being blessed with rich soils and favorable climate, leadership wrangles have stagnated the agricultural sector. Jose Manuel Gonzalez has made a name for himself by being a vocal defender of farmers throughout the country.
Mr. Gonzalez is an agricultural entrepreneur and therefore, understands the challenges that farmers face. He reckons that the sector has consistently been performing poorly due to unfavorable policies that are implemented by the political class. Venezuela does not have adequate foreign currency reserves, a situation that has made it difficult to import modern equipment and input. He asserts that there can never be progress without investment and goodwill. The national assembly’s efforts to understand farmer’s problems have been futile. However, Gonzalez points out that the root of the problem is the mismanagement of agricultural resources.
Venezuela has a closed-door government, which is weak and indecisive. This situation makes it difficult for farmer’s issues to be objectively addressed. The coalition government is fragile, and has openly turned a deaf ear on the agricultural sector. Overdependence on one importing consortium has similarly worsened the existing bureaucracy. Gonzalez points out that this is spelling doom to farmers. Distortions in foreign exchange rates have paved way to smuggling, which denies the country’s treasury revenue that would have otherwise been used to boost agriculture. The security situation is perilous owing to the fact that gangs have taken over rural villages. In spite of this, the government has totally failed to act.
About Jose Manuel Gonzalez
Mr. Gonzalez made a name for himself by being the most prolific president of FERECAMARA. This is a Venezuelan trade union that acts as an umbrella body for all farmers in the country. While playing this role, he fearlessly defended farmers from oppressive government policies that have subjected them to abject poverty. Mr. Gonzalez is also a politician representing Guárico state in the National Assembly. He has ingratiated himself to farmers throughout the country. In the assembly, he has been selflessly advocating for policies that improve farmers’ welfare.