Iowa Public Television


Venezuelan Government Seizes Farms

posted on November 24, 2009

Venezuela (AP) - Venezuelan officials and troops have seized more than 48,000 acres (19,000 hectares) of farmland, accusing owners of not holding proper titles or not putting the land to adequate use.

Agriculture Minister Elias Jaua is announcing the seizures after the business group Fedecamaras denounced what it called illegal farm takeovers in central Guarico state.

Jaua said Monday that the state took control of 31 farms nationwide.

Juan Manuel Gonzalez of Fedecamaras call it an attack on private property and say the farms in Guarico produce large quantities of cattle and corn.

President Hugo Chavez's government says it is putting idle farmland to use, yet state takeovers have failed to reduce Venezuela's dependence on imported food.

Tags: agriculture coffee farms food government news Venezuela