Venezuela Agriculture Part I

By | December 16, 2021

From an economic point of view, the Venetian territory can be divided into three different areas, namely: an agricultural and mining area, essentially consisting of the coastal and mountainous regions; a predominantly pastoral area, including the immense llanos of the interior; and finally a forest area (Guiana).

The agricultural and mining area is very large: it is estimated, with a large approximation, that as many as 30 million hectares could be cultivated there, that is almost 1/3 of the total area of ​​the country; the part actually cultivated is however very limited. For Venezuela 2005, please check ehealthfacts.org.

The natural conditions are excellent for agriculture; the very fertile soil, the great diversity of climate and the different conditions of relief allow the most varied and profitable crops. However, the lack of capital and financial institutions, the lack of manpower, the scarce application of suitable mechanical means for working the land and its products, strongly affect, in a negative sense, the development of agriculture.

A fundamental cultivation is that of coffee which, introduced from the neighboring Antilles around 1784, developed rapidly. Coffee is grown preferably in the tierras templadas up to 1800 m. above sea level, but also thrives well in tierras calientes and tierras frías.

The states that excel in the production of coffee are those of Táchira, Lara, Mérida, Yaracuy, Carabobo, Aragua, Portuguesa, Miranda, Falcón and the Federal District; the most renowned qualities are produced in the districts of Maracaibo, Caracas, Carabobo, Villa de Cura and Puerto Cabello. The production has been rapidly increasing both for the extension of the cultivations and for a certain improvement in the cultivation methods; from 900 q. exported on average in the five-year period 1786-90 from the port of La Guaira went to 10,900 q. in the following five years. In 1796 the export rose to 4850 q. and in 1808 to 60.750 q.; in the same year the harvest was about 100,000 tl. After just thirty years, production rose to 255,000 q. and the export to 219.000 q. At the beginning of the century. XX the production fluctuated around 400.000 q. reaching, in 1913, the 550,000 q.; subsequently, after the World War, which greatly limited exports, this quantity increased, reaching an average of 634,000 quintals in the period 1926-27 / 1930-31; it was the maximum reached, because, due to the economic crisis. it dropped to 612,000 q. in 1931-32, to 461,000 q. in 1932-33, to 576,000 q. in 1933-34 and to 480,000 in 1934-35. The contraction, both in production and in exports, was naturally influenced by the fall in prices which occurred in those years and the excessive competition from Brazilian and Colombian coffees. it dropped to 612,000 q. in 1931-32, to 461,000 q. in 1932-33, to 576,000 q. in 1933-34 and to 480,000 in 1934-35. The contraction, both in production and in exports, was naturally influenced by the fall in prices which occurred in those years and the excessive competition from Brazilian and Colombian coffees. it dropped to 612,000 q. in 1931-32, to 461,000 q. in 1932-33, to 576,000 q. in 1933-34 and to 480,000 in 1934-35. The contraction, both in production and in exports, was naturally influenced by the fall in prices which occurred in those years and the excessive competition from Brazilian and Colombian coffees.

The export is mainly directed to the United States of America (40 to 60%), Spain (17%), France (15%), Holland (4%), Germany (3%) and other European countries.

The port of Maracaibo is the one that exports the greatest quantity of coffee: it should be noted, moreover, that the production of Santander Norte (Colombia) also goes to it; Puerto Cabello and La Guaira follow in importance.

Cocoa also occupies an important place in Venezuela’s agricultural economy; its cultivation is practiced especially along the Caribbean coast and on the wetter slopes of the mountains, below 500 m. tall, but it could profitably be extended to other more internal areas.

The production of cocoa, which in the century. XVIII was about 15,000 q. annually, it passed, at the beginning of the following century, to 100.000 q. approximately; during the war for independence, when trade with Spain, which was its main consumer, ceased, the production of cocoa decreased considerably; it resumed later, but other factors, such as the development assumed by the coffee plantations and also the abolition of slavery, which took away the labor of the farmers, intervened to contract in a not slight way the increase in cocoa plantations. Currently the exported quantity is around 140.000 q. The cocoa from Venezuela, which is considered one of the best, is of two qualities: Caracas, coming from the plantations of the Caribbean Mountains and the coast facing them, the most appreciated; the Trinitario or Calabacillo, coming from the lowlands of the state of Zulia and from the slopes of the Sierra de Paria. The cocoa exporting ports are Puerto Cabello, Carúpano, La Guaira and Maracaibo. The United States of America and France are the main buyers of Venezuelan cocoa, absorbing respectively 45% and 20% of the exported product; Holland, Germany, Spain, Great Britain and Italy follow at a great distance.

Sugar cane is widely cultivated, especially in the lands overlooking the Gulf of Maracaibo. Cane products, namely sugar and aguardiente (brandy), are mostly intended for internal consumption. Before the World War, sugar production was around 300,000 q. yearly; it doubled in the following years, but has now fallen to about 200,000 q. The export, directed almost exclusively to the United States, amounted in the period 1926-30 to an average of 35,000 q. per year; in 1934 it was 36,800 q.

Venezuela Agriculture