A wide variety of beans are produced in Venezuela.

All the states bordering Venezuela are affected by particular characteristics due to the territory they occupy, the neighbors they have, the presence of irregular groups and drug trafficking, military extortion at checkpoints and weak law enforcement. But Apure is the most complicated state due to the extension of the border with Colombia and the existing land, river and air crossings. Perhaps because the vast majority of his working life in government has been spent behind ministerial offices in Caracas, Governor German Eduardo Pinate Rodríguez issued a decree without knowing that finally becomes an extortion for bean growers.

With the argument of “breaking speculative prices, and avoiding monopolies and mafias that harm the price system in the territory of the state”, the president of the border state of Apure, intervenes in setting the price of beansaccording to Decree 2015-1 of December 20, 2022. The instrument generates blackmail against the producers of this sector and of a monopoly with the state company, although the president publicly denies, through the government propaganda media, that they are forced at the factory to leave 20% of its production in addition to 5% of contribution or social reserve.

Eduardo Piñate, Governor of Apure
Eduardo Piñate, Governor of Apure

Fixing the prices of beans would entail “the development of the force of the productive engines, to generate the new logistic system, and the economic forms derived from the Great Mission of Sovereign Supply, established in Great Historical Objective No. 3, of the Simón National Bolívar Project, Third Socialist Plan for the Economic Development of the Nation, 2019-2025,” the decree read.

Article n° 1 stipulates: “It is regulated from 20 December 2022, the price fixing for the marketing of beans, the arrival for purchase, the arrival for sale and the reserve of beans for social contribution, the orientation procedures or the authorization to mobilize beans, between the cereal and pulse company La Apureña CA, legal persons and natural persons”.

Who are these legal persons? The decree states that there are six: Minimarket Cerabian CA Rif J- 500286813, Arollanos-Villazana CA Rif J- 410741457, Agroyoyo CA Rif J- 404061606, Orta Comercializadora CA Rif J- 409238393, La Morochera Production Unit CA Rif J – 11760737-9 and Agrosa CA Ref J-40610878-2.

It is significant that the legal instrument issued by Governor Piñate establishes that he has a range of: foreign traders, internal producers without financing and internal producers financed by public institutions belonging to or attached to the government of the State of Apure.

La Apureña is the government company that they intend to promote at the expense of the producers
La Apureña is the government company that they intend to promote at the expense of the producers

In article Nº 2, it is stated that the price of the transactions, which they have well established in “article Nº 1, moving in for purchase, moving in for sale, and reserve of beans for social contribution, orientation procedures , or authorization to mobilize beans, between the cereals and pulses company La Apureña CA, legal persons and natural persons” will be 0.0083 petros.

While it is true that the fixed price is advantageous for the public company La Apureña, located in the Biruaca sector, this obliges the six companies indicated in the decree to sell to the state a percentage at the price that the government has unilaterally set.

A producer, in conversation with GlobeLiveMediapointed out that this price of 0.0083 is very low, in addition to the fact that the decree was issued to unilaterally fix the price with which the La Apureña company will purchase the item. “In other words, they will pay for the bean at whatever price they think is best and they force us to have to collect all the product and whoever doesn’t will have no way to market their product.”

The packages they showed at a press conference
The packages they showed at a press conference

The most affected will be the small producers who, when they go to the market, having no guide, will take away the product or extort money from them.. In addition, the Governor made a program with this maquila, so that the media broadcast it, but La Apureña does not work”, finally declares the producer who spoke with GlobeLiveMedia.

It is relevant that the decree does not stipulate, in any of its articles, the final marketing price of the product, nor to the so-called foreign companies, even less to the state company La Apureña.

A local producer said GlobeLiveMedia that “in any case, we can deduce from this a regulation and a conditioning of prices that only favor the regional company La Apureña CA, leaving the marketing to the final consumer at a free estimate price”.

Analyzing the justification that Piñate Rodríguez gave for issuing Decree 2015-1, which would break price speculation and end the monopoly, what it causes is a state monopoly, since it guarantees that no other company does not participate, with the control of the guiding permits, which are imposed on the rest of the articles. What company, which is not on the list, will receive marketing guides if the state publishes them and the state creates a monopoly on them?

Piñate denied that the producers are obliged to add percentages of the product to the company of the government of Apure, he does so knowing that article n ° 3 specifies that La Apureña Cereals and Legumes establishes that the companies mentioned in the decree have as a minimum percentage of 20% of the kilograms purchased from financed or unfinanced producers.

The company has not been operational, a producer revealed.  They activated it for the Governor's press conference
The company has not been operational, a producer revealed. They activated it for the Governor’s press conference

Immediately, in article n°4, it is indicated that the companies described are required to contribute, as a social contribution, up to 5% of the kilograms of beans, acquired or purchased from unfinanced internal producers and producers internal funded by public institutions.all this with the aim of guaranteeing the proportionality of internal consumption in relation to the external marketing of beans, for the benefit of the interests of the population”.

Article n° 5 establishes that any producer, financed or not, they must supply La Apureña with 100% of the bean production, with the price they have already established.

It also leaves open the possibility of selling beans to companies, each time they contract the maquila service, for which a price has not been fixed in the decree, as indicated in article n° 6.

The percentages established in the decree
The percentages established in the decree

Now comes one of the articles cheaters of the decree, as it is No. 7: “Those perceptible of this decree, are obliged to generate the solvency of arrime, issued by the cereal and legume company La Apureña CA, certificate that implies compliance with all the established stipulations of the production process, arrival for purchase, arrival for sale, marketing, mobilization, reserve of beans with the social contribution of 5%, of the productive activity and marketing, with the company La Apureña to subsequently manage the process orientation, or mobilization permit outside the territory of the State of Apure, for the bean sector through the Integral Institute of Agricultural Health (INSAI), which will join, for the mobilization permit, the Arrime ticket issued by La Apureña CA”.

The president of the state of Apure, perhaps he did not understand that the decree he subscribed hide a trapporque obliga a los productores a venderle, de manera que las empresas, sino lo hacen, no tendrán acceso a la guía que demanden las autoridades, entre ellos la Guardia Nacional Bolivariana (GNB) en cada punto de control, convirtiéndose así en una official extortion .

Governor Piñate sets the purchase and sale price of the item for the state company and so-called foreign companies, with producers financed or not, in terms of bean, but does not establish the final marketing price from the article to final consumption. Thus, under the pretext of guaranteeing the consumption of beans in the state of Apure, he takes away 5% of the producers’ income “for the social interest and the benefit of the people”.

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