As food shortages become the norm in Venezuela, its government has ordered companies to distribute food staples to government-run supermarkets, according to the country's Food Industry Chamber Monday.
Federal authorities mandated producers of milk, pasta, oil, rice, sugar and flour to supply between 30 percent and 100 percent of their goods to the state stores, reported the Associated Press.
Chamber President Pablo Baraybar told the Associated Press that the order would cause major supply problems for private stores, which outnumber the state-run supermarkets by 15 times. Food industry companies have also complained of strict regulations, which they say make it impossible to turn a profit.
The nation's high inflation rates have led to frequent food shortage crises that send Venezuelans raiding nearly empty stores.
There are limited amounts of U.S. dollars in the country, which make it hard for Venezuelans to purchase imported goods.
Most wealthy shoppers buy their groceries at private grocery chains, but working-class Venezuelans often face hours-long lines at government-run stores to buy staples at reduced prices.
The government has taken control of media networks to prevent images of citizens flocking to supermarkets from being released, according to the Law Street Media. In response, many Venezuelans have taken to social media to post photos and videos of empty food stores so other countries can see the reality of the shortages.
"Definitely, there has been an increase in these kind of videos," one of the people behind the anti-government website Dolar Today told BBC Trending. "Every week, we get between five and 10."
The Venezuelan government has claimed that these images are part of a campaign against President Nicolas Maduro led by private companies and foreign governments.
In March, the state installed more than 20,000 fingerprint scanners across the country to prevent food hoarding and "panic buying," which the government blames for the food shortages, reported Fox News.