CARACAS (Commodity Online) : Venezuela on friday outlined a plan to guarantee the distribution of food in case of any energy crisis in the country.
The Venezuelan government and food producers have outlined the plan that involves reducing water use and investing to make food producers self-sufficient in energy within 90 to 360 days.
Venezuelan Pork Federation president Alberto Cudemus said government and private-sector representatives met the previous evening on how to insulate the food sector from power outages.
How long it takes will hinge on both the private sector's willingness to make the investments, and the government facilitating permits to import electrical generators and giving access to foreign currency to purchase the equipment, Cudemus said.
We are sort of racing against the clock in the food sector and do not want to let the country down, he added.
Venezuela has implemented power rationing and rolling blackouts in some states to prevent a collapse of the electrical grid as water levels behind the Guri Dam _ which supplies roughly 70 percent of the nation's electricity _ fall precipitously amid a severe drought.
Opponents of President Hugo Chavez accuse the government of failing to invest in electricity production over the last decade amid rising demand; Chavez denies that.
State news agency ABN reported that the government committed to exempt food producers and plants from power cuts as part of its energy rationing plan.
Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said Friday that the government is bringing in gas and diesel generators with an output of 1,200 megawatts to cover demand from state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA.