Fuel shortages amid Venezuela’s ongoing economic crisis are threatening what’s left of the country’s agriculture industry, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: «Venezuela is an oil-rich nation. But years of mismanagement and corruption in the oil industry, worsened by American sanctions, have dried up gasoline pumps at a crucial moment. First, the shortage prevented farmers … from getting their produce to markets. Now, it is making it hard for them to sow new crops,» the Times writes.

Why it matters: Venezuelans are already suffering widely from hunger and malnutrition as the collapse of oil plummeted financial conditions for citizens. A thinning agriculture industry only further threatens those conditions.

By the numbers:

  • Fedeagro, the nation’s main agricultural association, is estimating that total area planted with corn and rice this year will shrink by approximately 50%.
  • According to a sugar cane association, the sugar output in regional-stronghold Portuguesa has fallen from 12 million tons in 2018 to five million tons this year.
  • Maduro promised $35 million in new farming credits in May, which Fedeagro has criticized as being too small.
  • As of December, only 55% of Venezuelans were eating three meals a day, according to Delphos.


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