13 August 2008
Petrocaribe: New Regional Food Firm
Havana, Aug 13 (Prensa Latina) — The PetroCaribe meeting on agriculture held here Tuesday adopted several accords to face the international food crisis, among them the creation of a regional foodstuff enterprise.
The company named Alba Alimentos (Alba Foods, after Venezuela’s integration initiative Alternativa Bolivariana de las Americas (ALBA)) will operate in member countries.
Venezuela would contribute two million dollars for each of PetroCaribe’s 18 member nations to support urgent food projects.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the meeting of the Petrocaribe agricultural council, Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage said the Venezuelan initiative
to create a food security fund goes beyond technical and commercial mechanisms to the realm of integration and solidarity.
He highlighted Venezuela’s solidarity and noted that no other oil exporting country in the world has suggested a similar initiative nor worked so
hard for the creation of cooperation mechanisms in a gesture of solidarity like Petrocaribe.
He also spoke about the factors leading to the current world food crisis and mentioned population growth, protectionist policies in rich countries, climate change, the rise in the price of oil and the use of food crops for biofuels.
The PetroCaribe initiative was launched in 2005 by Venezuela and allows its member nations to buy Venezuelan oil on preferential terms. Part of the resources saved is then allocated for the creation and implementation of social development programs.