July 31, 2008

PetroCaribe to Create Agricultural Council to Combat Food Shortage

PetroCaribe to create agricultural council to combat food shortage

MANAGUA, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Agriculture ministers and other officials from the 18 PetroCaribe member countries met Wednesday in Honduras to establish an agricultural council to combat food shortage, according to news reaching here from the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa.

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said they were trying to use the new alliance to deal with the current crisis, because "the most vulnerable countries are the most affected."

The crisis has been mainly caused by the gap between demand and supply and by market speculation. Zelaya said.

"We can't solve (this crisis) while the main developed countries of the world, the developed powers of Europe and the Unite States, continue their race" to provide agricultural subsidies, he added.

Venezuela's Agriculture and Land Minister Elias Jaua called for more attention to this agriculture and food project.

Meanwhile, Honduran Agriculture Minister Hector Hernandez said it is important to guarantee food security in the developing countries, especially now that the crisis has been worsened by higher fuel prices.

The one-day meeting is expected to define procedures, statutes and rules for the new council.

PetroCaribe is an initiative launched by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, which allows member nations to buy oil from Venezuela on preferential terms.

Part of the alliance's resources are allocated for the creation and implementation of social development programs.

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