Carlos Romero, the president of the National Federation of Fruit producers (Fenerafrut) and director of Fruit Growing of the Confederation of Associations of Agricultural Producers of Venezuela (Fedeagro), stated that the country's citrus production was severely affected by diverse factors, including pests and lack of agricultural inputs, among others. "Only 10% of citrus crops will yield fruits in 2020," he said.
According to the president of Fedeagro, Aquiles Hopkins, one of the main challenges that is affecting Venezuela's citrus production is the yellow dragon disease or Huanglongbing, a pathological phenomenon of bacterial origin that causes the deformation of both fruits and seeds, and deteriorates the trees until they die.
As a result, Romero said, "many citrus farmers have migrated to the cultivation of bananas, beans, and cocoa so they don't lose their land and can take advantage of infrastructure."
"In addition, there is another legal factor in play," he said. “We can't get financing to acquire the inputs, which are obtained through Agropatria. Producers must invest their money outside official channels, where all inputs are paid in dollars.”
The representative of the fruit growers in Fedeagro warned that, if this situation persists, “next year, we'll be forced to import.”