The situation of the poultry industry in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela seems to have reached its limit. A reflection of perhaps misguided policies or of not understanding what is needed to produce foods to feed the people, the fact is that one of the former poultry powers in Latin Americais coming down.

News from this South American nation deals with the terrible shortage of feed ingredients. If grains were produced before, now they are not. But additionally, there is no way that feed manufacturers and poultry producers can get the dollars needed to import raw materials that are no longer produced. What happens then? Well, in the State of Táchira, poultry production falls by 40 percent and in the State of Zulia, it falls by 35 percent in just one year.

Another very serious situation is the decline in profitability and efficiency. Rafael Moreno, the president of the Association of Poultry Producers of Táchira, said in an interview that with a good quality feed, they previously produced chickens of 2.3 to 2.8 kg (5 to 6.2 lbs) in 42 days. Today, in the same 42 days they produce a chicken of less than half that weight — 1.1 to 1.2 kg (2.4 to 2.6 lbs); exactly the opposite direction of the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, the poultry industry in its Andean neighbors — Colombia, Peru and Ecuador — grows at rates above 2 or 3 percent per year. Chicken consumption increases, so Uruguay and Brazil benefit from the situation because ofpoultry products exports to Venezuela.