Agriculture in Venezuela: Crops, Types and Characteristics

The Agriculture in Venezuela Meant until the twentieth century the main source of wealth in the country. In fact, until the early 20's of the past decade, it was among the main exporters of coffee and cocoa in the region.

Venezuela was characterized as being predominantly agricultural before the appearance of the Petroleum , And the primary sector was the one that developed the main activities generating sources of income and occupied lands that remained idle to use them for the common good. The rural areas were very populated by the generation of employment that existed.

Venezuelan agriculture with cocoa as main aladid of its wealth

Agriculture in Venezuela

In Venezuela, during the so-called rural epoch, the economy was based on subsistence agriculture, that is, agricultural products were produced to guarantee the feeding of individuals, taking full advantage of natural resources .

Agriculture throughout history has played a key role in the development of trade and economic growth in the countries. In the sense that, through it, they obtain food and raw material for the textile area, together with the great benefit that this represents in the people for their livelihood.

Since the end of the 19th century, Venezuela has implemented the use of highly specialized agricultural systems, as well as export agriculture, which was favored by the rise in international prices of coffee and cocoa, which are in great demand Both internally and externally.

Since 1960, in agriculture, a series of benefits have been proposed, guaranteeing its development, through the promulgation and implementation of the Agrarian Reform Law.

The development of agriculture is somewhat behind if it is related to the real demands of the population, in view of this, it has had to appeal to the importation of agricultural items.

The majority could be harvested in the country, this undoubtedly has a negative impact on the standard of living of Venezuelans, having a development of agriculture benefit both the industrial sector and the population.

The process of appearance and development of the oil industry meant the death certificate of agriculture as one of the pillars of the economy.

Authors such as Arturo Uslar Pietri strongly questioned Gomez's role in the lost substance of productive activity in the countryside. His thesis was"Sow the oil". For Uslar, resources from oil should be invested to recover the productivity of the field and boost the industry.


The agricultural production zones are concentrated in the following states:

Northern Cordillera Region

Formed by the states Nueva Esparta, Miranda, Sucre, Carabobo and Federal District. The main crops in this area are: maize, sugar cane, cocoa, tobacco, beans and coconuts.

Andes Region

It covers the states of Trujillo, Mérida and Táchira. Among its main crops are: coffee, potato, corn, peas, sugar cane, cassava, onion, garlic and pineapple.

Region of Zulia

Agricultural soils are located on the lands south of Lake Maracaibo. It is cultivated: banana, corn, cambur, sugar cane, bean, grape and guava.

Western Central Region

It includes the states of Falcon, Yaracuy and Lara. However, their spaces are very limited due to the existence of very arid spaces. Main crops sugarcane, corn, potato, sisal, coffee, onion, tomato, beans and peanuts.

Region of the Llanos

It includes the states of Barinas, Portuguesa, Apure, Cojedes, Guárico, Anzoátegui and the Federal Territory Delta Amacuro. The main crops are: rice, maize, sorghum, sesame, sunflower, cotton, tobacco, beans and cassava.

Venezuelan agricultural products

Agriculture in Venezuela: Crops, Types and Characteristics Farmers gather vegetables in Chirgua (Bejuma)

Venezuelan agricultural products include: corn, rice, sorghum, sesame, peanut, sunflower and cotton crops. However, the most demanded are sugar cane, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, corn and rice.


From the 18th century until the beginning of the 20th century, Venezuela became the largest exporter of coffee in the world. Its origin is African, occurs mainly in the tropics by its requirement of continuous humidity and sun.

The ideal altitude for its cultivation oscillates between the 600 and 1800 meters of height. The optimal soils for its cultivation are deep, frank, of granular structure, of moderate permeability and well aerated.


Historically it has been one of the pillars of the economy of the country during the colonial time, when the quality of this one was recognized all over the world.

It is an imported plant from Mexico, requires for its cultivation a very specific humidity and altitude greater than 450 meters in height.


It had its true importance at the beginning of century XX, its origin is of North Asia, for its cultivation lands mainly floodable are needed. This is because it requires constant humidity and warm temperatures, which is why its cultivation is characteristic of tropical areas.

It is a tropical and subtropical crop. The cultivation is done from sea level up to 2,500m altitude, for this the soils vary from sandy to clayey.


It was made known from the 16th century around the world. Much attention is required for its cultivation, a neglect in the production of tobacco can affect the quality of the leaf, from where tobacco is extracted, the raw material of cigarettes and cigars.

Tobacco is very sensitive to lack or excess of moisture, prefer the free land pulling loose, deep, not soaking and fertile.

Sugar cane

It comes from India and was introduced by the Spaniards in Venezuela during the colonial era. Likewise, their crops are grown in the tropics of the country and the ideal height to grow it is approximately 2000 meters.

Types of agriculture in Venezuela

The geographic diversity of Venezuela makes possible the existence of different types of agriculture depending on where the production is destined. While it is true that more types of agriculture can be found, the main ones found in Venezuela are: extensive, intensive, subsistence and industrial.

Extensive agriculture

It is carried out on large tracts of land with low population and the applied technology is scarce. Yields per hectare are few.

intensive agriculture

It is developed in limited areas of land, in this one makes a great investment of capital and labor, all this because its purpose is to obtain high yields per hectare to be sold to third parties.

subsistence farming

This production is carried out in small Venezuelan villages to cover the food needs of the farmer and his family. It is used in the indigenous ethnic groups of Venezuela.

Itinerant agriculture

It is characterized by being a system of cultivation where the agricultural production moves in each harvest. Farmers clear the vegetation, burning trees so that the ashes bring fertility to the soil. Exhausting these soils, farmers migrate to other sectors of the forest or forest.

Characteristics of agriculture in Venezuela

Socio-climatic conditions

In Venezuela agriculture is not uniform, there are different systems that coexist in the country and are adapted to each of the climatic, edaphic and topographic conditions. The characteristics mentioned above determine the productive potential, which is defined by factors such as: climate, labor, capital.

Land tenure

The conditions of precarious tenure that some producers have to be in the state's uncultivated land, persist the lack of incentives for them to develop their crops.

Water resource for agriculture

Venezuela has abundant surface and underground water resources. However, there are marked differences in geographical distribution. These resources are relatively scarce in areas where there is greater concentration of population and industrial activities.

Employment and remuneration

The employment figures in the agricultural sector indicate that it has lost importance as a generator of employment. And the people who deal with agriculture in the country are usually over 44 years old.

Agrifood marketing system

All of the food consumed is handled by large wholesalers. These food outlets work with both fresh and processed foods.

The role of agriculture in the country can now be classified as incipient. Although agrarian reform was recently implemented, peasants have serious difficulties in accessing financing, fertilizers and seeds. This hinders the ability to increase production in the field.


  1. Machado, C. (2004) Agriculture in Venezuela. Editorial: Institute of Higher Education Administration.
  2. Castillo, O. (1985) Agriculture and politics in Venezuela, 1948-1958. Editorial Dusa, S.A.
  3. Agrarian Geography (2008) History and Evolution of the Agrarian Space of Venezuela. Recovered from:
  4. Absolut; (2015) Agriculture in Venezuela. Recovered from:
  5. Suarez, M. (1972) The peasant community enterprises in Venezuela. Editorial: Ministry of Popular Power for Agriculture and Lands.
  6. Pacheco, J. (2007) Agriculture, modernization and agricultural sciences in Venezuela. Editorial Acta Científica.

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