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The equipment will benefit 14,380 families across 87 municipalities in the Andean region surrounding the town of Viacha in Bolivia.
On Sunday, Bolivia’s government donated over $6 million worth of tractors and other farming equipment to small holding campesinos in the department of La Paz. Evo Morales attended the ceremony at which this equipment was handed over to the rural workers.
The equipment will benefit 14,380 families across 87 municipalities in the Andean region surrounding the town of Viacha. The donation includes tractors, water tankers and mechanised diggers. The government hopes that this equipment can be used to boost production of basic foodstuffs for domestic consumption, thereby decreasing dependence on foreign imports.
"We are delivering to the department of La Paz 98 fully equipped tractors. Our comrade [Minister of Rural Development, César] Cocarico, told us that due to droughts some areas lack enough water, so that’s why we have built 46 water tankers, and in some places where they do not need tractors, together with the mayors and their community, we have prioritized the delivery of 38 mechanised diggers” Bolivia’s leftist President Evo Morales said at the event Sunday.
Morales also pointed out that in the neoliberal period, such equipment was often bought with foreign aid and charity, but that now Bolivia’s economy is strong enough to pay for such goods without depending on others.
The tractors and other equipment are given free of charge to the municipalities and are for collective use by campesinos in the area. This endowment is among a large number of such donations to rural areas since Morales took power.
During the last twenty years of the neoliberal period in Bolivia, just 224 tractors were given to campesinos, whereas during 13 years of Morales’ government 3,454 tractors have been handed over to the country’s campesinos.
Boosting agricultural production through land reform and state investment has been a priority for the government, who have included a commitment to achieving full food sovereignty in the country’s new constitution that was approved by referendum in 2009.