Venezuela will massively boost its food and basic supplies imports in the next two months to counter shortages and high inflation, a minister said Wednesday.
Vice president for the economy Rafael Ramirez did not specify the products, or amount of goods, the country would purchase, as he spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the South American Oil and Gas Congress, at the country's top Caribbean resort Isla Margarita.
Ramirez, who is also minister of oil and mining, said a plan will soon be announced for Venezuela, which is highly dependent on basic commodity imports.
Since President Nicolas Maduro took office on April 19, Venezuela has seen a cyclical increase in shortages of sugar, coffee, oil, milk and toilet paper, among other products.
Meanwhile, annual inflation in September soared to 49.4 percent, the highest in the past 13 years, according to official data.
Ramirez said that the government wouldn't exclude any supplier in its push to buy goods, even though Maduro holds that food shortages are part of an opposition conspiracy to foment protests.
The president announced Monday that Venezuela had reached an agreement with Brazil over the importation of food, mainly soybeans, corn and meat. In September, the country bought $600 million in various products from Colombia next door.
Venezuela's agriculture minister said in September that the oil-rich OPEC country of 29 million imports 50 percent of its food.