As fire rages on in Bolivia’s section of the Amazon Forest, many are looking closely into Bolivia’s new trade agreements with China, particularly in the supply of agricultural products. After all, China’s decision to stop buying agricultural products from U.S. farmers, resulted to the Asian country’s increased demand to the farmers of Bolivia.
About a decade ago, President Evo Morales did not have the support of farmers. Yet everything changed when he made good on his promise to increase Bolivia’s agricultural space; promising as much as 13 million hectares by 2025. It was obvious that the only way this is possible is by clearing out large sections of Bolivia’s part of the Amazon Forest for agricultural use.
Eventually, President Evo’s government became a staunch supporter of ranching and farming businesses, turning agricultural commodities into the “new gold” that will replace natural gas, as Bolivia’s key export product.
Starting with several government pardons on those charged with illegal deforestation, the pardons served as a sign of encouragement for farmers to push further into the deeper recesses of the Amazon. In fact only this year, the Bolivian president authorized the clearings in the Amazonian section that is still raging with fire.
Now as if not having had a hand in the widespread destruction of the forest, Morales tweeted concerns for “Mother Earth;” of how people cannot survive without her. This was Morales’s original political stance before his government started focusing on agriculture as the new solution for Bolivia’s economic prosperity.
Still No Signs of Remorse coming from Leaders of Agricultural Businesses
Morales’ latest tweet has made agricultural business leaders edgy, presumably fearing that the support that President Morales had given them previously will be taken away in light of local and international pressures. The agricultural business is urging the Bolivian leader not to give in, to demands of imposing a clamp down on their industry, despite the results of the wildfires created by their clearing operations.
Oscar Pereyra, president of Bolivia’s prominent cattle-growing association, defends the laws introduced by the Morales’ administration as well thought out, and that they should not be repealed. Pereyra went as far as saying
“We cannot kill the goose that lays the golden eggs for the agricultural industry”
Perhaps, they are hoping against hope that President Morales is merely saying what the G7 leaders led by French President Macron wanted to hear, as a concession to the $22 million financial aid raised in the G7 summit to help Bolivia put out the raging forest fires.