By Carlos A. Quiroga
Cochabamba won great fame in past centuries by abundant agricultural production that gave it the title of “barn” of the silver mines of the Spanish colony and the republic.
That seems a thing of the past. On Monday, during the main events of the civic celebration of Cochabamba, the voices in favor of recovering the agricultural sector were drowned out by the noisy news of great works that may change forever the life style in the central Andean valleys of Bolivia.
Among the projects were the signing of the contract for the construction of a modern railway linking the capital with several provinces, the progress in the construction of a giant factory of urea and ammonia that will use regional natural gas reserves, and the studies for two new hydropower plants.
It is next to be inaugurated an international airport in the tropical coca producer region of Chapare, though it seems far to be competed the old Misicuni project of drinking water, irrigation and electricity.
Because of its location in the center of the country, Cochabamba seems to have a future increasingly dependent on trade and transport instead of agricultural production on a large scale, unless their combative inhabitants show again their past creativity and ability to work.