Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is following through on a controversial plan to seize farmland from wealthy ranchers in the country's agricultural heartland.

Many landowners say the plan will leave prime farmland idle and decrease productivity.

But the government says the land will be used more efficiently, and workers' conditions improved. The goal is to transform farms from profit-making enterprises benefiting a few people to co-operatives that support a much broader group of Venezuelans.

Al Jazeera's Craig Mauro reports from Santa Barbara.

Source: Al Jazeera