Venezuela’s military has started monitoring ports and food processing plants, in a new effort to guarantee supplies of food and medicines.
In a decree, President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the army to co-ordinate the production and distribution of items.
Venezuela is going through a deep economic crisis, despite having the world’s largest oil reserves.
Basic products are increasingly scarce and many say they struggle to feed their families.
Mr Maduro says the measure is to fight the “economic war” he claims is being waged against his government by political foes and businessmen, with US backing.
But the opposition says the government has mismanaged the economy, and has called for a referendum to oust the president.
Mr Maduro created a government initiative called Great Mission of Sovereign Supplying, which will be headed by the country’s defence minister.
Among other things, it can establish how purchases and distribution of food, medicine and household goods are made.