Boosting Agribusiness and Family Farms

By Marcela Valente

, by IPS

A plan to boost agribusiness, but based mainly on family farming and cooperatives, in Argentina is geared to producing and exporting more food – in a more sustainable manner.

That is the goal of the Strategic Agribusiness Plan (PEA) that representatives of the country’s 23 provinces and of 53 university departments, 140 business chambers, 450 agrotechnical schools, and other national and foreign institutions involved in agriculture produced over a period of 18 months.

The mechanisms and conditions required for financing the project will now be discussed, to be put into effect – if the plan prospers – with specific targets set for 2020.

The plan is the result of the work of the Agriculture Ministry, created in 2009 after a lengthy stand-off between the government of centre-left President Cristina Fernández and the agribusiness industry over tax hikes on grain exports.

The programme is to be complemented by a law that would limit the purchase of land by foreign individuals or companies – a government-sponsored bill that is now under debate in Congress.

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