Agricultural Policies in Argentina

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The Food and Agriculture Reviews provide a comprehensive assessment of agricultural policies and calculate a set of policy indicators developed by the OECD. These indicators are regularly used in the analysis of the agriculture and food sector in OECD countries and several emerging economies. This review analyses both the indicators available for Argentina and the main agricultural policy areas, such as trade, innovation, sustainability, risk management and value chains. It also provides a series of policy recommendations.

Argentina’s agricultural sector has undergone a considerable innovation process over the last two decades. This transformation was mostly led by a dynamic and pro-active private sector often subject to policies providing negative support via export restrictions and taxes. The rapid adoption of technologies, such as improved varieties and no-till farming, and organisational innovations have contributed to increasing the Total Factor Productivity of crops. Government focus on providing such general services as research, extension, and animal and plant health has facilitated innovation as has the proactive management of risks by farmers. Nevertheless, environmental pressures are increasing with deforestation and the use of pesticides.

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Agricultural policy framework and objectives

Agricultural policies in Argentina have suffered the same volatility as other policies, especially macroeconomic and trade policies. The open economy approach of the 1990s was followed by a period of economic isolation with higher tariffs and export taxes over 2001-15. The current Government has renewed the open economy approach since 2015. The Ministry of Agriculture was only separated from the Ministry of Economy in 2009, while a broader focus on the whole value chain was introduced in 2015 and reflected in the new name of Ministry of Agroindustry, which is part of the Ministry of Production and Labour since September 2018. Several decentralised institutions with responsibility for implementing agricultural policies and services have a long tradition of professionalism; these include the research and extension institute, INTA, and the animal and plant health service, SENASA. There are very few input or output payments to producers in Argentina, with the exception of programmes under the Special Tobacco Fund (FET), preferential credit mainly to small producers through FINAGRO and some infrastructure programmes such as PROSAP.

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