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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Value chains in Argentina: Apples and pears, and viticulture

Structural duality is an important characteristic of Argentina’s agriculture and is reflected in the differences between the Pampas region and those that surround it. In the Pampas region, most of the grains, oilseeds and beef is produced by large-scale, export-oriented producers. This agriculture is highly productive, with well-developed value chains linked to international markets. Oher regions (“the regional economies”) produce fruits and vegetables and agro-industrial products like wine, tobacco, cotton or sugar. Some of these products, like apples, pears and wine, are exported in competitive world markets but have an internal duality. In the apple-and-pear value chain farms which are fully integrated into global markets (usually large and medium size) coexist with less integrated farms (mostly small-scale). These small-scale farms have several difficulties, particular the low use of technology, deficient pest control, old orchards, and in general, very limited investments at farm level. Meanwhile, the viticulture value chain has had significant investments since 1990s by both foreign and local investors attracted by deregulation and relatively low‑price, good-quality land. Nonetheless, it still faces several constraints, particularly related to limited research and development, training and extension services.

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