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Last Updated:[25-01-2011 07:14:37 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Argentine Farmers Still Unhappy over Hostile Export Policies

tradenews The farmers’ protest that took place in Argentina last week was called off by the trade unions with a warning of series of strikes in the near future if their demands were not met. The warnings indicate Kirchner administration will have to tackle more issues surfacing out of the protest before the run up to upcoming elections.

The farmers began a weeklong strike last Monday as they were upset over the export quota system, which they claim favours millers and large exports companies. The farmers as well as some leaders within the parliament feel that they are paid below the international price by undermining competition in the local market.

Although the Argentine agricultural minister, Julian Dominguez, condemned the strike, however admitted that grain farmers were “not earning what they should be earning” for their crops. Besides the farmers claim that it is not only about scrapping wheat and corn export curbs but also aimed at making available farm produce at a reasonable price to local consumers.

Mario Llambias, head of the Rural Confederation of Argentina before ending the strike on Sunday said they would end the commercialization stoppage but the protest was not been over, and would continue until they had got the right price for their wheat. The strike rekindled memories of a farmers’ protest in 2008 that rattled global commodity markets and disrupted the nation’s multibillion-dollar grains shipments.

During the week-long strike, some 200 farmers protested outside a plant owned by Cargill near the main grains port of Rosario in Santa Fe province. According to the farmers Cargill is one of the companies making enormous profits from the government’s farm policies.

Argentina is the world’s third biggest soybean supplier and second corn provider after the US. The strike comes just nine months before presidential elections in which President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is expected to seek re-election.

By Jose Roy

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