Interview: Ag, Policy, Exports in Argentina


The television interview is in Spanish. The print has been translated to English from the original Spanish at BCR News where it appeared originally on July 26, 2019. David Hughes from Argentina is a member of the Global Farmer Network.

David Hughes: Much more is being exported and in very different markets

The president of ArgenTrigo, visited the BCR News study stationed in the green pavilion of the Palermo fairground, carried out an exhaustive analysis of the sector.

The quality of wheat is defined by the buyer. “With the production we are having, much more is being exported and in very different markets.” We have the quantity and variability in the industrial quality parameters to help these markets, explained the head of ArgenTrigo in statements to this medium.

“The wheat standard, taking into account that we are reaching different markets and the one in charge is outside, we have to see what topics to speak the same language.” We are considering how we work with the understanding that the standard is a minimum on which the client works and arrives. “Quality is improving, production too. We must organize to reach more specific markets,” he added.

Question: In these four years, to put a political deadline, wheat was severely punished. Can we recover in this process?

Answer: It has been recovering a lot. Before 2005, 2006, 2007 we got to plant 7 million and peak of ha We can still improve a lot. The producer knows how to make wheat, the miller knows how to make flour, the exporter knows how to export; The knowledge is. Market signals are reaching institutional markets, they are working very well again, the number of contracts in the future market is increasing.

Question: There is an issue that always comes around with the value chain and has to do with informality, how does it come in relation to the wheat chain?

Answer: It comes very well, the mill is very much supporting this fight, this battle against informality. They have installed flour flow meters to know how much is produced based on what they buy. That goes very well. First, we have to keep looking. Basically there are several issues if we want to be competitive internationally and play all with the same rules. Second, it is a food. If we want to continue taking care of our consumers we have to make the effort that everything goes through the white market, because that means that Senasa is controlling. The biggest problem is not only that the taxes are not paid but that the sanitary control is not carried out and that is why from the chain we believe that it is essential to continue reducing the amount in black that is sold.

Question: Much has been discussed about what has to do with the development of Bioceres and drought-resistant wheat. What position do you have?

Answer: From the chain we are proud that an Argentine company is leading this issue. All these topics of improvement in genetics are a world in which capital is needed. In addition, gray matter is needed. In Argentina we have researchers who have worked here. We would like to continue doing. Those who buy are in a position to accept it. It is a work that is being done in Bioceres. Unfortunately it is a direct benefit that the consumer is not yet ready to accept it. We need a legal framework, an improvement in the Seed Law because we have to give back to companies that are investigating genetics of different crops and allow Argentina to be at the first level.

Question: The delay in the discussion of the seed law is hurting what has been working with the possibility of opening new markets and exporting more. There we have a complex lock.

Answer: A huge lock. What is difficult to explain sometimes is that this is not “instead of” but “more than”. What has been done will continue to be sown. What is being seen is the opportunity to have new types of seeds generated in our country. What will generate more knowledge and more income. In the country today everything happens through genetics. We have the tools and have people, we need investors.

Question: What is the vision of the chain regarding the opening of markets in the European community and Mercosur?

Answer: We have a punctual vision, that all this is beneficial. We have to go to a more integrated world, which will be a benefit for the consumer as well. We will have more options and we will have more wealth. Today in the world 80 – 85% of those sold are intermediate goods and we have opportunities because we know how to do many things from industry and agribusiness. It is an opportunity for the country and for the consumer, to see strong and important improvements for all.

David Hughes

David Hughes

David Hughes and his partners grow corn, soybeans, wheat and barley in Buenos Aires province and are developing a cattle ranch in Sla Rioja province, Argentina.

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