Subect : Oscar Solís
Role: Undersecretary of Added Value, Ministry of Agriculture
Place: Buenos Aires
Date: April 15, 2014
Other interviewees, along with the literature, confirmed that Argentina is a price-taker and, more importantly, that producers were paying high attention to prices–all the webpages of farmers’ associations and cooperatives publicize changes in the daily price of soybeans as the main newspapers’ websites do.
Authors: “What explains the expansion of soybeans in Argentina given how much its planting has grown replacing other crops and to what extent is it related to public policy given that there are two starting moments of upward trends in 1996 and 2003?”
Solis: [1:13] “Argentina, as a country, is a price-taker and prices generate incentives to plant certain crops. The main incentive with soybeans was the high profitability [1:16] … [2:04] In the last decade, there was a shift toward soybeans from the other crops just driven by profitability [2:08] … [2:26] And there are also important changes in the agricultural management in Argentina, according to academic studies. There had been changes. The median age is younger and now the farmers are not necessarily landowners but producers. They operate like business even if we call them farmers. There is incorporation of technological knowledge and a search of scale and a spread to hedge their productive risk. This was crucial to explain the growth of soybean planting. Half of the producers are now agricultural engineers with graduate degrees and they understand the importance of corn in the rotation of crops to avoid soil deterioration.” [3:28]