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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Despite the drought, the field is preparing to continue investing

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During a tour of Expoagro, Ámbito spoke with businessmen in the sector, who did not hide their expectations for a new agricultural campaign.

Every year, Expoagro -one of the most important shows in the Argentine countryside- becomes the sounding board for news from the agricultural world. This year is no exception, much less when opposition officials or leaders need as much exposure as possible.

While politics does its thing, the real main actors in the field attend training talks, inquire about new products at the stands of the companies that after years of intense work arrive at the property to show a new hybrid, more technical machinery, new chemical formulations or the incessant progress of the agtech world to raise the production ceilings. Expoagro is, in general terms, a simple and concrete demonstration that Argentina has potential and that innovation is possible thanks to effort and investment.

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With an eye on the exhibitors, Ámbito spoke with the protagonists of a sector that is perfectly aware of the limitations imposed by reality -climatic and economic- but that at the same time maintains hope to face a 2023 that already presents great challenges. A small sample of this is what happens a few meters from the exhibition, in the middle of the productive core zone on RN 9 where, as a result of the drought, there are unplanted lots.

Ignacio Escala, director of Speed ​​Agro, told Ámbito some details about the impact of the drought on the business and explained that “the producer faced a campaign with high costs and today he found himself with a very severe drought. Companies like ours together with the banks are going to have to make a lot of effort to be able to refinance those who are in a critical situation”.

Escala added that “industries that sell more than technology today are sellers of credit. 80% of the business is financing: there is 20% that are producers who are doing well and the rest fight day by day. This year we are going to have to be very careful with the credits but always supporting the producer so that they continue in business”.

In the world of the agricultural machinery industry, Gastón Ricardo, head of Indecar -a company that has received multiple awards for its innovations- explained that despite all the problems that exist, one can be optimistic. He said that more than a year ago they began a work plan together with a US company, which will last until 2025 and which contemplates the development of a monitoring system, its own dosing, a self-propelled seeder and a robotic one. “We see beyond the current situation and who governs. I only think about what we want to achieve. There are years in which we sell more and others less, but we continue to work and grow. Last year we sold very well, but from July on, when it was no longer possible to sow, sales dropped a lot. Today the credit lines of Banco Provincia and Banco Nación help a lot. People are very interested in negative rates, which are around 38% over four years, and with that we have already made several proformas. I thought it was going to be much quieter but this reality exceeded my expectations.

Source: Ambito

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