He agricultural sector was strongly conditioned by the worst drought of the century that affected Uruguay last year, so it maintains higher expectations for 2024, which is expected to be “a great year” in the different areas of activity.
After a 2023 where the climate phenomenon caused million-dollar losses in the agro, The sector seeks to recover and continue promoting development and commercial opening, as specified in dialogue with Ambit, the general director of Granja del Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP), Nicolas Chiesa.
Chiesa erased the good expectations that “it is going to be a great productive year of Uruguay in all areas of the agricultural sector, from livestock and dairy, to farms, horticulture and beekeeping”, considering that “the episodes of rain and the supply of water improved the crops,” although he clarified: “We need the climate to continue being favorable to recover the cimbronazo.”
The leader indicated that “last year was historic due to poor productive performance” and countered that “this year we are with good implementation and good potential.” Asked about the impact of the soy, after a year where the exports, He maintained that “it will depend on the grain market and international prices, but productively it will be a different year with the income of foreign currency.”
When evaluating the “scars” and learnings of the drought, admitted that “it leaves knowledge and structure,” while acknowledging that “although no measure of the Executive “It was going to compensate for losses caused, opportunities were given so that, once the shock passed, the producer could recover.”
Thinking about the future, he pointed out that “the technicians of the MGAP, the plan and the direction are left to transcend the governments and become a State policy”, after which he highlighted the policy of irrigation. “It is a strategic plan because there is enormous potential to continue growing in the irrigated area, but it has to be by aligning different factors, such as electricity and works. There is a master plan, as the minister says Fernando Mattos he valued.
The opening of markets, the main line of action of the MGAP
Regarding the active role of MGAP for this year, Chiesa He anticipated that they will seek to “continue leveraging the development measures of the agricultural sector” and mainly promote the commercial opening of the sectors. “The more market and product that can be placed in the world, the better,” he defined.
When listing the achievements of 2023, he recalled that “the sorghum market recently opened with China, “which is going to be very significant to begin to realize exports,” while highlighting the strategic commercial alliance signed by the president Luis Lacalle Pou with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, with possibilities also in poultry meat, tripe and lemons.
Meanwhile, he also valued the recent trade with other countries such as Mexico and Japan and summarized: “Uruguay “It is open to the world and wants to market all agricultural products.”
Producers highlight the higher level of reserves
The perspective of a better year is shared by the producers and this was confirmed by Ambit the president of the Rural Federation, Jorge Andrés Rodríguez, who estimated that “there is 20% more Bookings than was normal on the part of the establishments” and highlighted the importance of “the integration of livestock and agricultural systems.”
Rodriguez He insisted on the idea of “turning the page on the worst year we can remember” and highlighted that the crops “are very well established after a year in which the harvest was practically zero,” while at the same time he hopes to rebound after the “many teachings” that the drought.
Looking to the future, he pointed out that “a recovery scenario in terms of meat” is foreseen and there is the prospect of “recovering meat prices.” crops, because the harvest comes with very good yields per hectare.”
Government assistance and “threats” coming from the European Union
The president of the Rural Federation He highlighted the role of the government during 2023, although he clarified that “given the size of the drought, “It is not that little has been done, but that there are few tools.” However, he highlighted “the integrated guarantee system of credits to producers, the transfer of payment of taxes and rates and the investment promotion system with fiscal benefits”.
Among the criticisms, he regretted that “many of these mechanisms could have acted automatically” and stated: “Many times the only thing that State entities share is that they are from the State, because they operate through separate channels.”
On the other hand, he identified some “threats to livestock farming in the Uruguay”. The first of them is the one linked to environmental regulations raised by the European Union for agreement with Mercosur. “If the Europeans had to comply with them, there would be practically no production,” he asserted.
In turn, he referred to the Bond indexed to climate change indicators (BIICC 2034) and the loan with the world Bank tied to sustainable goals. “We want these benefits to return in the planning of policies for the sector,” she said.
Finally, he questioned the possible purchase of Minerva of three floors Marfrig. “The alarm has been raised due to the concentration of the refrigeration industry by a group with almost 50% of the industry. “I think that is detrimental to the sector,” he said. Rodriguez.
Exchange delay: a flat dollar is expected
On the other hand, the rural leader stated that in the country “the issue of exchange rate” and maintained that the agro foresees that the dollar “It will continue to be ironed,” when referring to the exchange rate delay, which was questioned by different sectors.
“There is no reason for this situation to change. Although it was possible to adjust the inflation and improve the real salary, which is very good for the economy, it is of no use to producers because when we receive dollars from exports and exchange them, it is very ironed,” he observed and summarized: “A large part of the economic benefits to Uruguayan society have been paid by the producer. ”.