Peronism urgently needs an agricultural policy in accordance with the challenges of the times in which we live

Peronism urgently needs an agricultural policy in accordance with the challenges of the times in which we live

In my hands is the “Management Report – 90 days”, presented by the secretary Fernando Villela during ExpoAgro last March. Also participating in this revealing exhibition Pedro Vigneu, who, barely a month after the event, has already left the organization. Meanwhile, in the halls of the brand new Bioeconomy Secretariatit is rumored that the secretary’s departure is imminent.

Villela’s arrival at the Secretariat generated expectations among those who believed that a professional in agricultural sciences, with an outstanding academic career and own vision, could bring positive changes. Surely the rapid change of name of the organization from the boring Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries to the modern and fanciful “Bioeconomy” was an incentive for these expectations. Defined by specialists as the knowledge-intensive production and utilization of biological resources for the sustainable provision of goods and services, the Bioeconomy is an interesting approach to address humanity’s current challenges, such as reducing the use of fossil fuels and reusing inputs to make productive systems more efficient…

…Challenges that are very far from the political agenda of the President of the Nation.

None of this agenda for change is reflected in the planning of the pompously named Secretariat. Instead of addressing these fundamental issues, the emphasis is placed on deregulation and reduction of the State, as if it were possible to promote the efficiency of bioeconomic systems without strong support of productive capacity, science and technology, of the organizations technological, oiled by long-term planning and appropriate public investment. So, The authorities promote a gourmet banquet and serve Burger King.

The inconsistency was evident that day when the fired Vigneau’s explanations to the questions about the dramatic situation of the dairy were “the anchor is the zero deficit” and Villela himself did the juggling act by talking at length about the dynamics of the Leliq and the Daily Passes.


The bioeconomy secretariat It completely omits any concrete plan or action towards the issue. The name seems rather usurped since the only program so far has been to deregulate, remove quotas and barriers that limit the export of agricultural goods and reduce the State in general, particularly eliminating sensitive organizations that helped connect distant rural areas with the state, like National Institute of Family, Peasant and Indigenous Agriculture (INAFCI).

And the Argentine agrarian problem is not state regulation, but on the contrary, the absolute lack of planning. The Argentine agrarian policy of the last thirty years has basically consisted of setting up small and inevitable health bureaucracies, minimal and arduous regulations on productive practices, certain infrastructure investments made in times of greatest prosperity, certain efforts by technicians and officials to promote certain activities, some support for decentralized organizations that provide knowledge and technology and, mainly, a fiscal debate focused on the percentage of export duties, focusing on three crops.

None of this is consistent with what the agricultural policy should be like in a country that depends so absolutely fundamentally on agricultural production to sustain its economy and territorial sovereignty. Agrarian policy here is conducted blindfolded.

But the problem is not only that of the liberals, nor on the popular side are there interesting conceptions about the problems of agriculture and there is a very high level of improvisation and poorly informed assumptions. On the specialized portal Bichos de Campo, this week a service contractor pointed out that land valuation was a serious problem not for politics, not for income distribution indicators, but for the operational functioning of production. Well, it is a topic on which the popular camp usually has nothing more to say than complaints. We could accompany the contractor’s proposal with accurate information on agricultural income, the productive structure, land ownership or production cost problems, if it were not that each of the existing measurements depends heavily on private data whose usefulness is enough as long as we do not wonder how they are created.

Another example of this statistical precariousness occurred with the Jumbot affair that brings to light how first-class public officials have naturalized doing politics without indicators, a policy based on faith and individual expertise. This can never turn out well. The problem is not exclusive to one political party, but covers the entire ideological spectrum. Instead of discussing policies based on concrete data, we find ourselves immersed in a sea of ​​improvisation and ill-informed assumptions.

The underlying issue is that we need to produce indicators of Argentine agriculture that help build an agrarian policy that not only focuses on the twenty agri-food complexes that constitute national rurality, on the living conditions of producers from all social segments, but also allows us to accompany the discussions within the heterogeneous and complex agro-pampa productive framework, getting rid of old theories that no longer serve to correctly interpret reality.

If Villela’s departure is confirmed, the situation of having a secretariat with such a pompous name, without a real policy of impact on the issues that concern ecologists and environmentalists and with an ultraliberal agenda, will be another example that not even the governments nor the popular ones know what to do with the Argentine countryside.

It will be like having a Ministry of Happiness that is only responsible for delivering bad news.

Source: Ambito

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