Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Agricultural strike in Argentina a challenge for President Fernandez

SOURCE: The Guardian—“Argentine farm strike exposes stubborn conflict”

Argentine farmers have been on strike for about a week in response to government hikes on export taxes of agricultural commodities such as grains, milk, and beef. The increased export taxes were crafted to prevent the price of food staples from inflating and thus becoming unaffordable to the more than 20% of the population that lives below the poverty line.

The farmers claim that the taxes are hampering natural market flows and “killing the countryside.” The government has responded that the farmers—which are represented by four large associations—are “greedy oligarchs” and have “spun” the conflict as one between the people who need access to foodstuffs and the wealthy few. The farmers object strongly to the characterization.

The news in Argentina has been riveted on tractor blockades of major roads that have been organized by the farmers in protest of the tax hike. Latest news reports indicated that the impasse between the government and the agricultural sector remains and that the strike could continue indefinitely.

The strike is the first big challenge facing President Cristina Fernandez, who was elected in December of 2007. The agricultural sector has cried foul, stating that President Fernandez broke campaign promises to communicate with industry sectors prior to making moves like the tax hike on exports.

FOR DISCUSSION:

What role should industry have in shaping government policy?

2 comments:

Juan Ignacio said...

These taxes are abusive on the industry, all the govt wants is to cash on the profits to finace and control the people that voted for them, mainly the lower class, I believe that this is the first sign that the president will not finish her term.
The govt takes action without the correct information about the industry, they only look at the numbers and cash on them.

Honestly its a shame for Argentina as one of the leading Ag exporters of the world.

rgrs

Small Farmers' Agri-Business Consortium said...

Agricultural Finance:Thank you.