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India-Argentina Relationship Steers Soybean Trade, Shaping a Common Agricultural Destiny

India and Argentina's escalating partnership in soybean trade holds the promise of a prosperous future for both nations, driven by collaboration and shared agricultural goals.

Shivangi Rai
Enrique Erize, President of Argentina’s well-known agricultural research consulting enterprise, Nóvitas S.A. (Image Courtesy- Krishi Jagran)
Enrique Erize, President of Argentina’s well-known agricultural research consulting enterprise, Nóvitas S.A. (Image Courtesy- Krishi Jagran)

In the realm of global agriculture, a remarkable partnership is brewing between India and Argentina. At the heart of this alliance lies the lifeblood of Argentina's agricultural economy, ‘Soybean’.

Enrique Erize, President of Argentina’s well-known agricultural research consulting enterprise, Nóvitas S.A., is playing a pivotal role as an advisor in bridging the gap between 800+ farmers and the international market.

India-Argentina Bond in Agricultural Trade

The bond between India and Argentina in the field of agriculture is strengthening day by day. India's role as the primary consumer of Argentine soybean products is a testament to this escalating partnership. The collaborative efforts of experts including Enrique Erize and his team are not only enriching the agricultural landscape but also fostering international ties.

President Erize expressed that, "Argentina and India are very close" This portrays a vision of agricultural prosperity and is a testament to the power of collaboration. With plans for reciprocal visits and knowledge exchange between Indian and Argentine farmers on the horizon, the future holds the promise of a deeper and more fruitful agricultural connection between these two nations.

Enrique Erize felicitated at ICAR Institute of Soybean Research.
Enrique Erize felicitated at ICAR Institute of Soybean Research.

Cultivating Soybean Excellence

Argentina, which is renowned as the world's third-largest soybean producer, thrives as an agricultural sector. Major crops such as sunflower, corn, wheat barley and other grains also dominate the country's crop landscape. However, it's not just about cultivation; it's about the art of selling the yield to the global markets.

Erize and his team are not just focusing on traditional farming techniques or technological advancements. Instead, their expertise lies in guiding farmers on how to commercialize their produce effectively. They assist farmers in optimizing their incomes by navigating the complex world of international trade. Argentina, as a major exporter of soybean products, including soybean oil and soybean meal, looks to India as its number one client.

Argentina is a major player in the Soybean oil and meal market, with 80% of its production being exported, giving it an edge over competitors such as the other soybean produced countries. Additionally, due to increasing climate and geopolitical concerns, as well as inflation, Argentina is viewed as a dependable supplier of Soybeans. This is because it primarily produces for exports and has minimal domestic consumption.

Novitas Team Field Visit.
Novitas Team Field Visit.

India: The Key Consumer

India, on the other hand, stands out as the largest consumer of Argentine soybean oil and soybean meal. This symbiotic relationship is propelling both nations into a new era of agricultural prosperity.

Barley's Battle for Supremacy

In the midst of this collaboration, barley is also emerging as a contender against wheat, especially in the looming industry. Argentina produces a staggering 4 million metric tons of barley and 20 million metric tons of wheat annually.

Governmental Hurdles

Despite being a formidable competitor in the global agricultural arena, Argentine farmers struggle with governmental hurdles. Export taxes on soybean oil account for nearly 30 per cent of the international price and weigh heavily on their profits. These dynamics underscore the delicate balance between thriving in the global market and coping with government-imposed financial burdens.

Climate Concerns

Moreover, Argentina's agricultural landscape is heavily influenced by climatic conditions. Last year’s crop suffered the country's worst drought but the estimates for 2023/24 suggest a sharp increase with an expected production of around 50 million metric tons. The fluctuating climate adds yet another layer of complexity to the intricate world of agriculture.

Eventually, the India-Argentina Soybean Connection is not just about trade; rather, it's about nurturing a robust agricultural partnership that benefits both countries and paves the way for a brighter future in the world of farming and commerce.

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