Monday, January 16th 2012 - 02:45 UTC

Argentine government and farmers clash over drought emergency support

As extreme drought conditions punish Argentina’s crops throughout the country farmers’ organizations are at loggerheads with the government of President Cristina Fernandez, which is refusing to increase the emergency fund for such situations and to alleviate the tax burden.

Farmers’ leader Buzzi: “farmers are always expected to pay, never entitled to government help”

“Farmers are always expected to pay up but are never entitled to government help`”, said Eduardo Buzzi head of the Argentine Agrarian Federation. “The government wants farmers approaching the counter in order to pay, not asking for money” he added arguing that “the Kirchnerite strategy is that their money is off limits”.

Buzzi also demanded that under such an extreme situation the duties on grains and oilseed exports for small and medium farmers should be eliminated.

“Whatever crops small and medium sized businesses can manage to salvage should be exempted from export duties. This means the Government would have to give up from 2 to 2.5 billion dollars” explained Buzzi.

“We believe any farmer whose finance is affected by drought should have some kind of aid, but it seems the ministry does not intend to use any money to help the small-sized businesses” blasted the farmers’ leader.

Last week the Argentine government recognized before the Agrarian Emergency Committee the severe drought conditions and consequences in the central area of Argentina, although it anticipated it will not increase the budget for the emergency fund of 100 million pesos (25 million dollars) to face the situation.

Farmers had urged the national government to lower the export tax duties’ rates considering this year’s harvest is expected to drop by 10 million tons due to the drought.

Members of the Farmers’ Liaison made public the results of the meeting after holding talks with Agriculture Minister Norberto Yahuar and the head of the Agrarian Emergency Committee, Haroldo Lebed, held at the Ministry in Buenos Aires City.

Minister Yahuar added that the government will not lower the export duties tax and ratified the “surgical help” policy for producers affected by the drought, especially in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Santa Fe.

Finally Buzzi said that farmers for now are not planning any protests, although “there are places where people want to come out and protest, and they are right because we’re only two weeks into 2012 and we already know that, in productive terms, this year is already lost”.

9 comments Feed

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1 Beef (#) Jan 16th, 2012 - 10:43 am Report abuse
errr, has insurance not been invented in Argentina?
2 ElaineB (#) Jan 16th, 2012 - 11:14 am Report abuse
Do you think they would pay out?
3 Yuleno (#) Jan 16th, 2012 - 01:27 pm Report abuse
Remember British farmers and foot and mouth,biff.They had no insurance did they?
4 Sir Rodderick Bodkin (#) Jan 16th, 2012 - 02:55 pm Report abuse
The government doesn't owe you anything. Get over it and move on.
5 rylang23 (#) Jan 16th, 2012 - 09:00 pm Report abuse
@ #4 - Sir Rod... with your logic we should never pay any taxes. Governments (could) exist to assist the greater good of citizens when events conspire to cause unexpected harm. We buy auto or health insurance by pooling our assets against that possible loss / harm. Governments can be that pooling of assets to assist with events too large for any one individual (farmer) to handle.

Again I ask, if ”government(s) don't owe you anything”, then why have them at all.

[note] I am a libertarian anarchist, so I agree with your premise in principle. However, the other side of the equation still needs to be addressed.
6 Sir Rodderick Bodkin (#) Jan 16th, 2012 - 11:27 pm Report abuse
Everyone should pay taxes, that being said, i know so many farmers that use fraudulent methods to avoid paying taxes. The guy who used to rent my house owes to ARBA over $500.000 pesos in taxes and that is only the beginnin. People like these think they are over the law when they clearly aren't.
I'am so fed up with the paisanos complaining about everything, as soon as i can i'll be getting the hell out of this town.

If there is any harm or loss, ask the insurance company to take charges over any damages, not the government.
7 Tigre2000 (#) Jan 17th, 2012 - 07:38 am Report abuse
Lol here we go again a bunch of pommy whingers go to your retirement village
and whinge about England you bunch og miserable britt sad arses.
8 lsolde (#) Jan 17th, 2012 - 11:00 am Report abuse
What a profound & moving observation. How meaningful.
Full of depth & feeling. Author! author!
9 ChrisR (#) Jan 19th, 2012 - 03:07 pm Report abuse
It seems that the guy in charge is so out of touch I don't think he can have ever been on a production farm.

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