On the 56th anniversary of the start of the Cuban Revolution, the message from President Raul Castro was not at all celebratory: the country must prepare for a second round of belt tightening because of the global financial crisis and promoting agriculture and food production is a “strategic priority”.
A major offensive aimed at bringing Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) under global control has been launched by FAO and the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
Magnasco, one of the oldest dairy farms in Argentina with a history of more than 50 years has ceased activities and will dedicate its farmland to potatoes. The family business which owns four dairy farms and rents another five took the drastic action because “there’s no way of making of profit” with the erred agriculture policies from the administration of the Kirchner couple.
The Chilean sheep farming industry is embarking on a million dollar master plan to boost the national sheep population and double lamb exports by 2010.
Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s call to a dialogue with all sectors and “on all issues” received a positive response from farmers and manufactures, but they also requested “deep changes” following the government’s defeat on June 28th mid term election.
Brazil is planning to increase the number of cattle in feed lots by 4.6% which would be equivalent to a total of 1.673.500 heads, according to Beef Point, a Brazilian portal linked to the meat industry.
The cost of farmland in Uruguay has dropped between 20% and 30% in the first half of 2009 and the number of operations has fallen drastically, 70% according to local camp brokers.
Uruguay could be heading for another record of farmland dedicated to wheat and although it is too early to have the exact data, estimates are above 500.000 hectares. Good climate and lower input costs, mainly from fertilizers, could be anticipating a record harvest next December overtaking the 480.000 hectares and 1.2 million tons of the 2008 crop, according to reports in the Montevideo press based on official and private estimates.
South America’s soy bean reserves suffered a strong reduction following recent sales while the global supply could be affected depending on the US crop and weather in the northern hemisphere according to Oil World latest forecast
Brazilian president Lula da Silva announced Thursday the 2009/2010 Agriculture and Livestock Plan which will provide the equivalent of 53 billion US dollars in aid, to help farmers take advantage of rising global demand for food. This represents a 37% increase over the previous farm year.