Argentine farmers marked on Friday the end of an eight-day sales boycott with rallies and marches promising to “keep fighting” in support of aid for peers suffering from the worst drought in decades and to eliminate the current export tariffs system which distorts production and threatens several crops.
Farmers were particularly aggressive towards the government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner attitude and members of Congress, described as “cowards and inept” which act with “total submission”.
Eduardo Buzzi, head of the Small Farmers Association FAA, requested for an end of hostilities from the Argentine government and vowed to keep fighting. The head of Coninagro, Carlos Garetto, meanwhile said Argentina would be a better country if the officials of the government opened their eyes a little more, and keep their mouths shut, criticizing the reluctance of the Kirchner couple to lower export duties.
The remarks of the farming leaders were made during a rally in the central province of Córdoba province, at the end of sales' boycott conducted by the country's four largest lobbies. This was the eighth major protest from farmers against the two year old government.
The stage ahead of us is as difficult as the ones behind. But we need to maintain our presence, Garetto added.
The Argentine Rural Confederations Association accused the government of lacking interest to solve the problems of the farming sector and blasted the presidential veto on an article of the farming emergency law granting duties' exemptions to farmers in the south of Buenos Aires.
Members of the Liaison Committee - which groups Argentina's largest farming lobbies’-- anticipated new measures would be decided in coming days including protest marches in some of the most pro-Kirchner provinces.
Farmers are very angry, said Néstor Roulet, of the CRA Argentine Rural Confederations. The national government is provoking the farming sector yet again, and it shows it lacks interest to solve the problems of the farming sector by vetoing a law that was approved by unanimity in Congress, CRA said in a statement.
As part of the eight-day sales boycott, farmers have stage numerous protests and roadblocks. The government of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has criticized the strike, and said the duties exemptions would lead to irregularities in grain sales.
Meantime Vice President Julio Cobos blamed the government for wasting its time with the agrarian conflict, sector he considers is the backbone of the economy.
Farming sector is the backbone of our economy, if they are doing well then the industry, commerce, tourism and people will too prosper, underlined Cobos whor praised governors and mayors who in the provincial and regional sector they are making their effort to find solutions to farmers’ dispute, but it is in the Nation where the main issues should be solved.
I hope the government gets to understand this, that they apply a strong policy in the export duties issue, added Cobos, Argentina should recover its peace, dialogue, patience, consensus and dreams.