Argentina has officially created the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery and Food, which previously worked as a secretariat of the Production Ministry. The decision of the Kirchner couple administration to raise the status of the Agriculture Secretariat to a ministry comes amid tensions with farming leaders who are protesting the government's farming policies.
One of Argentine medium sized farmers’ cooperative organization supported the initiative. The creation of the ministry has been something we have demanded for some time, said Carbap chairman Pedro Apaolaza. Nevertheless, he added that he will remain cautious until the government confirms which attributions the new ministry will have.
The Liaison Board, formed by Argentina's four largest farm lobbies, are scheduled to meet later this week when they would announce new protest measures in a move to press the government to meet their demands. Farmers are seeking a reduction in export duties and more aid to farmers hit by extended droughts and falling commodity prices.
Members from the Liaison Board said that if the new cabinet post will only be useful if it helps to solve farmers’ problems, “so far it’s only a change of names and posts”.
“What matters are policies and the instruments to make them feasible”, which is far more important than names. “It’s the government that is responsible for rebuilding dialogue with farmers and creating confidence building, said Eduardo Buzzi, one of the more extrovert of the farm leaders.
“If farm decisions will remain limited to Nestor and Cristina Kirchner, it’s the same as before. If the government insists in no farm policy, than nothing, absolutely nothing has changed”, said Nestor Roulet from another farmers’ organization, CRA.
At a televised press conference, Argentine Cabinet Chief Aníbal Fernández announced the creation of the Agriculture ministry. Julián Dominguez will be sworn-in as minister