Within the framework of the Programme for the Promotion of Capital Goods and Technology Exports of the Foreign Affairs and Religion Ministry, the Embassy of Argentina in South Africa is organising together with the Argentinean –INTA and CIDETER- and South African –AGRI SA and GRAIN SA- institutions, the “Argentina Farmers’ Day”. This event that will take place on 18 March in Nigel, South Africa, and it will provide an opportunity for producers and institutions from South Africa and other countries of the region to be introduced to Argentinean Farming Technology and Machinery for No-Till, High Precision Crop Management, Silo Bag, Optimum Crop Sequence, Crop Nutrition, etc directly by the Argentinean manufactures.
“Argentina Farmers’ Day” will be the golden clasp of a seven day programme of activities focusing on technical cooperation and knowledge exchange with regards to agricultural technology and specifically no-till technologies between South Africa and Argentina. The week will start with the participation of experts Carlos Galarza, Juan Pablo Velez and Ricardo Melchiori, from the Argentinean National Institute of Agricultural Technology – INTA –, at the Ottosdal NO-TILL CONFERENCE, in the North West Province, (12 and 13 March 2014). This will be followed by a field visit to the Demonstration Plots of the Direct Planting Technical Agreement between INTA, CIDETER, CAFMA and GRAIN SA, currently in its third year of implementation (14 and 15 March). With the involvement of a significant number of Argentinean companies, the Direct Planting Technical Agreement has already yielded noteworthy success. In this coming edition of the “Argentina Farmers’ Day” the following Argentinean enterprises will participate: APACHE, BUFALO, MAINERO, OMBU and PIEROBON.
Argentina is one of the biggest per capita food producers of the world, with an agricultural output sufficient to feed 400 million people. The outstanding productivity and competitiveness of Argentina’s farming sector results from the high level of technological and skills development throughout the value chain. Among other achievements, Argentina is a pioneer and world leader in the design and application of agricultural machinery, especially no-till, grain management and precision farming. In addition to the above mentioned achievements, Argentina is also a world leader in the practical application of biotechnology innovations to crops and livestock farming, mainly – within the field of scientific and technological knowledge- in Genetic Modification, doubling the country’s crop production (from 40/50 million tons to 80/100 million) in the last 10 to 15 years.
Africa comprises more than 150 million hectares of arable land; however, it is also the continent with lowest productivity yields. This is in part due to water accessibility issues. Moreover, likewise Argentina, Africa’s crop profile is marked by a prevalence of coarse grains (soya, maize, sorghum and sunflower). These two facts constitute enormous potential for the generalisation of the use of Argentinean no-till technologies, machinery and inputs, which will contribute not only to greater productivity, but also to a more efficient use of water helping in the protection of soil from the damaging effects of wind and water erosion and other factors.
* Apart from other activities in support of the internationalisation of the Argentinean farming and agribusiness sector (such as production and distribution of specific market information and the organisation of sector delegations to South Africa), within the 2014 Action Plan (PA- 2014), the Embassy of Argentina in South Africa has and is collaborating with the following interventions:
- The participation of Dr. Martin Lema from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing of Argentina in the AfricaBio Conference on agri-biotech and biosafety that took place at the beginning of March in Johannesburg, South Africa.
- An Argentinean Pavillion at Nampo Harvest Day Fair, the most prominent static exhibition of agricultural machinery on the African Continent, scheduled for May (Free State, South Africa).
- A Seminar on Biosafety Regulatory Framework in August (Gauteng, South Africa).
- The participation of an Argentinean Delegation at the KwaZulu Natal No-Till Club Conference to take place in November in Drakensville, South Africa. The participation of Argentina will comprise an institutional stand, the exhibition of no-till machinery manufactured in Argentina and the inclusion of Argentinean experts among the key speakers of the Conference.
- A delegation of Argentinean manufactures of agricultural machinery to South Africa in dates to be confirmed through the Argentina Trade Net Portal (www.argentinatradenet.gov.ar) and the Embassy’s website.