Luis Miguel Etchevere
PRESIDENT OF THE ARGENTINE RURAL SOCIETY
Argentina 2017 I Agriculture I Leader
BIOGRAPHY Born in Paraná, Entre Ríos, he became President of the Argentine Rural Society in 2012. His career is marked in the journalism, being director of La Acción and Nogoyá. He was the co-founder of the Business Council of Entre Ríos. He is also recognized as one of the most important defendants of reforms for improving the agriculture sector in Argentina.
“THE GOVERNMENT HAS RECOGNIZED THE IMPORTANCE OF THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF OUR COUNTRY.”
IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE
The government has recognized the importance of the agriculture sector in the construction of our country. After years of obstruction and contempt, the government has concluded that we work to strengthen our country; that our prosperity is that of the nation. We want a country that is prosperous, productive, competitive and, above all, supportive. Because in recent years, the need to change and grow has breathed new life into politics, and this reconciliation between the agricultural and public sectors has been possible based on mutual trust, and it is already bearing fruit. As a result, despite the severe weather that hit our country in recent months, we are facing a record harvest, thanks to the investment, work, and effort of hundreds of thousands of producers.
Because production increased, the sales of agricultural machinery grew by 104% in 2016 and in the first quarter of this year, the sale of tractors was record. The sale of fertilizers increased 42% last year and truck sales increased by 58% in the first half of 2017. To move the harvest, 6 million truck trips will be needed. All this creates a positive cycle of employment. The livestock stock is increasing, at a rate of one million more heads per year.
The consumption of all the meats is the highest of the last hundred years, reaching 120 kilos of beef per person per year, confirming that we can supply domestic consumption while consolidating external markets. In other sectors, such as dairy and fruit growing, the reaction has been slower, due to an adverse conjuncture in international markets, the severe weather, but above all, as a result of years of hostile policies, which generated indebtedness and decapitalization.
Progress implies being able to solve problems of the past that obstruct the present. To advance, to progress, is to meet these new challenges, only discernible if debts with the past are left behind. That is why the question about how we should follow is legitimate and necessary. And this must include us all: us, citizens and the Government. The great task of the present is to promote growth, strengthening social justice, ending with poverty, that paradoxical and shameful feature of an Argentina so rich in resources as to be able to feed the world.
We must make our country a leading actor worldwide in the production of food, and for that, we must compare ourselves with the countries that we compete with. By entering the world market with our products, we will generate more employment, more opportunities, and that means reducing poverty which the cause of so much harm for decades. When designing strategies for insertion into world markets, we can’t underestimate our competitors and we also have to take different parameters into account, including monetary stability, infrastructure, tax system, financing and international insertion.
We produce something that the world needs: we produce food. Helping to alleviate the hunger of the world, we will be fighting poverty, through the creation of jobs and roots where we produce.
We see and appreciate the effort and progress of the Government in the fight against inflation. Lowering inflation is the mother of all battles. Statistics show that decisive action has begun in road, rail, port, and air-commercial infrastructure. And with significantly lower costs, due to the fight against corruption in public works. As for the tax system, it should stimulate investments, and not drive them away or prevent them. In the framework of this work in pursuit of competitiveness, which we have pending, it is necessary to eliminate the overlap between national, provincial and municipal taxes, and end with taxes disguised as taxes and internal customs.
It is necessary to deepen the path that already started with the SME law, the law of the entrepreneur and other instruments, such as the one-stop shop for foreign trade, or the simplified companies law.