Los Grobo in the Media
In an interview with LA NACION at the congress of the Argentine Association of Producers in Direct Sowing (Aapresid), which he attended by his Agrofina input firm, he said that the agribusiness chain has enormous development possibilities from the transformation of grains into animal proteins and in more elaborated products such as bioplastics or biofuels. But he also believes that there are opportunities in algae, afforestation and regional cuisine.
-What are the prospects for the next agricultural campaign?
-We had a production record even without exploring the production ceilings. There is a huge amount of things to do in nutrition, disease control and double cultivation, including legumes in rotations. Exploring the productive roofs we could increase the current harvest by 20%. And that without entering into disruptive technologies, entering them, with new germplasms, we could reach 200 million tons. We are going that way.
- Can that be achieved?
-Aapresid congress shows that there are those who take care of this. There are enthusiastic entrepreneurs and an institutional system with value chains - with Aapresid, Aacrea and the Stock Exchanges - enormously sophisticated. The discussion is how we do to include more people in this value chain. That happens by transforming raw materials. We threw a center and there is no goalkeeper: it is the African swine fever, which changes the demand matrix towards meats. It will give us the opportunity to process these raw materials and produce more meat.
We have a window of two years at most to face it. It is necessary to invest quickly in refrigerators in the NOA and in the NEA, the south of Córdoba and remote areas of the ports to transform the matrix of demand of the grains, that is not only the export, but also the processing.
The next government must quickly have a set of public policies so that the producer has no doubts that next year he can invest in this type of project. And that is included how dairy is another way to produce proteins. Then we have the whole world of what we call the incipient world of postgranary agriculture, as well explained by Federico Trucco (CEO of Bioceres).
-What is that?
-A ton of grain is worth between 150 and 400 dollars. If, in addition to the ton of grain, you harvest the cellulose, for example from a stubble in the southwest of the province of Buenos Aires, you can extract sugars, degrading the cellulose or thinning lignin of the eucalyptus mountains. And that can be transformed into sugars and bioplastics, biofuels and other types of industrial products. A ton of that is worth ten times more. With 10% of the current surface you can generate the same value in product. You are adding value through technological innovations. That field is unexplored.
- And with what other technologies could value be added?
-The use of the seas to make photosynthesis, through algae, which are a source of protein, fertilizer and gas. We have to tame them in the sea. There are other huge sources: forestry, regional economies, value-added products. The integration of gastronomy with agriculture to generate more services, with tourism. We have a vision and an opportunity that is unique in the world. That is the subject of the elections, whoever wins.
- Is that understood beyond agriculture?
-For you to be a politician in Argentina, the final exam is passed or not passed by coming to the Aapresid congress. He who did not come can never devote himself to politics in Argentina.
-This is the vibrant Argentina, of the farmers, the entrepreneurs, the industrialists, service providers and those who want to work, of those who are optimistic and see the country of hope. It is not that they come here to support agriculture and make politics: that they come to feel and immerse themselves in this spirit.
-At the electoral crossroads, what is your vision?
-We must have serenity. I think about the day after the elections. Whoever wins, has to lead the development project, not only of the agribusiness sector and its ecosystem but also of other sectors, of others that integrate with each other. It is increasingly difficult to separate what is field and what is not field. Are knowledge companies field or not field? Here are the software companies, the AgTech.
There is a growth agenda and a need to make structural reforms. It is very difficult to carry it out if there are no structural reforms. To those of the State, tax, retirement, education and work. They are not reforms to remove rights, but what Argentina will be like in the 21st century. That is, what will be the set of public policies for the country to generate progress and not poverty. www.lanacion.com.ar
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