The president and the minister, in Olivos (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture)
The Minister of Agriculture, Julián Domínguez, today deployed an agenda of meetings aimed at satisfying the claim of governors and leaders of the Liaison Table and unlocking the conflict generated by restrictions on beef exports. In the morning, he was received at Government House by the Chief of Staff, Juan Manzur, and later he went to Quinta de Olivos, where he met with President Alberto Fernández.
At the end of both meetings, and through a statement from the agricultural ministry, Domínguez said: “The President of the Nation entrusted me to work to regain dialogue as a key tool for the progress and care of the food security of Argentines and the Argentines ”.
In his first week as head of the agricultural portfolio, with the issue of meat export to be resolved, the minister met with technicians from the rural entities on two occasions, showing activism to find a way out of the conflict, without generating an increase in consumer meat prices. A leading role that, at a more wearisome pace, had hitherto been the Minister of Productive Development, Matías Kulfas.
As it was able to reconstruct this medium through different sources, in the meeting with the technicians of the entities the Government interwoven information on how the cattle and meat chain is doing and said that the Government is studying measures that would be announced on Tuesday at the Domínguez meeting with the holders of the entities of the field. It is not ruled out that there is also contact with governors, who in the last hours demanded to eliminate the restrictions. One of the measures to be announced could be a gradual opening up of beef exports to China.
The haste to resolve the conflict is motivated not only by economic issues, due to lower export earnings, the loss of shifts and working hours and even the incipient layoffs of personnel in the meat processing plants, but also by political motivations. An analysis of the results of the Open, Simultaneous and Compulsory Primary (PASO) on September 12 showed that the initial ban and the somewhat milder limitations that followed caused a level of unease that was reflected in the electoral results in Entre Ríos (where the The ruling party lost by a wide margin) and La Pampa, a province where Peronism was practically undefeated since the return of democracy.
The Chief of Cabinet held a meeting this morning with Julián Domínguez.
Sergio Ziliotto, the Pampean governor, was at the Casa Rosada during the week, where he was received by Manzur. Later, he also met with Domínguez, who initially showed friendly gestures towards the sector. In addition, like his counterparts from Entre Ríos, Gustavo Bordet, and from Córdoba, Juan Schiaretti, the Pampean head of state openly supported the demand of the rural sector for the immediate release of meat exports. Córdoba is a lost cause for the ruling party, but La Pampa and Entre Ríos are hills that it intends to reconquer in the legislative elections in November.
In the PASO in Entre Ríos, in which 72.4% of the electoral roll voted, Juntos por el Cambio was imposed in all the departments of the province and prevailed by a very wide margin in the provincial aggregate: 52% against 39.5% of the Front of All. In La Pampa, the turnout was just over 69% and Together for Change prevailed over the ruling party by just over ten points: 48.8% to 38.3%. Two defeats that the ruling party did not expect, and less for such margins.
The government of the governors
Pressure from Peronist governors to end the conflict has gained momentum in recent days. Domínguez, the head of Agriculture, also instructed technicians from his portfolio to meet with technical representatives of the Field Liaison Table (made up of the Rural Society, Rural Confederations, Agrarian Federation and the cooperative members of Coninagro) and there have already been two technical meetings on this and other issues that concern the rural sector, the last one yesterday Friday.
In addition, Domínguez will receive on Tuesday the holders of the Table, Nicolás Pino (SRA), Jorge Chemes (CRA), Carlos Achetoni (Agrarian Federation) and Elbio Laucirica (Coninagro). Some, like Pino, have already made it known that they do not want to be invited by stone to a new appeasement move and that if they are not summoned to announce a specific measure that ends the export restrictions, they are not willing to go to the meeting. . In fact, several weeks ago the different entities consulted their different regions, and through them their associated producers, the development of a “Fight Plan”. That is precisely what the Government is now seeking to deactivate, in addition to satisfying the request of its own governors and recovering the votes lost in the primaries.
The agricultural front
From the agricultural sector the claim continues to be the total liberation of beef exports, as reiterated today by Pino, the head of the Rural Society, in statements by radio Miter. “We hope that the announcements that the Government is going to make are in line with the total lifting of the measure, which has already been shown to be a decision that did nothing but harm production, industry, and workers in the industry. and the whole country ”.
In the meeting of the Liaison Table with Domínguez, which would take place on Tuesday, meat is the number one issue, but the production representatives still doubt whether the new official will give the steering wheel, since in the final part of the campaign electoral by the PASO, both the president and vice president Cristina Kirchner defended the stocks, arguing that it had stabilized consumer prices in July and August.
The leaders of the Mesa de Enlace and the governor of Córdoba demanded this week the total liberation of beef exports.
“The stocks caused stability. That must be recognized. The exporting cold stores were forced to return to the domestic market, but this is not the way to go to find a solution. In the next few days there will be a shortage of cattle and meat due to the bad decision of the Government, because the producer has stopped feeding it or what is known as the feedlot, which are confinements so that in 120 days we have a finished animal fat, but today they are working at 50%, a consequence of the uncertainty caused by these measures, ”said Pino.
The head of La Rural reiterated his rejection of all kinds of intervention in agricultural markets, as happened with corn last year and now with meat. “The less the markets are touched, the easier it is for supply to normalize and for prices to reach the values they should be. The only thing the government does with its interventions is distort the markets and create problems. You have to let them move on their own. We want the announcement made by the government to be important: the ideal would be to free up exports. And if that measure is not taken, it will be necessary to see if there are measures according to the needs of the producer. Clear and concrete signals are needed about what will be done for the future so that the meeting with the Minister of Agriculture is fruitful and that if this measure is not taken, it remains as if it were for the photo or an empty dialogue ”, he concluded.
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