There are great opportunities for Dutch agribusiness in South America, especially in the area of making agriculture more sustainable. That says Inge Horstmeier, the recently appointed Dutch Agriculture Council at the embassy in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay also belong to her working area.
Many Dutch companies are already active in these countries. In this way, Dutch knowledge can also be used in the field of climate-adaptive agriculture. “The relationship between water and agriculture is important here. Dutch companies and knowledge institutions are specialists in the field of water management. In South America they can provide solutions for dealing with drought or flooding,” Horstmeier said in an interview with Agrobuitenlandbedrijven.nl.
In agriculture in Argentina, the emphasis is on the major commercial crops that are largely exported, such as soy. “The soybean growers are mainly focused on efficient production, while the Netherlands and other EU countries are setting increasingly higher demands on the use of inputs. Dutch companies and knowledge institutions can contribute to making cultivation more sustainable.”
The current Argentine government is pursuing a protectionist policy. Import and export are subject to strict rules. That does not make it easy for Dutch companies that want to become active there. Elections will be held in November. The outcome determines the course of their international trade.
Circular agriculture is higher on the agenda in Chile than in Argentina, says the Dutch agricultural council. “The direction the Chilean government is taking is comparable to the Dutch direction. Making production more sustainable is central in Chile and the agricultural sector is taking concrete steps in that direction. The challenges are comparable to those in our country, Horstmeier says.