Four Argentine farm associations said their members will suspend grain and livestock trading for five days to protest government agriculture policies.
Farmers will halt sales nationwide from June 15 through June 19 to protest government policies, including tax increases on grain and oilseed exports and currency-exchange restrictions, Ruben Ferrero, president of the Confederation Rural Argentina, said today at a press conference in Buenos Aires.
“We’re tired of the current situation, which is getting worse,” Ferrero said. “The government is indifferent to the agriculture agenda.”
The strike deepens the dispute between farmers and President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government in a midterm-election year. Four months of farm strikes in 2008 produced food shortages throughout Argentina after Fernandez tried to raise export taxes on corn and soybeans. Dairy products won’t be included in the strike that starts this weekend.
“We want immediate solutions from the president,” Julio Curras, vice president of the Agrarian Federation, said at the same press conference. “This is the first step and we don’t rule out future strikes.”
Argentina is the world’s second-largest corn exporter behind the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The country is also the world’s third-largest soybean grower after the U.S. and Brazil.
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