- [19/11/2013] [11:27]
"South America is undoubtedly a leading global food supplier. Its share in world production has grown steadily and practically for all commodities over the last decade", the Canadian Director of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce for the OECD emphasized.
The official, who will open the presentations of the 1st South American Forum of Agriculture, based his statement on hard statistics facts. Thus, he remarked that the region currently produces more than 20 percent of global beef, poultry and whole milk powder, over 30 percent of oilseeds and ethanol and just over 50 percent of sugarcane. During an exclusive interview, Mr. Ash added that "The South American performance is even more impressive when we see that its share of the 2013 global exports: over 20 percent in coarse grains, over 30 percent in beef and poultry, 50 percent in oil seeds, and over 60 percent in protein-rich foods. These numbers are quite remarkable", he stressed.
As for the future increase in global agricultural production in the context of economic growth in emerging countries, this added to the increase of global population, Mr. Ash indicated that the income increase experienced by the inhabitants of these countries is what guarantees a greater demand for food, fodder and fuel. Though, the official consdered that "a parallel or simultaneous growth in production is not guaranteed, but it is certainly expected as farmers respond to higher prices."
Mr. Ash also explained that for South America "we expect an impressive growth in both production and exports as for 2023 we estimate that the region will have a global share in both agricultural production and exports that will exceed the high levels of 2013."
Agriculture: development and debate
Mr. Ash was asked about the role of agriculture in economic and social development of poor countries. In this regard he answered that "agriculture is important in all countries, but particularly in the less developed ones." He also pointed that "In some nations, agriculture provides employment to more than 50 percent of the workforce and contributes with more than 25 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Plus, its relevance is even higher in rural and remote communities far from the consumption centers."
Likewise, he noted that even future growth and development of many countries can be expected to come as a result of their agricultural industry, it can also come from other sectors as public policies must be directed to further develop the agricultural sector but also other sectors of the economy where higher remunerative opportunities can also be created.
Regardless of the agriculture's role in the global economy, Mr. Ash remembered an extra dimension that farming has in all countries, "Farmers are oftenly the custodians of the available land, water and biodiversity, something that is receiving increasing recognition by many governments."
Finally, in terms of expectations that open discussions and debates such as those expected to take place this week at the 1st South American Forum of Agriculture, in the city of Foz de Iguacu, Mr. Ash explained that "countries and farm families have much more in common than what people might think. All debates that promote the exchange of points of view across the spectrum of interests, that allow the sharing of experiences and "mutual learning", play a key part in building collaboration across borders and creating a more cohesive international community that can pursue common interests more effectively.
"There are no risks in talking and listening, there are only benefits", Mr. Ash concluded.
In order to get a press-pass or registration please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with full name, media company, address and contact number. Passes can be picked at the very same event.
About the Forum
Although South America - especially the CAS member countries - is one of the biggest producers and suppliers of food and energy, the bloc has still not reached a significant role in the sector when it comes down to the definition of global agriculture and trade policies that govern international agribusiness. The forum’s intention is to open discussions and serve as a stage for the region to position itself not only as a producer of commodities and other agriculture and livestock products, but as a creator of value, with a clear strategy and guidance towards global supplying.
1° South American Agriculture Forum – CAS 2013Place: Hotel Bourbon Cataratas Convention & SPA ResortDate: November 21 and 22For further information please visit: www.agrooutlook.com