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SA, Argentina agree to farm together

Written by Nthambeleni Gabara

International relations

South Africa has signed an agriculture agreement with Argentina, extending the country's programme of opening up markets with non-traditional trading partners.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson signed a statement of intent with her Argentinian counterpart, Norberto Yauhar, in Pretoria recently to strengthen agricultural development and cooperation between the two countries at technical, operational and policy levels.

Speaking through a translator, Yauhar said the agreement would enhance South-South cooperation, particularly in improving agricultural production efficiencies, sharing technologies, and facilitating trade in agricultural products.

Yauhar invited Joemat-Pettersson to visit Argentina to study the country's agricultural models first-hand. The second-largest country in both South America and Latin America, Argentina shares South Africa's interest in developing small-scale farmers and in promoting "no till" technologies and bio-safety.

Minister Joemat-Pettersson expressed South Africa's appreciation for Argentina's assistance in preparing for the Food and Agriculture Organisation's 14th World Forestry Congress, to be hosted in Durban in 2015.

Argentina has participated in a number of events in South Africa, showcasing agricultural capital goods produced by medium-sized companies.

Argentinian products have been exhibited at South Africa's Nampo Harvest Day every year since 2008, and there has been extensive collaboration in the experimental field of "no till" technologies since 2007.