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New law may increase Argentine soybean production.

Argentina aims to improve its soybean and corn output by adopting a law securing the rights of seed companies to protect their genetic modification (GM) technology, according to Lorenzo Basso, Argentina's agriculture minister.

The government plans to send a bill to Congress later this year to stop big plantations from using seeds from GM plants without paying royalties to the companies that designed them, Basso said.

Seed companies say Argentina, the world's third-biggest soybean and corn exporter, risks falling behind competitors such as Brazil because the country's regulatory framework discourages companies from introducing advanced new seeds. "The bill is being written with Argentine seed companies in mind," Basso said.

The majority of Argentina's grains production comes from large-scale plantations. But Basso said most Argentine farming families, which operate small to medium-sized farms, will not have to pay royalties under the proposed law.

"From 65 to 70 percent of growers in Argentina will not have to pay any royalties," Basso said, adding that he expects the bill to be send to Congress after October legislative elections.

Argentina is expected to produce 51 million tonnes (1.87 billion bushels) of soybeans in the current 2012-13 season and 54.5 million tonnes (2 billion bushels) in the following crop year, according to USDA. It forecasts Argentina's 2012-13 corn output at 26.5 million tonnes (1.04 billion bushels) and 27 million tonnes (1.06 billion bushels) in 2013-14.
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Comment:New law may increase Argentine soybean production.
Publication:The Food & Fiber Letter
Geographic Code:3ARGE
Date:May 27, 2013
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