Uruguay Export of Agriculture has seen a big boost in the last 10 years.
Uruguay “Feeds” about 28 million People around the World
The good management of soils that has been implemented in Uruguayan agriculture and the active action in the path to increase their food exports has been a role model for several countries. A systematic improvement of grain production and the control of use of agro-chemicals in the entire production line has turned Uruguay into an agricultural example.
In only 10 years, Uruguay export increased by four the agricultural, livestock and dairy production that not only feeds 3 million people but it is sold around the world to feed 28 million people.
This is an extraordinary result when compared with other countries in the region and it reflects the changes that have occurred in the different supply chains of the agricultural production process. This involves a dramatic change in the technical process and in the productivity improvements in the different chains.
Besides increasing the production and the export performance the value of exports has largely increased since 2013.
Fight against Agro-Chemicals
The other line of action is the strict control of the use of agro-chemicals, where special emphasis has been put on the product registration. Accurate technological applications are being implemented to prevent possible chemical residues on natural resources such as soil and water. The measures are based on the conservation of agricultural land, farms, streams and rivers management who are responsible for plant protection, monitoring and warning systems.
Monitoring the application of agro-chemicals is one of the great advances Uruguayan agriculture has developed ever since the soybeans plantation increased in the whole Uruguayan territory transforming that into the main agricultural crop and the major source of growth in the last 10 years.
However, the increased strain on natural resources such as water, soil and animals can put the fragile balance in danger. To counteract that pressure, the Ministry of Agriculture of Uruguay has coordinated actions aimed at sustainable intensification of production. In fact out of a total of 1,500,000 hectares target harboring agriculture, 1,416,908 hectares are controlled by the Ministry under severe control measures.
Uruguay’s export volume increased from 3.5 million tons recorded in 2013 to about 3.7 million in 2014. Both the volume harvested and the unrelenting low prices placed soybeans as the key leading crop responsible of the growth Uruguayan agriculture is experiencing. The area has slightly increased over the previous year and performance, despite some diverse situations and is back on track to exceed or at least match the very good results of 2013.
With about a million and a half hectares, soybean not only generates its own dynamism, but is also a factor that boosts livestock through pastures that are seeded after cultivation in areas where the traditional double cropping is not widespread. This is giving way to new winter crops allowing better reinvestment.
60% of Brazil ´s Imported Milk is Uruguayan
Uruguay is even beating Argentina in milk exports to Brazil in 2014. The Uruguayan dairy industry took the place of Argentina as a major exporter to Brazil. Until last year the Brazilian milk imports were 60 percent from Argentina and 40 percent from Uruguay.
This increase is also being monitored, comparable implementations of plans of use and soil management in dairy are in action during 2014 in more than 320 milk producing farms located in the Santa Lucia area in Canelones. The initiative has strong support from industry and producers and without a doubt it is approved by Brazil.
The Best Location for Agriculture
Uruguay is in an exceptional location. Uruguay is the only South American country that lies entirely within a temperate region. The average annual temperature for the country is approximately 17 ° C. The month of March has the highest rainfall in most of the territory with an average of 140 mm, covering part of the departments of Artigas, Rivera, Salto and Tacuarembó and the areas of Maldonado and Canelones reach 160 mm max. Added to these, Uruguay hasn’t experienced a drought since three years, which gives the Uruguayan agriculture a big adventage and helps being a step ahead of other countries.
Mary Ann Thompson