Buenos Aires, May 10th. Argentine farming is crossed by a low-intensity conflict. In one corner the environmentalists are claiming for the banning of glyphosate and other agrochemicals, and to establish restriction for the use of sprayers. In the opposite corner, farmers claim for the right to produce foods.
Senator Alfredo De Angeli comes from one of the most conflictive provinces, Entre Ríos. He, a leader from the Federación Agraria Argentina (FAA) which represents small and medium scale farmers, is in the middle of the storm.
Last year, the Deliberative Council of Gualeguaychu city approved an order banning the use and commercialization of glyphosate in the urban area. But the problem is that, formally, the “urban area” implies 33,000 hectares, of which the town occupies just 300 hectares. The remaining 32,700 hectares are used for crops and livestock production.
“It is an illogical order because production, commercialization, and use of glyphosate is authorized by the National Service for Agrifood Health and Quality (Senasa), which is the national authority to rule about the safety of the agrochemicals”, De Angeli says in dialogue with eFarmNewsAr.com.
“Clearly it is not a banning based on scientific or academic proves, but on an ideological pose”, De Angeli says. He thinks that environmental NGO response to left-wing parties that are fighting the farming or rural sector, based on an ideological animosity.
The local farmers union (FAA, Rural Society, Rural Confederation, and Ag-Cooperative Confederation), alongside farmers harmed by the banning are litigating against Gualeguaychú Authority, claiming for the lifting of the banning.
“It is incredible but it was very difficult for us to get the representation of attorneys in the City, and in fact, we should have appealed to lawyers from another city”, the Senator explains. It happens that as the environmental fight is seen as “politically correct”, nobody wants to stay on the other side.
But the Gualeguaychú affair it’s not the only problem for farmers in Entre Ríos province. The local Court accepted the claim of two environmental NGO and ruled that farmers can not apply agrochemicals 1,000 meters from a rural school, by terrestrial means, and 3,000 meters by aerial means. This is known as “exclusion zone”, and implies that 300,000 farm hectares turn unproductive.
“I invite the environmental leaders to debate, but a debate based on a scientific and academic basis. We can’t accept that the freedom to farming is cut on an ideological basis”, Senator De Angeli affirms.