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August 18 - September 2, 2017

Field School:                                                                                                            Soy production and soybean value chain upgrading in the Argentina

8 MA students from the University of Cologne did field research in Buenos Aires and Rosario from 18thAugust to 2ndSeptember 2017. The empirical focus of the field school was on soy production and soybean value chain upgrading in the Argentina. 

Soy has become an important agro-industrial commodity. With the expansion of the global meat industry, there was also an increase of the demand for cheap animal feed. The soybean as multi-purpose crop can be used for various products: in the first stage of the production: oil, meal or biodiesel. Further chemical products, livestock feed or human nutrition can be gained. Since the revolution of genetically modified (GM), GM seed is taking place in the soybean cultivation and the annual plant is becoming one of the most important agricultural products in Argentina. Besides this fact and the low producing costs, the soy cultivation in Argentina proceeded a strong shift through the last decades. Argentina has become the third largest soybean producer in the world. The cultivation and export of soybeans has become a key determinant in the overall economy of the Latin-American country. Soybean cultivation in Argentina is characterized as an export product until the first further processing step. 

The students conducted semi-structured and structured interviews with more than 50 participants who were varying actors within the Argentinean soy sector which included people from institutional markets, brokerage and financial firms, producers, lobby groups and cooperatives.

Some of the results of the field school were published in October 2017 in a Germany-wide newspaper supplement produced by the GSSC, availabe here.