Argentine soybean production: the outlier in a weak innovative environment
Corso, Eduardo Ariel
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During the last decade, Argentine soybean production showed a high rate of innovation, as farmers adopted state of the art technologies associated with biotechnology without important lags regarding their international launch. This sector’s high speed of assimilation of global innovations contrasted notoriously with the pattern observed for the rest of tradable activities. Therefore, the main purpose of this paper is to identify the factors that impelled soybean’s development and draw lessons for the rest of the local economy. On this matter, this paper states that soybean production has been able to surpass usual domestic innovative restrictions due to its organization in network systems, that imply coordination between such diverse actors as farmers, suppliers, clients, investors, workers, technicians and science and technology institutions. Besides, this paper examines microeconomic positive consequences of local introduction of GMOs (on yields, production and exports) and, also, its crucial role for recent Argentine macroeconomic sustainability (fiscal and commercial surpluses). Finally, this paper reviews the topics in which this innovative process has failed (lower incidence of national suppliers of inputs, machines and knowledge and scarce advances in value added creation). To achieve all mentioned purposes, different sources of information will be utilized and processed, such as National Innovation Surveys and local and international databases.