Argentina: Cooperatives Prepare Entry into MERCOSUR (1996)

   This document has been made available in electronic format 
    by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) 
            and the Committee for the Promotion and
              Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC)

                        SD DIMENSIONS 

                       May-August 1996

Argentina cooperatives prepare for entry into MERCOSUR  

FAO is helping Argentine agricultural cooperatives take advantage
of economic opportunities emerging with the country's integration
into the Southern Cone Common Market (MERCOSUR). Argentina joined
the MERCOSUR Free Trade Agreement, along with Brazil, Paraguay
and Uruguay, in 1991.  

Through an FAO project, national and international experts are
advising Argentina's Confederacion Intercooperativa Agropecuaria,
Ltda. (CONINAGRO), the main apex organization serving Argentina's
agricultural cooperatives. They will help prepare investment
projects for reconversion of three CONINAGRO member federations
in low-income areas, and set up a unit within CONINAGRO for the
formulation of similar projects to assist other members.  

FAO says the project will help small farmer co-ops shift from
their "defensive, market protection posture" to a more dynamic,
entrepreneurial approach as the Argentine economy liberalizes.
Once "reconverted", the three cooperatives will be better
equipped to capture market opportunities that otherwise would
fall entirely under the control of large agro-businesses,
including multinational corporations now entering the market.  

Further information is available from: Director, FAO/SDA, Viale
delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy. Fax: +39 6 5225