With 242 votes in favor and one abstention, the Chamber of Deputies signed into law the bill that establishes a one-year extension of the economic, productive, financial, and social emergency for the citrus sector.
The extension of Law 27.507, sanctioned in May 2019, extends a series of benefits for the sector in the provinces of Entre Rios, Corrientes, Misiones, Jujuy, and Salta; and it incorporates the provinces of Buenos Aires, Tucuman, and Catamarca.
During the debate, the president of the Agriculture and Livestock Commission, Jose Ruiz Aragon, said that the goal of extending this emergency was to mitigate the crisis that the productive system was facing.
"The sector's crisis started several years ago, has lasted through different governments, and increasingly broadens the gap between producers. In the northwest of the province, production is divided by family economic units and that is who we must protect the most nowadays," stated Gabriela Lena, a representative from the province of Entre Rios.
Beatriz Avila and Luis Contigiani, of different political coalitions, also supported the project but warned about the need to move from emergency declarations to promoting substantive policies.
"Citrus farming is the main activity in the province of Entre Ríos, generating exports of around 340 million dollars a year and employing 100,000 people from direct way," stated Mayda Cresto, one of the promoters of the original project.
"Citrus exports also have a high incidence in related activities, such as transportation, insurance, supplies, and professional services, among others," she added.
According to data from the Entre Rios Citrus Federation (FECIER), 60% of producers have problems. 10% were unable to harvest or produce and almost 50% did so partially, due to a lack of production and sales.
In addition, according to the report, 82% of small and medium producers had difficulties to buy raw materials or inputs because of different issues, such as delays in delivery.