Agriculture and Livestock

With its different soils and climatic conditions, Argentina was able to diversify its agricultural production in intensive crops, adapted to the characteristics of each region. The main goal has been that of cereals. Great rotation is made, in the Pampas, of wheat and corn with flax and alfalfa. Rye, barley, oats and, in Mesopotamia, rice are also cultivated.

In the provinces of San Juan and Mendoza, whose valleys were contemplated with significant irrigation works, a variety of fruit growing has developed, including vineyards, olive groves and several citrus species, such as lemon, orange and grapefruit (grapefruit). The best wine producers are concentrated in these lands, which export it to many countries. Other provinces where fruit is planted are Catamarca, La Rioja and Río Negro.

In Misiones, the plantations are made of tea and yerba mate, with high internal consumption. Sugarcane, which is essential in the food industry, is grown mainly in Tucumán and, to a lesser extent, in the provinces of Salta, Jujuy and Chaco. In the latter, other crops of remarkable industrial value, such as oilseeds (soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers and flaxseeds) and textile fibers, especially linen and cotton, also become important, and tobacco, also planted in Salta and Misiones.

For a long time cattle ranching was the greatest, if not the only, wealth of Argentines. In the 17th century it was a subsistence creation and leather was only commercialized. When it was invented and began to use the technique of beef jerky, in the middle of the 18th century, the country started to export meat. At the end of the 19th century, the selection of bovine species, the use of large slaughterhouses and the rail link between breeding centers and the ports of Buenos Aires, Rosario and Bahía Blanca made it possible to export beef in large quantities, including to the States United States and United Kingdom.

According to, the domestic market was important from the beginning, as meat is traditionally one of the main components of Argentine food.

Although it has forests that support, without ecological aggression, a balanced and potentially profitable exploitation, Argentina has not yet developed silviculture, largely due to the distance of the raw material sources in relation to the large centers. In the province of Misiones, pine, cedar and rosewood have been used in the manufacture of cellulose. In Santiago del Estero, hard wood and tannin are extracted from the quebracho. In the mountains of Patagonia, pine and larch are increasingly used economically.

Fishing activity, with enormous potential on the Patagonian coasts, is hampered by the lack of labor and ports in this region. The eating habits of the majority of the population almost completely exclude the consumption of fish.

Argentine Agriculture and Livestock

Transport and communications

Urban hypertrophy and the enormous centralization of the Buenos Aires metropolis had a decisive influence on the original layout of the Argentine road system, one of the most extensive in Latin America. Due to agricultural development in the Pampas and Chaco, these regions had the privilege of excellent communication with the federal capital, to the detriment of many parts of the south or the Andes, which remained isolated.

Railways began to be implemented in the country in the middle of the 19th century, with foreign capital and technique, especially English and French. From 1947, the state became responsible for the ownership and conservation of the entire network that arrived in the 1990s, at 35,000 km, more than in any other Latin American country, with emphasis on the railway that connected Buenos Aires to Valparaíso, Chile, across the Andes.

From the second half of the twentieth century, with automobile production, highways increased in quantity and volume of traffic, although the rail network continued to be used for approximately half of cargo transport. First-class highways run from Buenos Aires to Rosario, Córdoba, Tucumán, Bahía Blanca and Neuquén. Argentina is also connected to neighboring countries and the rest of the continent via the Pan American highway.

Argentina has its most important international and coastal port in Buenos Aires – by sea and by rivers – followed by La Plata and Bahía Blanca. River navigation extends over three thousand kilometers from the sea, along the Paraná, Paraguay, Uruguay and Negro rivers, with their respective main ports being Rosario, Santa Fe, Concepción, Formosa and Neuquén.

Air transport, of increasing importance, is in charge of several national (especially Aerolíneas Argentinas) and foreign companies. The main international airports are Ezeiza, forty kilometers from Buenos Aires, and Aeroparque, in the center of the capital.

Argentina has one of the most extensive telephone networks in Latin America, most of which is located in Buenos Aires. The Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicações performs the international communication services by satellite and is responsible for the renewal of the telegraph and radiotelegraph networks.


Argentine Business and Economy Part II
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