By / July 28, 2021

Will Argentina’s Economic Recovery be Powered by Hemp and Medicinal Cannabis?

Argentina’s Minister of Productive Development, Matías Kulfas, highlighted the “change of model that shows growth in industry” and underlined the prospects for expansion that currently exist in items such as automotive, cannabis for medicinal use, hemp for manufacturing use and green sectors, among others. “Today, 12 out of 16 industrial sectors are experiencing a level of activity above 2019, and compared with the pre-pandemic economy, in the first five months of the year there has been a growth of 3.1%,” highlighted Kulfas in optimistic declarations to radio Am 980.

Where Exactly is Argentina’s Economic Recovery Surging?

After pointing out that “there have been 11 consecutive months of job creation” in the manufacturing sector, Minister Kulfas elaborated on the fact that “one of the central axes to have recovered is production and national work.”

Regarding the automotive sector, he said: “When we started the Government, out of 100 cars, only 28 were national and 72 were imported; today that is almost half and half: we managed to get many cars that had many imported components to be manufactured in Argentina again and that means more jobs.”

Kulfas said that the goal is to “develop national suppliers in a competitive way, incorporating technology with quality.” A project which extends to new industries as well, including cannabis and hemp, or the race for electric vehicles.

Cannabis and Hemp are not Argentina’s Only Objective for Development

In addition, he encouraged the hopes of the “new green sectors”, since “what is coming in the cities is a replacement of mobility that replaces polluting elements with electric mobility”, so that cars and passenger vehicles, which today run on fossil fuel, will run on hydrogen or lithium batteries.

“Argentina has an opportunity to play: if we produce batteries and electric vehicles in the country it means more employment, greater national production, a better inflows of dollars and better work conditions and quality of life in the cities. It is also compatible with the environmental change that the world is demanding today”, stressed the official. On the other hand, he highlighted that “a new industry (that of medical cannabis), which has very few years of development, is going to make a very strong leap in this decade and in the next one”.

Minister Promotes Argentina’s Fledgling Cannabis and Sectors

Argentina “has all the opportunities to be an important regional and world player, based on our agricultural sector with good production capacities.” Building upon it are the scientific and technological systems required to take advantage of it, a network that researches cannabis and hemp with promising results, and an industrial and technological sector to create a quality product.

The Minister said that the activity “can be developed with a very important network of SMEs, cooperatives, large, medium-sized and public national companies, such as those in Jujuy, Chubut and La Rioja, which have been working for a long time on research and development”. The country can develop the production and “if we bet on the highest quality we will have a product that will be highly valued at international level”, Kulfas confided, after specifying that the ton of cannabis is around “between US$ 200 and US$ 6,000” at the international level.

Hemp Plantations for 21st Century Cannabis in Argentina

“We want an industry that is born as an Argentine brand; it is an industry that between inputs and final products has more than 200 varieties, so there is a huge space for cooperative SMEs,” he said.

The Minister said that “a few days ago I was talking to an Argentinean who went to live in Israel, because he is an expert in cannabis and is working on genetics at the University of Israel”, who told him that “he was very enthusiastic” and that “he wanted to come back to Argentina to develop his knowledge here”.

“He told us that it is a sector that requires dedication, a strong work in what has to do with genetics. On that variety and quality of the product depends then its international price and clearly we have to aim at that differentiation,” Kulfas continued.

As for hemp, he noted that “it is a plant that has been neglected for decades” and that it can be used “as a bioplastic, as an input for textiles, to remediate contaminated soils, so it is a gigantic opportunity”.


(Featured image by Esteban Lopez via Unsplash)

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