The deal was signed by New Zealand Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Argentina’s Secretary of Agriculture Ricardo Negri, who was on a state visit to New Zealand.
“New Zealand and Argentina have a close relationship, particularly in agricultural sciences,” Guy said in a release.
“This new Arrangement creates a framework for greater cooperation between our two countries in the agricultural, livestock and agro-industrial sectors, including opportunities for technical exchanges, joint research, innovation and value addition.
“Two-way trade between Argentina and New Zealand is growing, particularly in primary sectors. The Arrangement will support strengthened economic relations between both countries with agriculture at the centre of this.”
While the announcement focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture – more an issue for the countries’ dairy and livestock sectors – there are clearly opportunities in horticulture as well.
“New Zealand and Argentinean farmers have also worked together through an annual farmers study tour, organised by the Global Research Alliance and the World Farmers Organisation.” Guy said.
“Our countries are mindful that for research and development to be effective it will need to be readily picked up by farmers.
“Under the agreement there are also opportunities for us to collaborate on the development of new biosecurity tools to tackle pests and diseases of concern to both countries.”
News site Stuff.co.nz reported Negri as saying Argentina wanted to increase New Zealand’s capability to be a logistical hub for high-value fresh produce from South America.
The site also reported Guy as saying while there were no free trade negotiations in place between the two countries, this arrangement could be a start for discussions.
For the most part New Zealand and Argentina deal in different horticultural products, however there is some overlap in citrus (although New Zealand mostly focuses on Meyer lemon exports) and pome fruit, with New Zealand’s strength in apples and Argentina’s in pears.