Growing a New Soy Industry in Uruguay
Following an agricultural revolution in Uruguay, Cargill connects with local soy farmers to lend expertise and help them thrive.
January 01, 2015
Back in the 1990s, Uruguay was mainly focused on beef processing. In an effort to broaden its agricultural production, the country began to pursue a versatile crop—soy—and rapidly increased the country’s soy farmlands from 9,000 hectares to the 1.5 million that exist today. It all began when Argentinian farmers started crossing the river into Uruguay to establish farms, bringing with them modern planting techniques and harvesting tools. Sitting just south of Brazil, Uruguay’s mild climate and proximity to the South Atlantic made it a good location for soy production and export.
Leveraging its connections with the Argentinean agricultural community in 2004, Cargill made contacts with farmers who had become participants in the soy boom. The company’s goal was to learn from its Argentinean contacts and use that knowledge to connect directly with farmers in Uruguay, providing them with education and training to help grow their soy production businesses. In Dolores, a city in western Uruguay, Cargill set up an office in an old townhouse. Every day, farmers came in to meet with Cargill employees, seeking information and resources. These employees offer advice on field conditions, harvesting techniques and crop pricing, and distribute seed inputs, fertilizers and other agrichemicals.
“Cargill has provided various production and logistics processes, which benefit our farmer customers and the Uruguayan economy.”
— Jorge Vranjes, Agricultural Supply Chain Operations Lead, Cargill Uruguay
With Cargill’s help, Uruguayan farmers are finding opportunities for business like never before. With nine Cargill offices now operating across the country, the company is the largest agricultural exporter in Uruguay. As Uruguay’s soy industry grows, Cargill continues to empower farmers with increasingly modern production methods for soy as well as for other crops such as wheat and corn.