The soya value chain in Paraguayan agriculture
The soya value chain can be divided into five phases (see above ). Of these, only two (in green in the graphic) are carried out in Paraguay agriculture. According to a national analyst, ‘soya production in Paraguay is practically like an assembly plant: the inputs come from abroad, the and and water are provided here and often the same company that supplies the inputs is the exporter. They supply the inputs through credit to the producer, and commit to purchase the production. The producer is just one more link in the process chain.’
Transnational companies dominate the supply chain and determine what and how to produce. The agroindustry transnationals that operate in Paraguay are ADM, Basf, Bayer, Bunge, Conti Group, Dow Agrosciences, Louis Dreyfus, Nestlé, Noble, Parmalat, and Unilever. In 2008 Cargill exported USD 1,268 billion worth of soy, followed by ADM with USD 487 million and Bunge with USD 261 million.
Some of the companies that supply inputs are also exporters, and they ensure their share of the market through contracts and by offering financing. Cargill, ADM, Bunge, Noble, Louis Dreyfus and the Grupo Favero (in order of importance, according to the 2012 ranking of exporters) concentrate 80 percent of the exports of soy and its byproducts, 87 with access to their own infrastructure for transportation that includes silos, fleets
of vessels and ports across the country.
Until very recently, international companies were only involved in supplying inputs, storage and marketing, but did not participate directly in agricultural production. However, more recently, they have become involved in acquiring land through subsidiary companies. This reveals a change in orientation that is likely to be in response to the growing value of land as a productive asset and the goal of obtaining greater vertical integration in the production chain.
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