Round Table for Responsible Soy Association: Breaking Ground for Responsible Soy An institutional response to agricultural expansion and intensification in Argentina
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This thesis covers the historical development of intensification and expansion of soy production in Argentina. The availability of rich agricultural lands and the apparent abundance of natural resource endowments in Argentina provided for seemingly unlimited opportunities in agricultural development. Technological advancement and advantages of scale stimulated a practice of monoculture production, primarily carried out by agri-businesses. Negative side effects accompany these agricultural practices and have an impact on society, economy as well as environment. The existing tension between the earnings of soy production and the – indirect – costs for the surrounding environment, make for an interesting subject of research. Three research questions are posed in order to shed light on the history and present reality of the situation in Argentina. First, which factors contributed to the expansion and intensification of soy production in Argentina? Second, what are the consequences of the expansion and intensification of soy production for society, environment and economy? And third, does consensus on Good Agricultural Practice, complemented with the implementation of a certification mechanism as initiated by the RTRS, contribute to a sustainable practice in soy production?