U.S. soybean farmers are partnering with Argentine soybean farmers to promote global demand for soybeans in India.

U.S. soybean farmer-leaders recently met with Argentine farmers to discuss how they could work together to increase market potential and improve soybean farmer profitability by removing trade barriers and improving market access.

The farmer-leaders signed a Global Grower Development Agreement between the United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and the Argentinean Soybean Chain Association (ACSOJA).

Farmer-leaders from the United Soybean Board (USB) and American Soybean Association (ASA) were on hand to endorse the agreement. The agreement will focus on removing barriers to trade with India, and the two countries will work on reverse marketing in India, allowing that country to consume more of its own soybeans and soybean meal.

A similar agreement was signed by U.S. farmer-leaders with Paraguayan farmers in June.

“The recent agreements with Paraguay and Argentina show that U.S. soybean farmers are willing to work with our competitors to increase the use of soy in markets like India,” says Neal Bredehoeft, USSEC chairman and a soybean farmer from Alma, Mo. “These agreements mark new territory for farmer-to-farmer discussion between U.S. farmers and our competitors.”

India's population is rising rapidly, and it is expected to surpass China, with a population of 1.5 billion people, by 2040.

Currently, India produces a large amount of soybeans, but the reverse marketing efforts could not only remove Indian soybeans from the export market, but also create new Indian consumers of soy. At one time, China was an exporter of soy, but today it is the largest importer of soy, thanks in part to checkoff-sponsored reverse marketing efforts.

The agreement with Argentina states that ACSOJA and USSEC agree to expand cooperation in the area of market development. The countries will focus on building mutual benefit in marketing, technical assistance and other areas for the global growth of the soy industry.

The agreement will broadly promote the development and use of soybeans as a valuable commodity that advances the interests of its producers, processors and users through product and market development support.

Further, the organizations agree to cooperate on resolution of soy trade barriers and restrictions.

“Growing future demand for soybeans is going to help all soybean-producing countries, not just the United States,” says Mark Pietz, USSEC Vice Chair and a soybean farmer from Lakefield, Minn. “The Argentineans understand that it is time for North and South America to begin identifying ways to share the cost of building demand for soy products.”

The activities of the U.S. Soybean Export Council to expand international markets for U.S. soybeans and soy products are made possible by producer checkoff dollars invested by the United Soybean Board and various State Soybean Councils, support from cooperating industry, and through the American Soybean Association's investment of cost-share funding provided by USDA's Foreign Agriculture Service.