The soybean will in a few years become one of the most important food commodities on earth. No other fruit is produced with comparable technological effort, and nowhere is the economic, political, environmental and social consequences of the boom are as dramatic as in Argentina.
A country known for its meat is now becoming a monotonous landscape of green fields turning Argentina the third biggest producer of this bean after the US and Brazil.
22 million hectares of land were planted this year (2015) in Argentina with soy; meanwhile, large areas with forestland are being converted into fields to produce more of it, destroying the habitats for local species and indigenous people.
At the same time, 26,000,000 litres of pesticides are sprayed in Argentina and as result contamination of groundwater, unseen floods and the rise of cancer cases in the core areas of soybean cultivation reaching three times high the national average.
It all seems a high price to pay for, especially when the country almost doesn’t consume the grain.