Argentina borders Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil and Uruguay to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the south of the Río de la Plata, and Chile to the west in the Andes.
It extends in a north-south direction over around 3 700 km, the maximum distance from the ridge of the Andes to the coast of the Atlantic is 1 577 km.
The historical and economic core area is the fertile lowlands of the pampas on the lower Paraná and the Río de la Plata, a wide, geologically young alluvial plain with wide grasslands, which gradually to the north into the subtropical dry forest and bush savannahs of the Gran Chaco and to the west into the Monte region, a xerophytic bush forest with interspersed grassy areas.
In the lowlands between the swampy floodplains of Paraná and Uruguay (“Zwischenstromland”), wooded foothills of the Brazilian mountains reach in the northeast (mountainous region of Misiones ). To the south of the Río Colorado, the pampas are joined by the barren steppe-covered plains and plains of Patagonia, which rises to 1,500 m above sea level and slopes down to the sea with its rocky cliffs rich in bays.
In the west Argentina reaches up to the height of the Andes ( Aconcagua 6,962 m above sea level); more than 50 volcanoes rise here on Argentine territory alone.
In the southern Cordillera the volcanoes Lanín (3 747 m above sea level) and Tronador (3 460 m above sea level) form the highest peaks; here Argentina also has a share in the Patagonian continental ice (south 46 ° south latitude). In front of the Andes, the Sierren pampines are isolated mountain ranges. Between the chains of the Andes there are desert-like high mountain basins ( Puna ) in the north. The most important river system is that of the Paraná (with Río de la Plata as a common confluence with Uruguay in the Atlantic). The rivers coming from the Andes are hardly navigable because of their very fluctuating water flow; some end in salt lakes of the dry inland; most of them are used for irrigation and energy generation at the foot of the Andes.
Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock and Fishing
As far as production activities are concerned, the primary sector still plays an important role in the Argentine economy, favored by the extension and fertility of the soil, as well as by the adoption of modern cultivation techniques. However, as a result of the large gaps in productivity in the various regions and following a decline in the sector, it contributes less than 10% to the formation of GDP and employs just 1.3% of the workforce. Only a tenth of the territory is dedicated to arable land; the most fertile provinces are those of the Pampeana region, of Tucumán, while little or not at all suitable for cultivation are the north-central area of the Andes and Patagonia. The agricultural support policy has led to a extension and diversification of crops and fruit and oil production have increased; thanks to the scarcity of the population, moreover, about half of the cereal production is dedicated to export. Soybeans (of which the country is the third largest producer worldwide, with 38 million tonnes produced in 2005, in part GMOs) is Argentina’s main crop, and its production continues to grow. Wheat prevails among the cereals (particularly widespread in the province of Buenos Aires), followed by maize (in Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba), sorghum and barley. Flax and sunflower are grown in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Entre Ríos, Santa Fe, Córdoba; cotton in the Gran Chaco; tobacco and tea in the provinces of Corrientes, Misiones, Salta, Jujuy; sugar cane in the province of Tucumán; fruit (apples, peaches and pears) in the provinces of Mendoza, San Juan, Río Negro, La Rioja; viticulture is a sector in full development (Argentina was, in 2007, the fifth largest wine producer in the world) and has aroused the interest of foreign investors. §Important is also the forest heritage, rosewood, jaracanda and quebracho. § Breeding, although down compared to the 1980s, continues to represent a fundamental activity in the primary sector, practiced extensively mainly in the Pampas (cattle, horses) and Patagonia (sheep, goats): As a country of South America defined by naturegnosis, com, Argentina is one of the world’s largest producers of meat, milk, butter, cheese and wool (for the latter, in particular, it ranks fifth in the world among producing countries). However, despite improved health controls, the Argentine cattle herd in 2001 was hit by an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease and this has led to the stoppage of imports by many countries (including the United States and Japan), with serious economic repercussions for Argentine farmers. Exports improved when the country was declared free from foot and mouth disease by vaccination. The sheep herd is constantly decreasing: since 1900, the country has gone from about 66 million head to less than 13 million in 2005. § Despite the richness of the waters, fishing has not had particular development due to the lack of good ports. along the Patagonian coast and an adequately equipped fishing fleet; only at the end of the twentieth century the production of fish increased, thanks to the improvement of the infrastructures.