Page last updated at 03:56 GMT, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 04:56 UK

Argentine farmers extend strike

Tractors block a main highway in Argentina on 19 March as [part of farmers' protests against tax rises
Farmers say the taxes on exports are too high

Argentine farmers have extended their six-day strike by a further week in protest at what they call crippling taxes on their exports.

The decision came after a day of angry protests by farmers across the country.

The farmers refuse to allow the export of grain but have decided to lift their ban on the export of beef.

The Argentine government says the farmers can afford to pay and that it needs the money to fight poverty and control inflation.

Argentina's farm leaders are angry at what they say is government intransigence.

The government accuses the farmers of being greedy and says it will not back down.

It adds that the farmers can afford to pay the export taxes imposed on soya, which fetches high prices on world markets.

The farmers say their protest rallies will continue across Argentina.

The dispute has been dragging on for more than 80 days, says the BBC's Daniel Schweimler in Buenos Aires.

And with each day that passes, ordinary Argentines are becoming increasingly disgruntled at the two sides' failure to find any common ground, our correspondent says.

Prices in the shops are rising. At the same time, Argentina is one of the world's biggest producers of wheat, beef and soya.

Therefore, a prolonged dispute will inevitably have an impact on international food prices which are already causing concern, and hunger, in some countries, our correspondent adds.

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