BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's government has said it would take steps to ensure mills and exporters paid fixed local wheat prices to farmers and punish those that did not, as it braces for a growers strike over export quotas. Farmers in Argentina, a leading grains exporter, will halt sales of corn, wheat and soybeans to protest a system of export quotas they say drive down prices, reviving a conflict that helped lift global prices to record highs in 2008. "To guarantee that mills and exporters pay the right price to growers, I and my team at the ministry will personally check in the wheat-producing municipalities of Buenos Aires province," Agriculture Minister Julian Dominguez said on a govt website. Officials will also monitor prices in the agricultural provinces of Cordoba, Entre Rios, Santa Fe and La Pampa, he added. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Oscar Solis told newspaper La Nacion's Saturday edition any irregularities in payments by mills would be punished with the temporary suspension of govt subsidies. Exporters could be asked to repay the difference if any discrepancies were found, Solis said, adding that other types of sanctions were possible. Argentine farmers say the current system of export quotas for wheat and corn, which aims to safeguard domestic stocks and fight inflation, creates an over-supply that lets exporters and millers pay low prices. The government fixes a price for wheat using a formula that is the international price less export taxes and some costs. Farmers argue that the system rewards millers and exporters at their expense. They want the government to scrap the quotas, but some farmers fear President Cristina Fernandez could step up intervention in grains and livestock markets nine months from a presidential vote and with annual inflation running at an estimated rate of 25 percent. The government pledged on Wednesday to free up another 3 million metric tons of wheat for shipment, but the announcement failed to appease farm leaders who had threatened to resume protests for months. Farmers are also angry over the involvement of Fernandez's price watchdog, Domestic Commerce Secretary Guillermo Moreno, in agricultural markets, and sluggish payment of promised tax rebates. The 2008 farmer protests hurt Fernandez's popularity, hit agricultural sales abroad and battered Argentine bond prices. But industry analysts say next week's commercial strike is unlikely to disrupt the country's multibillion-dollar exports. Corn and soy harvesting has not started and trade volume has been light in recent weeks at the country's main grains market in Rosario.