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Cuba Agriculture

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Cuba Agriculture

Cuba sustainable agriculture is now a reality in Latin America. On the verge of famine in the fifteen years ago, the agricultural system has changed to become self reliant. Labour and capital intensive monoculture prevailed under revolutionary Cuba. Sugar cane plantation coffee and tobacco were planted on a large scale but failed to feed the hungry population.


Isolated by the trade embargo of the United States, the Cuban government imported more than 80% of their imports from the USSR. Its fertilizers, heavy machinery, fuel and petroleum products came from the communist country. But as from 1989, with the collapse of the eastern block, the Cubans had to change their agricultural policy; they could no longer afford to buy machinery, fertilizers and other food commodities through lack of funds. In the mean time, the extensive use of fertilizers, heavy machinery and poor irrigation techniques had damaged the soil composition making it poor and provoking soil erosion.


In this moment of crisis, the state of Cuba put in practice its ecological plan which had been studying since the dawn on the revolution in 1959by an armada of Cuban biologist and gardeners. In this ‘Special Period’ the state had to find a rapid solution to remedy the situation and prevent starvation of its population. Out of emergency and necessity the eco-agricultural policy was set first on a trial basis then spread to whole Cuba. Training was given to the peasants where they were taught for example how to produce green manure as well as worm composting. Once they mastered the technique they were encouraged to diffuse the information to other members of their communities.


The landscape changed. Cattle returned back to the fields and instead of seeing heavy machinery, traditional ways of preparing the land and planting resurfaced agricultural Cuba. Big state farms were parceled and redistributed to peasants. An urban agriculture was developed too thus discouraging migration from rural to urban areas. Crop rotation, green manure, biological pest control, organic semi-organic manure and polyculture soil conservation, organic soil amendments introduced to enrich the soil and maximize yield.

 

The ecological agriculture remains now to be vulgarized to the whole world now so as to eradicate famine on the planet.  Today in Cuba organic banana and vegetable are available and are exported to other countries. From a large extensive capital, the agriculture in Cuba has changed to become low capital, ecological and self reliant with every Cuban family having a garden and incorporated in the marketing of their products.

 



 

 

 

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