Cuban Farmers Doing More with Less 
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 Cuban Farmers Doing More with Less
Cuban Farmers Doing More with Less

20 July
from <>

A new report by Oxfam America states that despite the U.S. embargo of the
island, Cuba has successfully turned a severe">food crisis into a sustained
recovery in">food production.

"More developing countries should pay attention to Cuban agriculture,"
states Minor Sinclair, one of the authors of Going Against the Grain:
Agricultural Crisis and Transformation in Cuba. "Cuba is seen as the
anti-model right now, but many of its agricultural policies may well be the
wave of the future for developing countries."

The report finds that by decentralizing agricultural production, initiating
ecological practices and opening farmers markets, Cuba has been able to turn
around the severe crisis of the1990s. While the World Health Organization
recommends an intake of 2,700 calories per day, the caloric intake in Cuba
reached its low point of 1,863 calories per capita in 1994. However, the
caloric intake in Cuba has since climbed 40%.

"Cuba's countryside has changed dramatically over the past five years,"
added Sinclair. Farmers markets are filled with produce and bustling with
vendors. Few other countries have been able to restructure their
agricultural economy and still leave small farmers in a better position."
Cuba has a unique model for agriculture, with land reform laws limiting the
size of private landholdings and the government mixing market mechanisms
with state controls.

Cuban farmers are also doing more with less, the report finds. Imports of
pesticides and herbicides actually dropped from 1995 to 1998, yet">food
production rose over the same period. Animal traction has replaced tractors
in many farms and organic fertilizers and pest controls are used instead of
expensive chemical-based inputs.
The full report and a Spanish-language executive summary as well as other
papers on Cuba are available on the Oxfam America website at


For additional printed copies, contact the Communications Department at

Science is not belief, but the will to find out.

Wed, 04 Feb 2004 08:54:45 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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