Cuba to create 2,800 new organic farms

Campaign News | Tuesday, 27 June 2006

Vegetable production to increase

Las Tunas, Cuba 27 June - Cuba is looking forward to creating 2,800 new organic farms for the production of vegetables, said Dr. Adolfo Rodriguez Nodals, head of the National Urban Agriculture Program.

In an exclusive interview with ACN news agency during a working visit to Las Tunas province, Rodriguez said that the new facilities will occupy 1,400 hectares.

The program head added that this plan should be accomplished by October 31 using areas previously devoted to sugar cane cultivation. This is part of the restructuring process under way in the sugar industry on the island.

The increase of organic farms and their future efficient administration will guarantee a steady rhythm of development by the Urban Agriculture Program, which in 2004 and 2005 produced more than 4 million tons of vegetables.

Although there were some precedents, this organization started in December, 1987 on the initiative of General Raul Castro, second secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba.

Initially, the project consisted of solely the cultivation of vegetables in gardens and organic farms. However, it was progressively enlarged to where it now covers 27 sub-programs, which also include the cultivation of fruits and the breeding of several species of animals.

Today, nearly one million Cubans are linked to the Urban Agriculture Program; more than 350,000 of them work in orchards and on organic farms, while about 600,000 grow fruits and other plants, or raise animals in their backyards for their families’ consumption.

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