Cuba starts new organic farming scheme in the suburbs

Cuba is developing a new system of sustainable agriculture in the outskirts of the cities with the plan to increase food production and reduce the amount that is imported to feed the poulation. President Raul Castro announced the project last year, called suburban farming that will be in place as pilot schemes in 17 municipalities. The plan is to expand by ten times the number of places and eventually to the main form of cultivation. In a country that imports 80% of what it consumes there is a great need to develop more sustainable models but the head of the Suburban Farming Group, Adolfo Rodriguez, understands that there needs to be incentives for people to take up the hard labour of farming. To that end the produce will be able to be sold on an open market with prices dictated by supply and demand apart from some basic crops as defined by local government. The scheme is an extension of the ‘urban farming’ that was so successful in the 90s and now produces over a million tonnes of produce a year.


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