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Cuba seeks alternatives to produce more food

Havana, Feb 21 (Prensa Latina) Cuba seeks more efficiency in the use of agricultural inputs and financing in 2024 to increase national food production, considered among the main demands of the population, Granma newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Minister of Agriculture Ydael Perez Brito explained that the plan is to concentrate the available resources mainly in eight productive areas and 22 municipalities, as well as in all 22 largest companies in the sector, the daily added.

The minister noted that the Government is working on the design of a financial mechanism that will allow agriculture to use the foreign currency income generated by the sector’s exports for its own development.

This financing will be used to support resources and inputs from exporters and the main productions that have an impact on the country’s food balance, the official said at a meeting with the officials from the Government.

This way, the intention is to reduce gradually the country’s high dependence on foreign currency that the agricultural sector has today from the rest of the national economy.

This year we are called to change the economic situation of the country, and the agricultural system plays a fundamental role, since Cubans spend a large percentage of their salary only on food that they pay at high prices,’ Perez Brito remarked at the meeting with President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

The first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba reiterated his call to multiply the good examples and achieve adequate integration among all economic stakeholders that favor the strengthening of local agri-food systems. The municipalities have to build agri-food systems for self-sufficiency to cover some products of the basic food basket, and ‘not everything depends on imports,’ the president added.

For Cuba it represents a big challenge, since the regulated distribution is universal, hence Diaz-Canel praised the example of central Cienfuegos province, where they have already harvested beans to deliver to its inhabitants at a rate of 10 ounces per capita per month throughout the year.

The issue is not to produce to fulfill plans, but ‘to put on the table of every Cuban the amount of food necessary for a healthy diet,’ the head of State pointed out.

Financing for productive activity is limited; but sometimes it is not properly used and leaves room for inefficiency, he noted.

It is necessary to find our own solutions. If there is no foreign currency to obtain all the inputs, we must look for variants, said Diaz-Canel, who acknowledge the experience in producing agroecological potato, with national seeds and without technological packages, and it yielded 10 tons per hectare.