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FAO unveils efforts for rural digitalization in Cuba

Havana, Apr 25 (Prensa Latina) The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on Thursday revealed the establishment of a partnership to promote the digitalization of rural areas in Cuba.

The initiative involves the University Foundation for Innovation and Development of the University of Havana (UH Foundation) and FAO, with the support of the organization’s South-South cooperation trust fund and China, the UN agency explained in a statement.

The efforts are part of the implementation of the project “South-South Cooperation: Digital Transformation and Innovation in Agriculture”, promoted by FAO, the People’s Republic of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

According to the source, the purpose is to expand access to digital tools, as well as their use in agrifood systems and rural territories, which should help communities to improve both promotion and sale of their tourism services, increase their own income and generate jobs.

The UH Foundation, on the other hand, announced that the workshops will continue over the next three months to share best practices in the design of digitalization and e-commerce strategies in support of family farmers.

The workshop was attended by producers from five beneficiary communities of this project and national authorities from the Ministries of Tourism (MINTUR); Agriculture (MINAGRI); Science, Technology and Environment; and Higher Education (MINED).

At the meeting, the First Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, José Fidel Santana, emphasized that the project must progress in a challenging environment, since only 15% of the population lives in rural areas.

Meanwhile, the head of the MINTUR’s Science, Technology and Innovation Program, Ramón Pomés, stressed the significance of promoting intelligent destinations in rural areas and developing agrotourism.

According to FAO, digitalization in Cuba includes training workshops on various issues, including georeferencing, sensometry and instrumentation, as well as the use of ecological and sustainable technologies.

The initial actions (pilot plan) will take place in the Vista Hermosa Agroecological Farm, located in the capital municipality of Guanabacoa, and in four other communities of Ciénaga de Zapata, in Matanzas, and Jobo Rosado in Sancti Spíritus.

According to FAO, the effort is regional in nature and seeks to transform rural livelihoods and agrifood systems in 12 countries, namely Argentina, Barbados, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay.