Cuba bets on organic farming to increase food production

According to a high-ranking official at the Cuban Ministry of Agriculture, organic farming occupies a key position in the government's strategy to increase national food production.

"Organic farming is part of a strategic system to successfully go through difficult circumstances imposed by the (COVID-19) pandemic worldwide," Elizabeth Pena, head of the National Group of Urban, Suburban and Family Agriculture told Xinhua in a recent interview as her country implements economic measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic and tightening of the U.S. embargo against the island.

In December 1987, Raul Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, proposed extending organic farming nationwide by growing vegetables in family gardens and urban allotments.

Currently, more than 707,000 gardens and close to 147,000 suburban farms are part of a national movement aimed at increasing family self-supply and food production at the local level, Pena said.

According to the official, seed production is among the priorities of the nearly 2,200 cooperatives linked to the agroecological movement nationwide. Meanwhile, great attention has been paid to soil fertility, environmental impact, and agroclimatic conditions for the development of organic farming.

As far as foreign investment is concerned, Pena said the country has taken steps to get funding so that agroecological initiatives could help farmers and urban gardeners improve agricultural productivity nationwide.

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