Grower Lazaro Rafael Fundora, who runs a farm in the Cuban province of Mayabeque, became the first Cuban farmer to sell products abroad over the past six decades after exporting 1.08 tons of limes to Spain and 1.5 tons of avocados to Italy.
This was made possible by a government approval of small and medium-sized private businesses to exporting and importing products and services through 37 state-run enterprises.
"Incomes from exports will improve the living standards of my family and provide the farm with better conditions to continue working hard," Fundora said. "Cuban farmers have also the potential to reach the Chinese market with high-quality products. China is a huge country with many inhabitants."
"It is just the beginning. We are in charge of our future," Fundora, who is also one of the 600 farmers that supply hotel facilities on the island, added. He currently employs 12 people living in the surroundings, and among them is 48-year-old Merida Salazar.
At present, more than 707,000 gardens and nearly 147,000 suburban farms on the island are part of a national movement aimed at increasing family's self-supply and food production at the local level.