Could us trade threaten sustainable agriculture in cuba

Analysts estimate that U.S. farming exports to Cuba could possibly get to US$ 1.2 billion if staying rules are relaxed&and trade barriers are raised&, a market that U.S. agribusiness desires to capture.Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and also Alabama Congresswoman&Terri Sewell excursion a Havana farmers’market, November 2015.


Is Cuba’s urban agriculture sustainable?

A sustainable agricultural model, such as the Cuban one, may be looked at as an alternative to improve food security and environment health. Even though its development was due to necessity, Cuba’s urban agriculture has become a model for the rest of developing world.

What is the basis for ecological food production in Cuba?

Traditional low-input agricultural techniques, based on organic pests’ control and crop diversification, has been the backbone of the ecological food production in Cuba. This system is also resource conserving, environmentally sound, socially inclusive, and a model to be followed by other countries.

What rights did Cuban farmers have in the 1960s?

[v] Farmers had the right to enjoy the use of the soil and take advantage of its products, without necessarily owning the land. The aim of the Cuban leadership was to improve agricultural production and cut, if not eliminate, food imports into the country.

Is Cuba the most sustainable country on the planet?

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) bi-annual Living Planet Report 2016, Cuba is the most sustainable country on the planet. [xiv] Indeed, the Fund created an environmental footprint index that combines human development and the exploitation of natural resources.

Can the US trade food with Cuba?

The United States imports no agricultural products from Cuba. Prior to 1960, Cuba was the ninth-largest export market for U.S. agricultural products. Currently, U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba are minor, with chicken meat accounting for over 90% of the $157 million of shipments in 2020.

Does Cuba have good agriculture?

Arable land covers nearly one-third of Cuba. The soil is highly fertile, allowing up to two crops per year, but the highly variable nature of annual precipitation has historically plagued agriculture. Subterranean waters are important for irrigation.

What is causing soil degradation in Cuba?

HAVANA, Aug 28 2003 (IPS) – The sugar industry is among the major contributors to the degradation of Cuban soil, a problem affecting nearly 70 percent of cultivable areas on the island. Worldwide, desertification processes cause losses of 42 billion dollars annually.

What agricultural techniques do organic farmers in Cuba use?

Agroecological technology instead of chemicals: Cuba has used intercropping, locally produced biopesticdes, compost, and other alternatives to synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Fair Prices for Farmers: Cuban farmers stepped up production in response to higher crop prices.

Why can’t Cuba feed itself?

Production is limited by the shortage of water and, similar to other industries in Cuba, lack of fertilizer and modern agricultural technology. The yield per hectare remains lower than the average of Central American and Caribbean countries. Therefore, Cuba has been a major importer of rice.

What is the agriculture in Cuba?

The Cuban economy depends heavily on the sugarcane crop. Additionally, the chief crops are rice (the main source of calories in the traditional diet), citrus fruits (which are also an important export), potatoes, plantains and bananas, cassava (manioc), tomatoes and corn (maize). Other products include cacao and beans.

What causes the desertification of Cuba?

Cuba is experiencing desertification due to droughts, lack of rainfall and leaks in the system. Since 2012 this combination of factors has led to the total or partial depletion of more than 350 water sources on the island.

How did Cuba transition to large scale industrial farming?

Cuba’s agricultural sector was consolidated under state control through two agrarian reform laws in the early 1960’s. Following the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, the Cuban government expanded access to state lands by introducing usufruct laws.

What causes land degradation?

Land degradation is caused by multiple forces, including extreme weather conditions, particularly drought. It is also caused by human activities that pollute or degrade the quality of soils and land utility.

What was the immediate cause for Cuba to switch over to organic farming?

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union four years ago, Cuba’s supply of fertilizers and pesticides was cut back 80 percent, its fuel supply cut in half. Now, there is an urgent need for the country to feed its people . . . but there is no money to buy farm chemicals or oil.

Is Cuba self sufficient in food?

Cuba is still a long way from being self-sufficient. Between 70 to 80 per cent of food is still imported from places such as Venezuela and Vietnam.

Who owns the farms in Cuba?

Prior to the constitutional changes approved by lawmakers last month, the state owned about 80 percent of Cuba’s farmland, leasing most of it to farmers and cooperatives. The rest is owned by small farmers whose families received allotments from the government after Cuba’s 1959 revolution.

The shift to peasant agroecology

For several decades after Cuba’s 1959 revolution, socialist bloc countries accounted for nearly all of its foreign trade.

The risks of opening up

Now Cuba’s agriculture system is under increasing pressure to deliver harvests for export and for Cuba’s burgeoning tourist markets. Part of the production is shifting away from feeding local and regional markets, and increasingly focusing on feeding tourists and producing organic tropical products for export.

What is sustainable agriculture in Cuba?

Sustainable and urban agriculture was a logical response of Cubans to their resource constraints. Traditional low-input agricultural techniques, based on organic pests’ control and crop diversification, has been the backbone of the ecological food production in Cuba. This system is also resource conserving, environmentally sound, socially inclusive, and a model to be followed by other countries. Indeed, it furthers food security and sustainable development for megacities and large towns all over the world, and it is particularly important for developing countries. The Cuban model is not perfect and the system still has ongoing problems, but it has met significant challanges in public and environmental health, even if unintended. The new uncertainty on the future of U.S.-Cuban relations has put on hold the countless economic interests that U.S. businesses, specifically in the agrarian sector, have in the island. However, the Cuban sustainable agriculture model should certainly be promoted, protected, and spread abroad. The question would be: how can this be done in the context of the current opening to the U.S. economy? This food production may be the only alternative for many developing countries fighting hunger to be able to assure the necessary sustenance to their own population and an opportunity for everyone to live in a sustainable world.

What is Cuba’s agriculture?

Until now, Cuban agriculture focused on producing for self-sufficiency and domestic consumption; there is the risk that turning to food-exports will subtract resources from this, with the subsequent worsening of the population’s living conditions.

What was the Cuban government’s response to the spontaneous citizens’ initiative?

The government soon started supporting and encouraging urban agriculture through a number of measures , which entailed the revision of property rights, a significant change for the socialist system.

Why is sustainable farming important?

Without having it as a main goal, they started to practice sustainable farming as a way of food production in order to guarantee nutritious and accessible food for everyone while natural resources are managed in a way that maintain ecosystem functions to support current as well as future human needs.

What were the first hit by supply shortfalls?

City dwellers were the first hit by supply shortfalls, and, in order to effectively respond to the food crisis, they started to occupy unproductive state lands to produce their own food. Additionally, ordinary citizens used balconies, backyards, and roof terraces for cultivation and raising livestock.

Why did farmers switch to oxen traction?

[i] Farmers had to switch to predominantly oxen traction because of fuel scarcity.

What was the relationship between the United States and Cuba during the Castro Revolution?

Agricultural trade between the United States and Cuba, based mainly on sugar, was the bedrock of bilateral relations during the first half of the 20 th century. The Castro revolution changed the situation with the interruption of trade relations between the two countries.

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