Roundtable: Measures to Strengthen Cuban Agriculture

Cuba: The Vice Prime Minister, Jorge Luis Tapia Fonseca, and representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture and of Finance and Prices appeared today at the Round Table to report on the new measures adopted by the Cuban Government to strengthen agriculture.

Chaired by the President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, a working meeting took place this Tuesday with agricultural producers, experts and scientists from different branches, as well as representatives of different institutions where they approved 63 measures to enhance the production of food, of which 30 are considered with priority and some of immediate character.

The call is to implement the measures, to produce, to market, to control and to continue in the effort to satisfy the population, to also grow, advance, improve and win.

The deputy prime minister, Jorge Luis Tapia Fonseca, explained for its preparation they took into account the most diverse criteria at all levels, with the purpose that its implementation really improves and stimulates the development of the productive forces.

According to Tapia Fonseca, after the comprehensive analysis carried out on the development of agriculture in the nation, the measures fundamentally respond to problems associated with structural, organizational and productive issues; land use and tenure; as well as of a financial nature.

These include the decrease in electricity and water rates in all agricultural activities, the reduction in the cost of aviation for planting rice, feed for pig production, the price of bio-products and the procedures and services that from the grassroots and other sectors lend themselves to producers.

They also authorize the free sale of milk and its derivatives based on compliance with the indicators established by livestock, quality and safety, and the contracted delivery plan; as well as the commercialization of meat from small and large cattle, after complying with the state order and provided that it is guaranteed that there is no decrease in the livestock mass.

As an essential element within the new measures there is the preponderance given to the contracting process, with the purpose of guaranteeing the contract to be fulfilled as the instrument of relationship between the productive forms and the individual producers, in the planting plans, production and sale. This is a strategic, core issue that requires a daily and systematic evaluation.

In general, what was approved also includes aspects related to the prices of inputs and some agricultural products; the process of hiring the workforce; marketing; the promotion of local development projects; the implementation of financial measures; and the payment of taxes.

These measures are also part of what is designed in Cuba to face the current scenario that the country is experiencing, nuanced by the intensification of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States Government and the impact of the pandemic caused in the world by COVID-19.

As part of this entire strategy, one of the radical changes that was essential to implement was precisely associated with the obstacles, and with the structural, functional, productive, service and relationship problems between the different economic actors of the agricultural system.

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