Immediate Steps to Produce more Food

Produce more food. Photo: Granma newspaper

Cuba: In the midst of the current complex context, conditioned by the intensification of the US economic blockade against Cuba, the effects caused by COVID-19 and the implementation of the economic-social strategy to mitigate these evils, one of the sectors where the Island puts more effort is in the agriculture, the Granma newspaper publishes.

For this reason, the country’s top management approved new measures aimed at stimulating food production, of which 30 are prioritized and were published on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture.

APPROVED MEASURES

• Propose the new model of state and business agricultural management at all levels; the decentralization of competences and the strengthening of the territorial agricultural production base.

• Consider individual agricultural producers as part of the agricultural production base.

• Define the products that can be substituted from the current import nomenclature of food and raw materials; the amounts and financing required for a medium-term program that takes into account the increase in the costs of productive inputs.

• Identify by global organizations a financial mechanism that makes it possible to make more efficient the use of scarce foreign currency and to use these sources of imports to finance national food production, as far as possible.

• Prioritize the financing of agriculture for the inputs that ensure production, as well as the increase in areas under irrigation, according to the Strategic Plan until 2030, with the participation of the national industry.

• Evaluate external sources of financing: credit, commercial, government and foreign investment for the transformation of agriculture and its innovation processes.

• Accelerate the creation of the Agricultural Development and Promotion Bank. Create new banking products.

• Apply a financial treatment to a group of cooperatives that currently reflect losses and have the possibility of continuing in operations.

• Make a debt restructuring plan to review the financial situation of companies, without waiting for their recovery.

• Diversify the capitalization opportunities of cooperatives and agricultural producers based on the development of investments, the acquisition of fundamental agricultural inputs and their profitability under current conditions.

• Prioritize investments in productive programs with the greatest impact on import substitution and exports.

• Make an analysis of the investments made in the different programs and their exploitation, in correspondence with the capacities that were foreseen in the feasibility studies.

• Create opportunities for investors and foreign firms based in the country to directly sell inputs demanded by farmers, with the proper fiscal and monetary regulations.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTIVE PROGRAMS

• Consolidate food production at the local level, including Urban, Suburban and Family Agriculture, and livestock modules. Promote the development of the mini-industry for the production of products with this destination.

• Recover the state production in the 26 pigs’ integral units, ensuring their food base from by-products of the sugar industry, among others.

• Promote meat and egg production in poultry companies.

• Implement the 28 measures envisaged for the recovery of bovine livestock, conceived in the Economic-Social Strategy.

• Authorize the commercialization of beef and self-consumption to producers, after complying with the state order, and provided that they guarantee that there is no decrease in the livestock mass.

• Authorize the sale of milk and its derivatives based on compliance with the delivery plan and indicators established by the livestock.

• Develop the small livestock business on the basis of creating centers of species of this kind and commercialize this meat in the retail network in foreign currency.

• Promote a comprehensive program of drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, instruments and bio-products that support agricultural production.

• Develop in state companies, cooperatives and agricultural producers, the design and management of nature and rural tourism products, under the modalities of local development projects.

OTHER FUNDAMENTAL MEASURES

• Evaluate the organization, operation and management model of the cooperative, ensuring its proper functioning with autonomy.

• Carry out the hiring process of the companies with the productive base.

• Recognize in the Annual Plan of the Economy, the agricultural cooperative sector as an actor with similar possibilities of access to resources as the state business system, for production and investments.

• Design a cadre training system that allows the creation of the competencies and skills required for the performance of their duties at different levels.

• Increase the system of continuous and postgraduate improvement of professionals, short-cycle training for technicians, to reduce the deficit of qualified technical force and contribute to greater job stability.

• Redesign the Science, Technology and Innovation activity at all levels, strengthening integration with universities, research centers and the agricultural extension system.

• Prioritize by government structures the attention to rural settlements and agricultural communities.

• Implement the measures identified for the Central State Administration Bodies, which facilitate or contribute to the productive transformation of the agri-food sector.

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