Category — Cuba
Private food distribution networks take shape
First wholesale market opens in Havana
State share of food sales declines
By Marc Frank
March 27, 2013
HAVANA, March 27 (Reuters) – Cubans are building private food distribution networks from the farm through to retail outlets as communist authorities gradually dismantle the state’s monopoly on the purchase and sale of agricultural products.
The country’s first wholesale produce market is up and running on the outskirts of Havana and across the island farmers report they are selling more of their goods directly to customers, ranging from hotels to individual vendors.
April 6, 2013 No Comments
Part 3 of 3. See all video here part way down the page.
60 minutes of footage in Spanish with French subtitles
Semences – Les Racines du Nouveau Monde
Agriculture Urbaine, Santiago de las Vegas, Cuba
By Nicolas van Caloen and Juan Pablo Lepore
Collectif Documentaire Semences
Uploaded on Dec 12, 2011
(Must see. Mike)
En 1959 c’est la révolution à Cuba. Les États-Unis, mécontent de ce pied de nez révolutionnaire, décide d’imposer un embargo international contre Cuba qui sera ainsi forcé de se tourner vers l’URSS afin de maintenir ses exportations et importations. En 1989, c’est la chute de l’URSS, Cuba se retrouve dans une situation économique très précaire créant un problème de sécurité alimentaire. Pour solutionner ce problème, Cuba choisit de développer l’agriculture urbaine et écologique. 20 ans plus tard, Cuba est un leader mondial en la matière. Dans ce documentaire, avec l’aide de l’INIFAT (Instituto de Investigaciones Fundamentales en la Agricultura Tropical), nous montrons l’ampleur, la diversité et l’ingéniosité des projets d’agriculture urbaine dans la région de La Habana. Une nouvelle révolution verte est en cours!
March 18, 2013 No Comments
“The author takes us inside Havana’s urban agriculture movement showing its linkages with the economic crisis and the societal changes that followed the fall of the Soviet Union.”
By Adriana Premat
Vanderbilt University Press
Following the dissolution of the Soviet bloc, Cuba found itself struggling to find its place in a new geopolitical context, while dealing with an unprecedented agricultural and food crisis that experts feel foreshadows the future of many countries across the globe. Sowing Change traces the evolution of the officially endorsed urban agriculture movement in the capital city of Havana, considering its political significance for the Cuban government and its import for transnational actors in the field of sustainable development. But the analysis does not stop at official understandings and representations of this movement.
February 11, 2013 No Comments
Photo by Noah Friedman-Rudovsky. A homage to the history of Cuban urban agriculture in the home of Oscar Aleman Perez in Havana. In the 1970s and ’80s, Raul Castro, as Defense Minister, encouraged the development of urban agriculture and oversaw experimental organic farming in military facilities. In those days, the organoponicos, as they came to be known, were introduced in preparation for a possible worldwide embargo of Cuba; today they are a training ground and growth area for Raul Castro’s economic reforms that allow for more small business.
Photos by Noah Friedman-Rudovsky
By Noah Friedman-Rudovsky
North American Congress on Latin America
Oct 18 2012
Noah Friedman-Rudovsky is a freelance photojournalist and videographer. He received a Fulbright fellowship for photography of Bolivia’s social movements in 2004. He later spent two years as official photographer of President Evo Morales. Noah is a contributor to The New York Times, and his coverage of Latin America has also appeared in The New Yorker, Der Spiegel, Paris Match, Time Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, among others. He works frequently for NGOs such as Oxfam, UNICEF, Planned Parenthood, and The Carter Center in the region.
October 20, 2012 No Comments
Student does research on the ground in Cuba for her master’s thesis on urban and peri-urban agriculture
By Marion Girard Cisneros
My research findings are initially disappointing. Small-scale urban farmers are partially able to decrease the share of the income they spend on food. The sustainability of self-sufficiency depends on farmers’ ability and capacity to cope with structural constraints posed by urban pollution and insufficient access to water and land. In other words, almost in every case, household food production does not confer high levels of food security.
But the crux of the matter is that UPA has a significant potential in securing other households needs, which can be traced to the attitudes of the farmers. On the one hand, high levels of human capital resources available to farmers (agricultural skills, knowledge of the local environment and resourcefulness) results in to higher output levels (be it in fungible or real income) and lesser dependence on external inputs.
October 19, 2012 2 Comments
Urban Agriculture in Cuba: trip during November/December 2011
By Liz Postlethwaite
38 page ebook report – online
Mar 22, 2012
Planning my Visit – I began planning my trip to Cuba nine months in advance of my departure. I knew that Cuba was a difficult place to communicate with via e-mails, and that I needed a specific visa in order to access any agricultural sites on the island. In order to secure this visa I needed an invitation from a reputable scientist or scientific organization in the country.
August 22, 2012 No Comments
More than 200 gardens in Havana that supply more than 90 percent of residents’ fruit and vegetables
By Melissa Garcia Lamarca.
Aug 3, 2012
If you drink a mojito in Havana, there’s a chance that the mint it contains came from the Alamar nursery on the outskirts of the city. The 27-acre Vivero Alamar is one of Cuba’s most successful neighborhood-managed, worker-owned cooperative urban organic farms. It began in 1997 when Miguel Angel Salcines López, a mid-level Ministry of Agriculture agronomist and the co-op’s current president, asked to use a nine-acre plot of abandoned “waste land.”
August 4, 2012 No Comments
An interview with Claire Napawan-Seybert, who is a landscape architect, and a professor in the U.C. Davis Department of Environmental Design.
May 3, 2012
Is there anything specific about the infrastructure of the city that you feel contributes to the success of urban farming? Are there any lessons American cities might learn from a physical planning perspective?
Government support was instrumental for training new farmers, making urban land available, providing equipment and growing materials. Being a communist nation, where the government owns nearly all urban land, makes assessment and leasing of land more facile than in the U.S. Issues [we have here] such as high urban property values, etc. are not issues there, since the buying and selling of property is illegal in Cuba.
June 25, 2012 No Comments
Play movie by clicking arrow in centre of image.
Help finance his movie here.
“Plant This Movie” will highlight the successes of urban farmers around the world.
Excerpt from Cuba blog post:
What is becoming more and more clear is that we in the devoloped world are not living sustainably, and that therefore, inevitably, we will eventually have our own special period. Many people say that going to Cuba is like taking a time machine to the past. In some ways this is true – vintage cars from the 50s are still everywhere. But after my visit, I’m inclined to argue that Cuba is indeed a time machine, but not to the past: instead, it’s a glimpse into a future where we in the developed world are producing more of our food and living more sustainably.
March 1, 2012 1 Comment
Matanzas (west) will begin to plant the water jicama, a tuber that is a source of food for pigs
Havana, Feb 6 (Prensa Latina) Cuba will begin this year to promote new crops in the environment of urban agriculture program, said researcher Adolfo Rodriguez, head of national group that directs the production management in the Ministry of Industry.
The public official said that among the innovations planned for 2012 include the introduction of the variety of pepper known as Tropical CW-3, suitable for export and tourism industry.
February 10, 2012 2 Comments
Urban agriculture in Cuba produced 1,052,000 tons of vegetables in 2011
08 January 2012
Urban agriculture in Cuba produced 1,052,000 tons of vegetables in 2011, 105 percent of the plan, which represented about two thousand tons more, an official source told the press.
The executive secretary of the National Group in charge of that movement, Campanioni Nelson, said that for this year they intend to reach one million 55 thousand tons, five thousand more than that scheduled in the preceding year.
At this moment, that area has a high productive potential, consisting of 1,275 hectares of organic gardens, 7, 396 hectares of vegetable gardens 241 hectares ofsemi-protected crops, said the manager.
January 9, 2012 1 Comment
Canadian visits five different cities and eight different small scale agricultural operations in Cuba
The first “organoponico” or urban market garden I saw was in Santa Clara, in the centre of Cuba. Three people work there and they sell all their produce from a stall in the front of the garden, which occupies a formerly vacant city lot. Photo by David Stott.
Watch Out Folks, Look What’s Coming Down the Street: Reflections on Cuba, the Global Food Situation and Victoria, BC
By David Stott
2011, Victoria, BC
David Stott is a community garden organizer and food security projects coordinator. Prior to working in this field he spent twenty years working in the international development and development education fields.
When most of us think of Cuba we tend to think of sun, sand, great music or Fidel Castro. However, when I spent a month in Cuba in January of this year, I had other ideas in mind. As a local organic farmer turned garden projects organizer for the last 20 years or so, I have a particular personal interest in Cuba and its role in sustainable agriculture, particularly in urban areas. What I learned there, and since I have returned, has caused me to open my eyes not only to food production in Cuba, but also to what is happening elsewhere on the planet and here at home. Where we are at now and where we could be going with global and local food production and availability, something that most Canadians have either taken for granted or left to “the experts”. After all, we’re an advanced country that will always be able to feed itself, right?
December 21, 2011 2 Comments
Ministry of Agriculture indicates that more than 384,000 people are currently involved in any kind of urban or suburban agricultural activity in their municipalities.
Havana, Cuba.- The representative in Havana of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Marcio Porto, recently reaffirmed that the urban and suburban agriculture program put into practice by Cuba is an example to other nations.
During the closing of a national meeting about the sector, Porto said Cubans are respected because of their expertise and capacity of making a lot with little resources.
Porto said the initiative has succeeded in having large numbers of people involved due to the increased awareness of need to produce food in areas close to the towns and cities.
October 20, 2011 3 Comments
Research report from ‘Brisbane to Bogata’ website
By Christina Snowdon
Murdoch University Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy
Urban Agriculture and City Farms and their Influence on Community Engagement is a study of the community aspects of urban gardening. The aim of this research was s to explore the roles that urban gardening play in community development and how urban agriculture can contribute to building community. This was achieved through site visits of community gardens and city farms in the United States and Australia, and site visits of urban agriculture farms in Cuba, during May to August 2010.
April 19, 2011 1 Comment
Juan Reyes on his farm in Cotorro. Photo by Patricia Grogg/IPS.
Extended to 156 of the 169 municipalities of Cuba
HAVANA TIMES, Nov. 24, 2010 – The urban and suburban agriculture programmes will be extended to 156 of the 169 municipalities of Cuba before the close of the year, said Adolfo Rodriguez, head of the National Group in charge of that initiative, which until now has 36,000 farms throughout the island. The Caribbean country’s authorities are promoting the local production of food to reduce imports, estimated at more than two billion dollars, reported IPS.
November 25, 2010 No Comments
Eco Cuba Exchange invites you to participate on a Global Exchange research delegation to study Sustainable Agriculture and Urban Gardens in Cuba.
Global Exchange organizes regular delegations of professors and practitioners of organic agriculture to Cuba, some of whom have subsequently developed ongoing exchange programs through their universities and communities. There is no lack of enthusiasm. It is only the U.S. embargo that interferes with the full development of these joint projects.
Scale Model of the city of Havana
Meet with Cuban Architect/City Planner
City Tour/urban gardens/farmer’s markets
Ministry of Agriculture
June 28, 2010 No Comments
Farmer-to-Farmer Movement, traditional knowledge sharing and the value of cooperation versus competition
By Jennifer Cockrall-King
May 18, 2010
I’ve been to Cuba twice now, once in 2007 and just very recently (where I met and roomed with the amazing Jill Richardson, author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It, and the blogger behind La Vida Locavore). Both times, I’ve been in Cuba to research their agricultural models, especially their urban agricultural models, as I’m writing a book on the global movement of urban agriculture.
Jill and I participated in a conference and research tour from May 5 to 15, 2010, organized by the Asociacion Cubana de Tecnicos Agricolas y Forestales. and Jill is doing a mind-blowing job of chronicling our day-to-day adventures on the farms and our other wanderings on La Vida Locavore, so check it out for blow-by-blow visits to the farms.
May 19, 2010 No Comments
From La Vida Locavore
by: Jill Richardson
La Vida Locavore
Sun May 16, 2010
Here’s the second installment on my trip to Cuba to study their urban & suburban agriculture and agroecology. I will be posting these daily for the next several days so please check in regularly to hear about the entire trip. In today’s installment, my group traveled to see a few farms & gardens in the western-most province of Cuba, Pinar del Rio.
It’s difficult to separate the agricultural details of the Cuban system from the more organizational, Communist ones. Obviously nature works the same in both Cuba and the U.S. but Communism does not apply back home. This particular Organiponico provided vegetables to a maternity home and sold the rest to the community.
May 16, 2010 No Comments
Difference between the Cuban and American political and economic systems
By Andy Fisher
April 21st, 2010
Andy Fisher is a Fellow with the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Food and Society Fellows and Co-Founder/Executive Director for Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC).
Yet, Cuban urban agriculture, no matter how inspiring, is largely irrelevant to Americans. The state is pervasive throughout Cuba and controls virtually all aspects of the official economy. The government can mobilize quickly and massively around its priorities through an array of powerful policy tools at its disposal. After 50 years of socialist rule, Cuban institutions, as well as the mentality and expectations of the Cuban public, differ vastly from those in the U.S. By way of example, the ruling motto of Cuban urban agriculture states, “We must decentralize only up to a point where control is not lost, and centralize only up to a point where initiative is not killed” embodies the vast differences between their planned economy and our free market system.
April 21, 2010 No Comments
A Visit to Cuba
By Roger Doiron
April 13, 2010
Cuba is not only an island nation in terms of its geography, but also its economy and politics as a result of the US embargo and the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba’s largest source of trade and aid until the Berlin Wall fell in 1991. Cut off from the world’s pipeline of food, oil, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, Cuba embarked upon an ambitious program to grow as much of its own organic food as possible in the 1990s during what was known as the “special period.”
April 13, 2010 No Comments