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Friday, February 6, 2009

Producing milk a deep-rooted tradition in Camagüey

By Yamylé Fernández Rodríguez. 
Producing milk a deep-rooted tradition in Camagüey. (Photo: Otilio Rivero)Cattle raising is as deep-rooted in the traditions of the people of Camaguey as the Tinajón itself, kind of clay ornament that is distinctive to this Cuba's eastern province.

The large and flat lands of this area are suitable for the appropriate development of the cattle. It explains why this territory has become the major producer of milk in this Caribbean island.

Precisely here the Second Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) Raul Castro urged the Cubans on July 26th to boost the food production in order to satisfy the population needs and reduce the imports of expensive food such as the powdered milk.

After three months of that speech the results are visible, and the Credit and Service Cooperative Farm (CCS) Niceto Pérez already confirms that. Located in the municipality of Guáimaro, this CCS was the first farm of its kind in the country that delivered one million liters of milk to the industry.

This result means saving more than 570 000 dollars since it is not necessary to buy hundreds of tons of powdered milk, which are now at a price of 5 000 dollars per ton in the world market.

Collective reply

Carlos Hidalgo, manager of the Cooperative Farm Niceto Pérez. (Photo: Otilio Rivero)So calls Carlos Hidalgo Rodríguez, manager of the CCS Niceto Perez, the recent success of one million tons of milk delivered to the industry.

“The effort has been collective, the farmers are aware of the need of producing and providing more fresh milk, due to the highest prices of this food in the market“, says the chief of the cooperative farm.

“By this moment there are 177 employees in the farm, including many women. Flor María Sánchez, with more than 23 000 litters milked since January till last October, is one of the most outstanding workers“, added Hidalgo Rodríguez, with a slightly smile drawn in the face because of his comrades’ toil.

A meticulous veterinarian attention is added to the joined labor of these men and women who contribute to the economic take off of the country from a small point of the Camagueyan geography, where they collect over 3 000 liters daily with 890 cows.

The success also has expanded to other lines such as the production of eatable roots and fruits of which the CCS has supplied more than 3 000 quintales to schools and to the population living in the nearly municipality of Nuevitas.

With these achievements the pride of the associates to the Cooperative Farm Niceto Pérez, of Camagüey, is far justified and this means more than achieving a set figure, as Carlos Hidalgo Rodríguez upholds.

“For the employees of this CCS, it is an honor, it is a gift to the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro and Raul, having into account the current context characterized by attempts to strengthen the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba for more than 46 years. This is our reply”.

Eternal heritage

Morell inherited from his family being a livestock farmer. (Photo: Otilio Rivero).The love for the livestock runs through Carlos Morell Gómez’ veins.

Since he was a child he felt a passion for the world of his father, one of the founders of the CSS Niceto Perez, perched in the municipality of Guáimaro, some 80 kilometers north of the city of Camagüey.

The dedication of this livestock farmer to his trade is rewarded after being appointed the best producer of milk of this farm over the last 12 years in a row.

Up to last October this farmer had accumulated 32 555 liters out of the one million sent to the state-run dairy industry.

The secret to milk this volume is confessed by Morell Gómez:

“Everyday I begin to milk the cows at 3:30 a.m., to deliver the liquid at 6:00 a.m. The attention to the animals is essential. We should follow a strict schedule giving them enough food and water. That is the secret of this productivity”.

The love for raising animals is inherited from his father and it should probably will be pass to his children.

“My two children has grown in this tradition and at the moment both study veterinary sciences, one in the University of Camagüey and the other in the Polytechnic School “Mártires de Pino Tres”, in the municipality of Jimaguayú. When they come home always help me with enthusiasm in this hard work.”

“For me it is a great satisfaction being the best producer of milk in the farm, however each day I evaluate my work and try to improve my daily doings for being an example among my co-workers”.

The will of men as Camagueyan farmer Carlos Morell Gómez for continuing with his contribution to the dairy industry and so saving currency, reflects the support of the country people of this territory to each task of the Revolution.

The money saved (570 000 US dollars) by the Cooperative Farm Niceto Perez “can be destined to repair schools, purchase medicines and other food items for the wellbeing of our people”, says Carlos, all the certainty of the world takes over each one of his word. (Translation: Gualveris Rosales Sánchez).