By Esther Borges Moya Photo: Orlando Durán Hernández
Alisur Feedmill raises near the city of Santa Cruz del Sur, a 54 000 inhabitants municipality that is located some 80 kilometers south the city of Camagüey. It is a clean and compact building that welcomes the visitors with a strong smell of its product and with the hospitality characteristic of its workers.
A middle age and robust man named Juan González García runs the factory. Although he is a laconic person, González García speaks with enthusiasm about Alisur. His voice summons, invites, explains; and while the talk goes in depth, the annoying smell fades away and one only notices a man speaking vehemently about his job.
“Alisur is the only one feedmill of its kind in Cuba, owned by the Ministry of Fishery. Because of a state-run project intended to boost the aquaculture, the factory began to produce the fodder and today it has the goal to elaborate the foodstuff for the cultivation of artificial fish all over the country, including the especial municipality, the Isle of Youth".
Alisur had to make some 3 600 tons of the fish feed in 2006, and closed December with a production of over 8 600 tons, for a 225 percent of fulfillment.
“This allowed us to supply with food all the aquaculture farms which are in full development in Cuba. I means that the production plan reaches 12 000 tons.
Now we are in full capacity to even set new production records. We will break the record, you’ll see!
Is it essential the presence of the young workforce here? I ask him.
Yes - González García answers-, and adds that “the average age is 35, in a group of around 80 workers”.
And what can you tell me about the quality of the product?
“Considering the criteria of the clients, the quality is good. The conversion factor works efficiently. The aquaculture producers are satisfied and that is very gratifying”.
The buzzing of the machines and the strong smell of the animal nutrient accompany me some meters offstage. One last glance to the mill, and then the long silver belt that leads us to Camagüey, do not impede me to remember the assessment of one of Alisur’s workers:
“The work is hard here, but we are skilled with it. We will not fail, I’m sure!