By Oscar González Vázquez/ Radio Cadena Agramonte
Finding a viable and stable solution in the supply of food to a population which exceeds 300 thousand inhabitants, is the goal of a program known here as suburban agriculture. The experience underway in the outskirts of Camagüey city should be spread to other provinces of Cuba.
Bringing the farmlands nearer to the producer and the crops nearer to the customer is the point. It allows making a better use of transportation and of the labour force; two major reasons that justify the project aimed at the best use of the land, by eliminating the nasty bush known as marabú and employing the animal draught in the surroundings of Camagüey.
The territory stands out most in the stocking of milk and vegetables; however it also produces 14 percent of the food it consumes. The other part of this food comes from other municipalities or provinces, which means a considerable waste of fuel and of products due to handling and transportation from far away places.
Turning over this situation is the purpose of the suburban agriculture program which advances at a good pace and shows results in several farms, like heifer farms and others, specialized in breaking in bulls, sowing fruit trees and other produces, plus producing milk.
In this project it is peculiar the fact that suburban agriculture does not spend on tractors nor on fuel, for the farms are small, that’s why people can work on them and obtain favourable results using animal drawn vehicles and ploughs.
Regardless of this, as far as the economic conditions allow it, some investments will be made to enable irrigation systems, hydraulic supplies and buy some tools and equipments.
Food production is a matter of national security, so suburban agriculture program demands the necessary labour force to put it forth, not by making campaigns but in an orderly way and following the highest standard to integrate new farms and attract as much people as possible.
For this strategic task can not be put off any longer, it is necessary to impede that any sign of bureaucracy erupts, with its endless paper works, visits to the officials and infinite steps and terms which are an obstacle wherever it appears.
This is not a matter of infringing the rules for the delivery of lands in usufruct, and much less, to breach what has been legislated on this issue; but to avoid all those things that could hinder the development of the suburban agriculture.
Slowly but surely the suburban agriculture goes forth in the municipality of Camagüey, a program that will put some 50 000 hectares of land (around the city) to better use, in order to find a definitive solution to the food supply in the city of Camagüey.