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Thursday, November 15, 2018
Monday, November 7, 2011

Cuban Urban Agriculture: an Emerging Alternative

By Lino Luben Perez/ AIN.

The aftermath of global warming favors climate change, brings about serious consequences for agricultural productivity and increases meteorological phenomena that cause natural or technological disasters that also affect Cuba.

It is estimated that every year more than 300 million people are affected by catastrophes, not only social but also natural: earthquakes, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, draughts, forest fires, tropical storms and epidemics.

Most of these phenomena are impossible to prevent, though their negative impact can be reduced or avoided with the implementation of practical measures as long as the communities at risk are prepared with effective mechanisms of response locally, regionally, and nationally.

In this sense, urban agriculture becomes an emerging alternative that significantly influences food production on the community level in many nations of the world.

A considerable amount of specialists believes that it is an alternative as to food security and a means of survival for some surviving social sectors despite their extreme poverty.

Food production in the cities and on nearby areas has a faster capacity of recover based on principles of local sustainability; therefore, it is vital to rely on a manual for producers and the population in general.

This manual would comprise a number of recommendations for those people linked somehow to this sector so that they can orient their resources towards places that would favor high yielding before and after being hit by hurricanes or other hostile meteorological phenomena.

In consequence with this reality, a group of Cuban experts elaborated a “Manual for urban and suburban agriculture producers in view of threats of adverse climate phenomena”.

This endeavor by these specialists, from the Institute on Tropical Agriculture Researches and the National Group of Urban Agriculture, was
carried out in cooperation with the non governmental organization Oxfam International.

Oxfam, in Cuba for 17 years, is an international confederation of 15 organizations working together in 98 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice.

The specialists that drafted the manual point out that this initiative does not aim at substituting the existing legal and official indications in this regard, but it is a complement to enhance knowledge for those involved in urban agriculture programs.

They insist that in order to reduce risks it is necessary to train producers on the right selection of areas, the use of construction designs, strategic reserves of seeds and resources, sowing plans, and contracts with the National Insurance Enterprise.