By Martin Corona Jeres/ ACN.
When it seems that humans can not stop the evils caused by their uncontrolled aggression to the environment, the spirit is refreshed on a piece of land where sustainable economy flourish, along the permanent care to the environment and high productivity.
Such is the case of the La Adelaida Uno farm, owned by the Alejandro Ramirez cooperative of credit and services, located in the Marea de Belic community, Niquero municipality, in the eastern Cuban province of Granma.
The owner, Mario Perez Formerie Cuba, is 68 years old and speaks loudly, confident and happy, as a free farmer, nurtured and protected by the 50 year long socialist revolution.
He explains: “I taught myself, I had to; because I was one of those who used chemicals the most. I got to harvest 800 pounds of onions and had to contend with all chemicals, but then they began to hurt my wife, my children and me.”
“I found myself compelled to invent, to collect waste, chop it, cover it with manure and every 15 days dip it, turn it upside down, and after 90 days the mixture was ready to be spread on the field.”
“I have 25 favorite plants to boil and take the product to spread against stains and all the diseases of plants.”
Among his “favorite plants” he mentions pulsiana, maguey, manzanillo, black cúrbana marabou, anamú, cod, abey, typhus, tribulillo, cedar and Nim tree.
He clarifies that uses marabou and red mangrove plants to fix his “mixtures” to the plants as natural drugs.
He picks up shoots, twigs and roots, pound them in a bag, boils the mixture for 40 minutes, cover the concoction, and after 72 hours it is ready to spread, he describes.
Of the seven hectares of “La Adelaida Uno”, Perez devotes two to Cuban essential crops, banana, and records an average yield of 200 quintals per hectare. Although this farmer does not like bananas!
He also grows corn, sweet potato, tomato, cassava, cucumber, melon, squash and beans, and raises livestock and poultry.
He worked as a laborer in government livestock ranches, and when he turned 60 he began to enjoy retirement, and returned to his father’s farm, he says.
The results of his “little piece of land”, located on the Niquero coastal plain, led to an international project to award it with the installation of an irrigation system fed by two wells adjacent to the his dwelling.
“La Adelaida Uno” is one of the two agro ecological farms in the the municipality, says agronomist Yarieldis Reyes, official with the National Association of Small Farmers in Niquero.
Here the work, he says, is done in harmony with nature or, in other words, the ecosystem is managed in a sustainable manner, to achieve high yields and livestock affecting the environment in the less possible manner.
He stressed that Perez Cuba diversifies his production, rotate crops, and applies agro ecological management of pests on the basis of vegetable extracts, composting and tree barriers, and to use crop remains to maintain moisture and improve soil quality.
Unfortunately, “La Adelaida Uno” with its robust plants and fruits and lovely greenery, is still rather the exception.