Ecosystem & Sustainability Management
Organic Farming in Cuba
Term paper - Final draft

Submitted To: Prof. C. Shambu Prasad

Submitted By: Group 9, Section A
Dr. Omprakash Singh (29) Himanshu Rai (17) Gaurish Manerkar (16)

................................................................................................................................................................................ 3 History ............................“Applying the principles of ecology in agriculture” . 16 Conclusions .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 8 Indicators of change............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Contents Introduction ..... 11 Learning for India ................................... 6 Land Reforms................................................................... 18 ................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7 Agro ecology............................................................................................................................ 3 Consequences of Mono culture Agriculture ............ 7 Participation of Population in Agriculture.................................. 17 References ..................................................................................................... 3 Geography................................................................................................................................................................

(Source: https://www.241. He stepped down as president in February 2008 in favor of his younger brother Raul Castro.83% Irrigated land 8. The country faced a severe economic downturn in 1990 following the withdrawal of former Soviet subsidies worth $4 billion to $6 billion annually. Cuba's population was 11.700 sq km (2003) History The native Amerindian population of Cuba began to decline after the European discovery of the island by Christopher Columbus in 1492 and following its development as a Spanish colony during the next several centuries. The population of Cuba was 11. Large numbers of African slaves were imported to work the coffee and sugar plantations. as the source if its difficulties. According to the 2002 census.161 people on December 31.743. Fidel Castro led a rebel army to victory in 1959.177.54% 65.Introduction Cuba is an archipelago of islands located in the northern Caribbean Sea at the confluence with the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Cuba at times portrays the US embargo. in place since 1961.gov/library/publications/theworld-factbook/geos/cu. Geography Land use (2005) arable land: permanent crops: other: 27.63% 6. his iron rule held the subsequent regime together for nearly five decades. The Treaty of Paris established Cuban independence from the US in 1902 after which the island experienced a string of governments mostly dominated by the military and corrupt politicians.cia. 2010. and Havana became the launching point for the annual treasure fleets bound for Spain from Mexico and Peru. US intervention during the Spanish-American War in 1898 assisted the Cubans in overthrowing Spanish rule.html ) .

particularly after World War Two.1 million were turned over to those working the land. which were directed. of which 1.pdf ) In 1898 Cuba was a country with a very open economy and a great capacity for expansion. Nevertheless. due.000 Spaniards came to Cuba. The sugar-based economy came to a standstill and the other sectors. There were people who had jobs -especially in the urban world. above all.org/files/bookstore/pdf/promisedland/12. Cuba also received a considerable amount of immigrants from Jamaica and Haiti. and the later change of focus towards certain countries in the West Indies. confronted with the trade unions.5 million hectares. Socialist Cuba. Cuba implemented agrarian reforms.Cuba's agricultural history can be divided into five periods. between 1902 and 1934 roughly around 735. Under the first and second agrarian reform laws the Cuban state took control of more than 70 percent of the arable land and created the state sector in agriculture. leaving the state in control of approximately 71 percent of the total area.and to their great competitive capacity in the world market. around 320. to the departure of Spaniards after the war. pre-Socialist bloc collapse (1959–1989) (Source: https://www. given the diversification policy. and an important structural unemployment arose.es/article_41. the ex-Soviet Union and the rest of the socialist countries in Eastern Europe decided to purchase Cuban sugar in bulk.cesga. to reduce the area under sugarcane. to European countries and specially Spain. This economic outlook clashed with a demographic deficit. with long-term . The existence of the large state sector made a planned reorganization of land use possible (Vilariño and Domenech 1986). due to the availability of resources -mainly soil in ideal conditions to produce sugar. given the reticence of Spaniards towards taking up agricultural tasks of the sugar harvest. The area nationalized reached 5. thus creating a secure market. Cuba thus received a great amount of emigrants Spanish origin.with rather elevated salaries but the job market in Cuba was becoming progressively restricted. When the United States cancelled Cuba’s sugar quota—one of the first actions taken against the Cuban revolution—it was decided. which induced a logical increase in the salaries of agricultural workers.pdf ) After the 1959 triumph of the revolution. There were pro-immigration policies carried out. pre-Socialist bloc collapse (1959–1989) Socialist Cuba. reflecting Cuban history in general:      Precolonial (before 1492) Spanish colonial (1492–1902) United States Neocolonial (1902–1958) Socialist Cuba. post-Socialist bloc collapse (1989–present) United States Neocolonial (1902–1958) (Source: http://migratio.000.foodfirst. gave priority to investment on capital rather than investment on labour.

These factors already made it important to carry out economic. barring shipments to Cuba of food and medical supplies by overseas subsidiaries of US companies. At the end of the 1980s. .000 hectares and have more than 168. following up on decisions made at the First Congress of the Cuban Communist Party. Development of the CCSs continued as well.400 members. . however. By the end of 1964. the quantities produced were not always sufficient to fully cover the demands of the population with any economic effectiveness.000 hectares. based on high levels of external inputs and a high external dependence (mainly machinery. . later. to maintain abundance. the United States tightened the economic blockade of Cuba. The National Institute for Agrarian Reform (INRA) was created to be in charge of the application and enforcement of the agrarian reform law. and the crops to be sown must be planned . During the period from the first agrarian reform law until 1975. and agrochemicals). at the Fifth Congress of the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP). 263 new enterprises had been established. the land cannot be distributed in one million small pieces . there are approximately 250 farmers’ associations (more loosely organized than CPAs or CCSs) with more than 9. there was a generalized decrease in yields and in other indicators of efficiency in an important group of commodities.000 hectares (an average of approximately 625 hectares per cooperative). and. Furthermore. the collectively run agricultural production cooperatives (CPAs) were created.stable and preferential prices. and with more than 63. This led to a decision to reconsider the reduction of area devoted to sugarcane. they now cover some 980. 1997b. The Crisis of the European Socialist Bloc: The Special Period in Cuba In 1989 an acute crisis erupted in Cuba when the European socialist countries collapsed and the Soviet Union disintegrated. structural. Finally. no important changes occur in the collective organization of production among small landholders. fuel. Meanwhile a very significant proportion of arable land was used for export production and many soils had begun to show signs of degradation (such as salinity. When the agricultural enterprises were created in 1963 to organize state production. In 1992 the Torricelli bill was approved. covering an area of more than 26. and 669 administrative farms (formed directly from expropriated plantations). . This came about in an intensive development model. cooperatives must be established in the right places for each type of production. technical. acidity. poor drainage). and. and organizational transformations in Cuban agriculture.” (Castro 1959). . 1997c). thus prolonging dependence on a one-product farming system.139 cooperatives of this type had been formed. that was similar to the situation faced by other countries applying the same production model (Rosset 1997a. By 1998 some 1. simultaneously. Then.000 members. the Helms-Burton Act (1996) restricted foreign investment in Cuba. to carry out agrarian reforms. erosion. 613 sugarcane cooperatives. there were approximately 272 people’s state farms. covering some 710. except for the creation of credit and service cooperatives (CCSs) and agricultural communities.000 members. The policy directions followed in the first years of the revolution regarding the use of nationalized land were clearly expressed by Fidel Castro at the closing session of the First Farm Workers Congress in February 1959: “To maintain consumption.

US$8 billion a year disappeared from Cuban trade.0 billion. Prior to 1989 more than 85 percent of the country’s trade was with socialist countries in Europe. The food crisis was at its peak. The lands in beginning of 1980s started demanding more pesticides and fertilizers for further production at same level. spare parts. Imports were reduced by 75 percent.3 to $10. The Crisis of the European Socialist Bloc: The Special Period in Cuba With the crisis. Cuba’s purchasing capacity was reduced to 40 percent. Since 1993. the Cuban Government has given priority to increasing food production and restructuring industry. Consequences of Mono culture Agriculture Before going to the so called organic revolution. The main principles of reforms were  Strengthening agrarian policy through widespread decentralization of land holdings & management   Diversification of agricultural production and the transformation of land tenure of State lands. The foods were import oriented. the government focused itself in massive reforms in agriculture sector. Cuba was dependent on other countries for 57% of protein requirement and nearly 50 % of its calorie requirement on Soviet Union. . All agricultural activities were seriously affected. the standard set by the Cuban Gov. Between 1989 and 1993. and 80 percent of its machinery and spare parts. It was observed by the researchers due to heavy use of chemicals and mono crop the land productivity has decreased by 30%. The rural population was decreased with from 56% to 28% due to heavy migrations. fertilizers to 25 percent. Participation of the population in agricultural activities for their own nutritional improvement.. and a little more than 10 percent with capitalist countries. The land become infertile. almost all of its fuel. in 1980s to 1990s. The average calorie intake was 2092 as compared to 2750. The other lands were at different stages of degradation. Suddenly. Cuba imported from socialist countries twothirds of its foodstuffs. one million hectares of land was salinized. The forest and biodiversity was severely affected. pesticides to 40 percent. including most foodstuffs. and industrial equipment. we want to take into account what was left with Cuba as a result of the pre-revolution agriculture. fuel importation to approximately 33 percent.Cuba is neither blessed with abundant capital nor with sufficient domestic energy supplies. History of Policy Reforms After the crisis in 1991. agrochemicals. animal feed concentrates to 30 percent. the Cuban GNP fell from US$19. Signs have begun to emerge that the new economic model is taking hold and labour markets are recovering.

Cuba was also heavily dependent on them for low cost inputs for agriculture and other food items. the lands are over utilized by the application of technology and inputs like high doses of fertilizers. such as direct sales of food from producers to consumers in the cities (e. The message of agro ecology was oriented from the farmers . which are prior to reforms are limited to their fields. Although the land reforms helped the farmers to own the land and remove exploitation by the large farmers but the agriculture remains the same. Cuba as stated earlier destination for producing sugar and tobacco. coffee. the further Land Reforms in 1963.e. Promotion of sustainable development compatible with the environment.the economic block of socialist countries of Europe to fulfill their needs for these items. because Gov has to funds its current war and development.. The farmers had limited rights to cultivate other crops for their own use.“Applying the principles of ecology in agriculture” Before the reforms the agriculture in Cuba is similar to the industrial agriculture i.e. these groups are reoriented towards the development of agriculture implementation package. When the “iron curtain” falls. with taking the lands which is concentrated to few natives and many of the foreigners mainly Americans. But this was the beginning of diversification of agriculture. monoculture and heavily dependent on the inputs supplied from outsides mainly the soviet unions. tobacco etc was the source available inland. urban agriculture). The Gov has also pressure from COMECON (Council for Mutual Assistance). and fuel requirement and only sugar. Incorporation of nutritional objectives in programs and plans of agricultural development. extension workers and researchers. The land transferred to the peasants on free rent basis. the US embargo further helps in making the situation worst. “Cuba has 2% Population of Latin America but 11% of their scientist populations” The main reforms were ---- Land ReformsThe primary goals of the Cuban Revolution to bring about the agriculture reforms through land reforms started in 1959. but after 1994 when government focused on agro ecological technology for improvement of agriculture. Mainly export oriented. i. pesticides. Nearly 84% of imports and exports took place with these countries. but it fails to feed its own population although it was a sweetening agent for the wests. Reduction of post-harvest losses through improved methods. This is similar to the assembly line production of goods in agriculture we called as “monoculture”. herbicides to increase the production of single crop. This period 1990-1994 is called as “the special period” as Cubans economy was most hit. Agro ecology. At that time Cuba was in perplexing situation and the conditions became worst. which limited the ownership of land to 67 Hectares per individuals. there is limited or no supply of these inputs from the major Soviet Union.    Encouraging the creation of auto-consumes or on-site farms/gardens to supply dining halls of residential and educational establishments. Cuba has a group of scientists.g.

The population started cultivating what they can produce for themselves and the era of serendipity and experimentation started. In CPAs the land owners donate their land to cooperatives and become a member of that. Apart from the major UBPCs the Cuba has 10 organizations in agriculture sector both in state promoted like UBPCs. which has the membership of around 122. Citrus UBPCs etc. while the state still owns the land. The farmers has to pay a 3% tax to these UBPCs and 5% tax to state from the production. The spread of message of self reliant through agriculture helped in large participation of farmers in agriculture development. The main functions of UBPC are produce a single or combination of crops in cooperatives. through more rights on land so that they can bequeath the land to their next genera. do play the role but the culture of farmers to farmers learning was measure success in dissipating the knowledge of success and failures they call it “Campesino a Campesino” means “peasant to peasant” in Spanish. CPAs and non state promoted like CCS. which are more autonomous then the UBPCs. The lands in UBPCs are further divided at farmer levels to manage them properly. although the promotion of agriculture cooperatives by Gov. The farmers are paid on the basis of efficiency and not on the basis of timesheet. Private farms The private farmers were also encouraged to form CPAs or CCS small agricultural cooperatives. It is a bottom up horizontal mechanism. Participation of Population in AgricultureIt was the need of time to participate in some sort of food production because the Gov was helpless in importing the food items. enabling them to take credits from banks and sell their produce in Gov market or other markets. There were different types of UBPCs were formed by the interested farmers.000. The tractors are replaced by the animal traction. the peasants applied the age old practices of agriculture with modern technology. which started in Cuba as movement and spread to the other parts of Central America and Mexico. Various customized crop charts and plans are developed for the local area. The Gov is trying to provide full autonomy to farmers. use of multi-cropping along with nitrogen fixing leguminous plants for nitrogen supplementation of non-leguminous plants. Here in agro ecology the scientific organic methods of pest control like using flowers in the fields to attract the pests. like livestock UBPCs. The performances of UBPCs are calculated by return on investments and comparing them with other similar UBPCs operated in the same area. and use of farm manure is intensified.which they understand and helped in propagation of the knowledge and further value addition to it. or Basic Unit of Cooperative Production. The emphasis was not only given to increase the production but also on diversification of crops to meet the local needs and reduce the transportation. UBPC The Government passed the law for UBPC (Unidad Basica de Produccion Cooperativa). Through these UBPCs the state has transferred 42% of its lands to 2007 cooperatives across the state. The Gov enabled these UBPCs through providing equal land rights for indefinite period. . Sugar UBPCs. as a type of agricultural cooperative on 20 Sept 1993.

Apart from that they also promoted exemplary organic farms for mutual learning. researchers and extension agents who actively take part in promoting organic agriculture. because there was a fear that. porches and back side of house for vegetable and other food productions. who own trucks and charge heavily for transportation.GAO The Peoples initiative from the urban farmers in time of crisis leads to formation of many institutions in which the GAO Grupo de Agricultura Organica. the burgeoning prices of food items due shortage makes inaccessible to the population. visits. scientists. although the organizations only focus was on dissipating the knowledge of organic agriculture to other part of country through arranging workshops. Markets In 1994 the Gov has opened 121 markets just to curb the black marketing of food grains and provide fair price to the farmers. Some people even utilized their balconies. These markets functions on the law of supply and demand. The organization focused heavily on documentation and promotion of organic sustainable agriculture in other part of the world. urban agriculture should be developed) . 1. in every area of the country with an urban population. Presently Gov is also providing better transportation facilities from farm to market. so at that time some city dwellers started to produce some sort of vegetables in whatever the space they have in near or outside their houses called as huertos or gardens. In a sort span of time it has acquired memberships of farmers. The name later changed to GAO when Fidel Castro banned the organization seeing it as threat to his political career and socialism. 2. The organization has local chapters in many part of the province.e. The main objectives to promote Urban Agriculture were  Uniform distribution throughout the country (i. They also helped in starting a course in Agroecology in Havana University in which 500 students has enrolled till date. farmers training etc. The ACAO puts massive campaigns in Cuba for promoting the organic agriculture. Cuba was major which was founded as Association of Organic farmers (ACAO). They are also helping in framing policies to retain this organic revolution in sustainable manner. Cuba in 1993. They identified that the main culprits were the distributors. Urban Agriculture The crisis in Cuba in early 90s mostly affected the food in Urban area as we have noted earlier that the food were the major imported items nearly to 80% of total requirement. which is also called as alternative NOBEL. The Urban dwellers were largely dependent on the food supplied in the market from the rural area and majorly from the imports. they were awarded with Right Livelihood Award in 1999. the organic revolution here is temporary and may vanish in near future due to state policies. For their exemplary work for sustainable agriculture.

The UAD helped in organizing various farmers club. he noticed. the “Organoponicos” which are rectangular walled constructions. In the initial days the per sq metre production was 18 kg of food which grown up to 27 kg. and they also use combination of leguminous (like beans) and non leguminous crops in the plots. Soon the concept spread and majority of the urban land come under agriculture. These CCS helped in arranging credits for agriculture and typically brought together plots and willing pre-existing private farms in one umbrella. The incomes of some urban farmers were better than the medical practitioners. guaranteeing a balanced production of not less than 300g of vegetables daily per capita and an adequate variety of animal protein Maximum use of the food production potential.       Local consumption by the urban population of local production in each region Crop-animal integration with maximum synergy (i. guaranteeing intensive but not importdependent high yields of crops and livestock Multidisciplinary integration and intensive application of science and technology A fresh supply of good quality products offered directly to the population. The urban agriculture helped in food crisis and managing the urban fellow lands which were earlier as garbage dumps. Some of the farmer organizes themselves in cooperatives.e. who exchange their knowledge and learn from each other. with or without a collectively cultivated. The Gov at that time join hands of people with providing the urban lands parcelos or small plots to parcelors i. in jointly held area.e. They rarely use chemicals. such as the available labor force and the recycling of wastes and by-products for plant nutrients and animal feed  These principle objectives leads to a revolution of urban agriculture that too organic. called as Credit and Services Cooperative (CCS). internal cycling of nutrients) to boost production Intensive use of organic matter to increase and conserve soil fertility Employment of biological pest controls Use of all available land to produce food. This helped in increasing the nutritional status of city dwellers and .roughly thirty meters in length and one meter in breadth containing raised beds of mixture of organic material and soil. The gardens were in the range of five sq m to 3 hectares in Havana only. urban farmers. The department also helped in marketing of products and providing valuable inputs like seeds and technical knowledge. He found it a major innovation for agriculture in urban area in limited lands and the first organoponicos was started in 1991 in Havana. in their field the farmers focused themselves in the use of compost and vermin compost produce locally. Now some farmers are able to feed themselves and their neighbor hoods. Raul Castro once visited the Army Horticulture unit in 1987 and there. The government further created an Urban Agriculture Department (UAD) in 1994. to facilitate the process in other urban cities of Cuba.

tractors. One of the major factors that contributed to this achievement was the formation of local agricultural markets and the existence of strong grassroots organizations supporting farmers—for example. parts. and petroleum. Indicators of change When Cuba faced the shock of lost trade relations with the Soviet Bloc in the early 1990s. and became a world-class case of ecological agriculture. The situation was so bad that Cuba posted the worst growth in per capita food production in all of Latin America and the Caribbean. Asociación Nacional de Agricultores Pequeños). a period in which the regional average was 0 percent. The most important changes that led to the recovery of the food sovereignty in Cuba occurred in the peasant sector. pesticides. Can Cuba Protect its Organic Agriculture? The recent developments in economy of Cuba like opening of trades with other countries lie Venezuela may flush the country with cheap oils which may challenge the current organic revolution. This was such a successful turnaround that Cuba rebounded to show the best food production performance in Latin America and the Caribbean over the following period. Presently Havana the pioneer in urban agriculture able to meet the 80% needs of food items through the local production. the Cuban Association of Animal Production (ACPA. which in 2006 controlled only 25% of the agricultural land and contributed to 65% of the country’s food. a remarkable annual growth rate of 4. What we are going to see are indicators of change as policy changes are macro in the nature. and the Cuban Association of Agricultural and Forestry Technicians (ACTAF. Asociación Cubana de Técnicos Agrícolas y Forestales)—also contributed to this achievement. the National Association of Small Scale Farmers (ANAP. food production initially collapsed due to the loss of imported fertilizers. . Asociación Cubana de Producción Animal). There is also a threat of flooding of Cuban markets from the cheap food items from the Americans which may diminish the demands of organic food which is costly.provided a source of income to them. But the island rapidly re-oriented its agriculture to depend less on imported synthetic chemical inputs.2 percent per capita from 1996 through 2005.

This refers to the period when Cuba was preparing for this exigency of the USSR disintegration. where we see a clear dip in the graph during the years from 1991 to 1994. Another parameter worth observing is the Agricultural production in Cuba.html As we see the percentage of agricultural land use attains a peak during the years of the soviet disintegration. the same can be given as follows: . One of these parameters is the percent of agricultural land usage. The percentage of agricultural land use is given below: Source: http://faostat3. The GDP per capita for Cuba had plummeted during this period. Also it has risen sharply during the years 1986-1987.fao. were so bad that an average Cuban had lost 20% of his weight during this period. During the period of the crisis.worldbank.Source: http://data. The problem is further evident by a close observation of other economic parameters. The graph of the same is given below. which Cubans very peculiarly mention as ‘the special period’.org/country/CUBA It is said that the periods of sanction.org/home/index.

html The agricultural production takes a dip between the years 1991 to 1993. covering 50. This period mainly corresponds to the era when the seeds of organic farming had started boring fruits.fao.org/home/index. Cuba’s achievements in urban agriculture are truly remarkable—there are 383. Urban farms supply 70 percent or more of all the fresh vegetables consumed in cities such as Havana and Villa Clara.000 hectares of otherwise unused land and producing more than 1. This production increase came despite using 72 percent fewer agricultural chemicals in 2007 than in 1988.Source: http://faostat3. The following table illustrated this idea better. and tubers.org/home/index.000 urban farms.5 million tons of vegetables with top urban farms reaching a yield of 20 kg/m2 per year of edible plant material using no synthetic chemicals—equivalent to a hundred tons per hectare. Source: http://faostat3. But the interesting thing to note here is that it does tend to rise again after the year 1995. roots.fao.html . Similar patterns can be seen for other peasant crops like beans.

Also as far as Cuba’s food import dependency is concerned. It is as follows: Source: http://faostat3. even though many concerns were raised about the same. Cuba has been generally able to adequately feed its people. when trade relations with the former Socialist Bloc collapsed. are open to debate.org/home/index. that 84% of the food in Cuba being imported. But the claims that it has been making about achieving complete food sufficiency and a complete independence from inorganic methods of growing food.html Success stories are evident in eggs.fao. despite brief upturns due to natural and human-made disasters.org/home/index. sweeteners and sea food.fao. The best time series available on Cuban food import dependency shows that it actually declined between 1980 and 1997. the reality remains fairly different. So has the organic revolution really been successful in Cuba? . Source: http://faostat3. aside from a spike in the early 1990s.html However a second and a more detailed view of the import dependency of food bring out a different picture. Following is a graph giving a food item wise breakup of import dependency. But vegetable oils. The following graph actually shows that Cuba’s food import dependency has been dropping for decades. oil crops and cereals present a different story.

the trend shows continuous decrease of the population engaging in the agriculture sector. The economic decline has increased the number of people relying on subsidies while reducing productivity and food intake for many workers and their families.html The annual series cover the period 1980-2010.org/home/index. The total population series have been obtained from the UN Population Division.fao. There is constant downfall of the capital stock invested in agriculture from 1970’s till now showing more private investment. Series 1 consist of Agricultural population (in 000) and Series 2 consist of Non-agricultural population (in 000). 2017 1980 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 2015 . which prepares estimates and projections of the total population from 1980 and give estimated project of 2020. Capital stock includes Government Expenditures in Agriculture and Foreign Direct Investment in Agriculture that has happened over period of time.While comparing population growth with the people employed in the agriculture sector. 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 Series1 Series2 1980 1995 Source: http://faostat3.org/home/index. Gross Capital Stock (constant 2005 prices) 31000 29000 27000 25000 23000 21000 19000 17000 15000 Year 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 Gross Capital Stock (constant 2005 prices) Source: http://faostat3.html Fertilizer consumption: Yields for major food crops also dropped because of a lack of imported fertilizer.fao.

few states of India such as Punjab and Haryana are have impacted adversely. the Indian organopónicos will be clearly either a top-down initiative or elite gardens. But a country like Cuba with such a highly intensive agricultural background and past communist labour fervor is unable to feed its population of 11 million solely on the basis of organic farming. seeds and irrigation parts. crop . The macro economic variables are good but can’t be used to study radical movements at the fringes.fao. With the water level salinized by excessive irrigation and sterilized with methyl bromide. and as pests become ever more resistant to pesticides. The gardens can buy key materials such as organic composts. but there is still a long way to go before it can present the world a future model of agriculture in the latter half of the 21st century. with lines of drip irrigation laid on the surface of the growing media.700000 600000 500000 400000 300000 200000 100000 0 Year 1962 1964 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 Consumption of Fertilizers (tonnes) Production of Fertilizers (tonnes) Import Quantity (tonnes) Source: http://faostat3. where organopónicos arose from the bottom-up out of necessity. there need to be many changes in this model. Then can a country like India with its extreme diversity and dwindling agricultural focus manage to feed 121 million people? The Cuban model is commendable. So maybe Cuba has done exceptional work as far forming cooperatives. But we believe that for it to be practically implementable and achieve the kind of results that were envisaged. Yes we can adapt few good practices: 1. 2.html Learning for India One of the major objectives to study this topic is to assess whether a similar model can be implemented in India. as well as "biocontrols" such as beneficial insects and plant-based oils that work as pesticides from the government Unlike Cuba.Organopónicos are a system of urban organic gardens in Cuba.org/home/index. agro-ecology and stirring the ship on the 1991 sharp curve is concerned. They often consist of low-level concrete walls filled with organic matter and soil. Hence making any general macro level change in Indian environment is impossible.With the heavy usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Multiple cropping systems. In 2007. pesticides kill anything that crawls. potassium. From inorganic crop breeding. Cubans produced more food while using one-quarter of the chemicals as they did in 1988. it helps first to understand why today’s agriculture is called “industrial. borrowed from elsewhere in Central America. and phosphorous to the soil.Research priorities needs to undergo transformation in our Agricultural Universities. 3. it now produces the majority of its fresh fruit and vegetables—even much of its meat. weeds are crowded out with more intensive planting. herbicides nuke anything green and unwanted—all to create an assembly line that spits out a single crop. if we are looking at Cuba to foretell our agricultural future. The result is a sophisticated polyculture—that is. research focus should now shift to organic breeding where varieties are developed in response to the availability of nutrients in organic form. it produces many crops simultaneously. Inorganic fertilizer adds nitrogen. In Cuba. With the pretext of “guaranteeing food security and reducing food imports.” To understand what agro-ecology is. peasants encouraged scientists to adopt this approach. One of their most important ideas. But a recent paper by UC-Berkeley’s Miguel A. need adequate emphasis. Nitrogen-fixing beans are grown instead of inorganic fertilizer.” these specific programs .yields decline and aquifers and estuaries become contaminated with agrochemical run-off. which has helped agro-ecological systems spread. photo-period insensitivity and the application of chemical pesticides. interest persists among some leaders in high external input systems with sophisticated and expensive technological packages. This is modern monoculture. Organic farming can be tried out there in collaboration with agriculture Universities to bring 2nd green revolution. flowers are used to attract beneficial insects to manage pests. Conclusions This has definitely been an important case as far as people coming together and handling a national emergency is concerned. The Cuban vice minister of the economy and planning ministry reportedly said in February 2007 that 84 percent of the country’s food was imported—not terribly encouraging. or herbicide. many in the scientific community landed on “agro-ecology. instead of just one. Despite the indisputable advances of sustainable agriculture in Cuba and evidence of the effectiveness of alternatives to the monoculture model. incorporating dairy cattle. So far crop varieties were being evolved looking into its fertiliser-response. These varieties have also to respond to climate change that stares ahead. pesticide. Altieri and the University of Matanzas’ Fernando R.” Modern farming turns fields into factories. But can it serve as a success story to organic farming fans all over the world? With no fertilizer. Farmers share their results and ideas with one another and with scientists. and no means to import substitute chemicals. Agro-ecology uses nature’s far more complex systems to do the same thing more efficiently and without the chemistry set. was a model of knowledge diffusion called “Campesino a Campesino”—peasant to peasant. Funes-Monzote suggests that while the country still imports almost all its wheat (a crop that doesn’t do well in the Caribbean). Science must cater to the changing consumer needs rather than remain driven by industry interests.

worldwatch. machinery. http://thecubaneconomy.html 22. http://www.org/sustainableprosperity/sustainabilitysweetspot/ 5. http://www.blogspot. Warwick. Towards Sustainable agriculture in Cuba.com/cuba-agriculture-history. http://www. http://www. http://www. It is quite evident that no matter how glorious the Cuban story is.html 21. http://www. 2. http://yeoldeconsciousnessshoppe.htm 20. http://www. http://www.fromthewilderness.com/history/havana/Sugar2. Hugo. large scale machinery. http://www. These “protected” areas for large-scale. http://www.. many resources are provided by international cooperation (i.html 17.html 18.org/publications/proceedings/volume19/pdfs/gayoso. http://sustainablecities.htm . while replicating a model that failed even before 1990.cubaagriculture. and other industrial agricultural technologies: a seductive model which increases short-term production but generates high long-term environmental and socioeconomic costs. Millions of dollars are invested in pivot irrigation systems. http://ratbnews. http://www. soybean. http://monthlyreview.pursue “maximization” of crop and livestock production and insist on going back to monoculture methods—and therefore dependent on synthetic chemical inputs.html 12.e.com/articles/health_and_science/future_tense/2012/04/agro_ecology_lesso ns_from_cuba_on_agriculture_food_and_climate_change_.org/policy-2.sg/title/twr118h.choicesmagazine. Fernando Funes. the nation still feels the heat and struggles to feed its entire population. http://www.html 8.htm 4. industrial-style agricultural production represent less than 10 percent of the cultivated land. https://www. “Cubans Organic Revolution”.cia.historyofcuba. from Venezuela) dedicated to “protect or boost agricultural areas” where a more intensive agriculture is practiced for crops like potatoes.com/2009/02/success-story-of-hiv-and-aids-control-incuba 13. Forum for Applied Research and public policy. References 1.net/Wangkig/components-of-a-review-paper 6.slideshare.prairiefirenewspaper.org/2009/07/01/agroecology-small-farms-and-food-sovereignty 24.html 15.org/2003-4/2003-4-01. In fact. Monzote. rice. http://www. http://blogs.pdf 25.org/2012/01/01/the-paradox-of-cuban-agriculture 23.com/articles/health_and_science/future_tense/2012/04/agro_ecology_lesso ns_from_cuba_on_agriculture_food_and_climate_change_. http://www. http://monthlyreview. 3.slate.org/solving-the-problem-of-cuban-agriculture/ 14.dk/en/city-projects/cases/havana-feeding-the-city-on-urbanagriculture 9.com/page/12/ 16. 2001.cubafoundation. http://theurbanfarmer.in/2011/03/special-period.twnside.com/articles/health_and_science/future_tense/2012/04/agro_ecology_les sons_from_cuba_on_agriculture_food_and_climate_change_.org.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cu.ascecuba.slate. and irrigation—despite proven energy inefficiency and technological fragility.org.ca/cuba-programs/organic-cuba-tours/ 10. 54-58.twnside. and vegetables.peoplesworld.slate.htm 7.com/free/ww3/120103_korea_2.sg/title/twr118h.com/art9.html 19.2.htm 11.