In the National Assembly on December 20, the minister of Agriculture reported that progress has been made in detecting illegalities, but the results in the internal control in the more than 300 basic State units and the 5,000 cooperatives are not enough. There remain, among others, in the trade of agricultural products, raw materials for the productio, and have increased in the forest and flora and fauna resources.

Problems posed by farmers include delays in payments, as well as insufficient supply of inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers, fuels, as they must wait for the State’s allocation, and lack of instruments, equipment, clothing and footwear. that would be solved with promised wholesale market, but eternally postponed. The lack of deposits to transport crops also affects their deterioration, and even the paralysis of production in the industries, as in the case of tomato, mango, guava and others. They have also insisted on the need to expedite the inheritance procedures, which the minister acknowledged should be solved next year, as they directly affect the productive area when applying for
bank loans or perform other procedures related to production.

The problems in agriculture are so vast,
that even the repair of roads is considered a complex issue. In this regard, the minister said in the National Assembly that the road patronage is been studied to determine and update who is the owner of each road, and therefore responsible for its maintenance and ways to implement it. The proposal is to consider roads as one
State infrastructure, because when making a budget for cooperatives, taking into account the current prices of these works, it is impossible to assume these expenses. He also addressed the accidents caused by loose animals on the road, mainly in Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Pinar del Rio and Cienfuegos provinces.

The Association of Small Farmers (ANAP) continues to play the role of transmitter of government interests. Among its current objectives is to increase volunteerism, the number of associates, incorporate women and youth, create the grassroots committees of the Union of Young Communists (UJC) in cooperatives, although it recognizes the need to improve peasant communities for their lower quality of life.

The government lack of liquidity in order to continue the importation of most of the food for a population each day worse supplied, to the state markets for sale in foreign currency (TRD), and the offer to tourism on the rise, should encourage the application of local experimental or exceptional measures announced by the goverment.
But the essential changes to allow free decision making and adequate remuneration for farmers, so that they feel encouraged to make the great efforts imposed by the current conditions of the Cuban countryside, and raise productivity and efficiency, are not foreseen in the short term.

Miriam Leiva

Independent journalist

December 27, 2017

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