The “restless” deputies concerned over the loss of crops

By Fernando Ravsberg

Parlamentary commissions discussing the same old problems. Photo: Photo: Ladyrene Perez / Cubadebate.
Parlamentary commissions discussing the same old problems. Photo: Ladyrene Perez / Cubadebate.

HAVANA TIMES — A local radio station (Radio Minas) reports that the loss of crops aroused the “concerns” of deputies at the meeting of Parliament, “because many of the products such as tomatoes and mangoes are spoiling in the fields for lack of productive capacity both in the large industries and small processing centers.”

“We are clear of the effort made in urban agriculture and in the increased production of fruit. Today, mangoes are going bad from Guantanamo to Havana, as they are not received because the processing plant lacks containers for them. We’ll end up importing the pulp, which costs much more to the country,” said Avilio Piedra in the town of Quivicán, Mayabeque.

It is paradoxical that the government continues to ask farmers to increase food production when the state doesn’t have the capacity to absorb these crops. And this is nothing new, each year the deputies discuss the same subject but in the end always ends up putting on a band-aid to fight the cancer which returns metastasized.

If the state enterprises are unable to process this production they should stand aside and allow the creation of cooperatives and small private companies. What should not happen is to preserve the “purity” of a [state-centralized] ideology while continuing to squander the sweat of the farmers and food of the people.

9 thoughts on “As Cuba’s Food Continues to Rot…

  • Surely rather than letting excess produce go to waste would it not be more charitable to let the poor and hungry collect a limited amount of excess product on certain days for say 4 hrs work ie cleaning up waste areas, that way it is a win win situation, the neighbourhood gets cleaned whilst the people are rewarded with excess produce! Would it work?

  • Food rots in many counties not just Cuba. In Canada after the farmer harvest the crops many people go harvest what the machines miss. In Cuba the people might go to jail if they did this, There a lack of freezers and bags to freeze the food . In January and again in august 2015 and I and others worked with farmers to build a walk in freezer a juice factory and a frozen food production line. We were able to buy 2 horses with money from Canada make another juice press and send in needed seeds I have seen these farmers and other workers work from first light to dark harvesting the food and bring it to the factory then work all night to make into juice or freeze and then 5 days latter loose when the power goes off. for a day or 3 and the backup generator not work because the parts to fix it sent from Canada by plane have been held up at customs for much too long. we would send the parts again and be told we did not have proper permission a small donation latter and much spoiled food the problem was fixed We do not understand why the Cuban government will not allow us to bring more chainsaws, generators, fertilizers, truck tires commercial freezers and food processing equipment. We have been waiting almost a year for permission to send a small used wind turbine 50kw plus 10 heavy duty batteries a 10 kw inverter charger and been told it is complicated. we tried to expand the coops welding and repair shop to manufacture and rebuild farm equipment needed by the farmers and been told off the record that permission will not come this year. [email protected]

  • Even Raul Castro has now recognized that as described the economic meddling of Marino Murillo has been disastrous!

  • Before scientists, before International Weather forecasting, before Trangenic bioengineered corn, simple farmers were able to till the soil, plant seeds, irrigate, and grow their own food. The more industrious grew enough food to sell to others. For Cuba to do so is not difficult. I agree with you that the Cuban government is not “unintelligent”. However I disagree that the very same government, for the purpose of keeping themselves in power, will not do everything possible, including sacrifice the country. Fidel Castro, in urging a first nuclear strike against the US more than 50 years ago, virtually assured the annihilation of the Cuban population as a response from the US in the wake of that proposed first strike. The tradition of self-destruction in the exercise of power began with Fidel.

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