From Bureaucrat to Farmer: Peri-Urban Agriculture in Cuba

Earlier this month, Cuba launched an ambitious plan to surround urban areas with thousands of small farms. Urban agriculture and food security are regular themes here. But Cuba's projects are on a much larger scale than the programs that I've looked at before.

They are also the first I've seen that aim to find bureaucrats something more "productive" to do.

In the pilot city of Camaguey, the target is to establish 1,400 small farms. Collectively, they will be able to meet 75% of the food needs for the city's 320,000 residents. Beyond the scope of the program, I love it's concluding goal:

"The island's authorities hope suburban farming will make food cheaper and more abundant, cut transportation costs and encourage urban dwellers to leave bureaucratic jobs for more productive labour."

More from the Guardian article:
"Cuba has launched an ambitious project to ring urban areas with thousands of small farms in a bid to reverse the country's agricultural decline and ease its chronic economic woes.

The five-year plan calls for growing fruits and vegetables and raising livestock in four mile-wide rings around 150 of Cuba's cities and towns, with the exception of the capital Havana."

While this type of large centrally managed system is interesting. It's important to signal the opression that the Cuban government is also responsible for. See most recently the death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a prominent political prisoner, after an 85 day hunger strike.

[thnx imagineDurban.]

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This is a blog for news and views on the future of sustainable cites. A major revamp is in the works. Until then I am keeping this version up as an archive of my past writing.

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