SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND URBAN GARDENS IN CUBA
Agro Ecology Conference and Research Delegation
Organized by Eco Cuba Exchange, Global Exchange, and Food First
In the early 1990's, Cuba's agricultural system and food supply were decimated by the collapse of the Soviet Union (which had supplied the majority of Cuba's food imports (chemical fertilizers and pesticides, fuel for transportation, feed for farm animals, and almost 60% of Cuba's food, as well as by the tightening of the U.S. embargo. Cubans refer to these years as their "Special Period."
Due to the severe shortage of hard currency for the importation of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, Cuba was forced, in the early 1990's to begin to practice organic agriculture on a nationwide scale; due to the shortage of fuel, they converted to a more locally-grown agricultural delivery system. There are currently tens of thousands of organic gardens in Havana alone and over a million across the country. In the late 1990's, the Cuban Association for Organic Agriculture was granted the International Right Livelihood Award (the Alternative Nobel Prize) for its efforts.
There are many organizations and associations in Cuba, governmental and nongovernmental, promoting the grassroots, organic and sustainable agriculture conversion, via permaculture (FANJ), urban gardens (ACTAF), and rural organic coorperatives (ANAP), in Cuba. We work with ALL of them! One of our most important partners is the Antoni Nunez Jimenez Foundation for Nature and Humanity, FANJ, and we will be working closely with FANJ on our annual November sustainable agriculture research tour, as well as with the Cuban Association of Small Rural Farmers, ANAP.
You will notice that we are offering two tours in one this November! One for those participants who have not studied organic agriculture in Cuba before and who are interested in the introductory program, one for those who have traveled with us before, or otherwise acquainted themselves with Cuba's remarkable work in organic agriculture, and who are read to get "deeper in." For the latter group, we are offering the opportunity to participate in an Agroecology Conference in rural Havana province, visiting and working with, Cuban rural agriculturalists.
Organic agriculture continues to be supported and expanded at government and grassroots levels.
For more information on the research delegation, and for articles on Cuba's policies and practices in sustainable agriculture and urban gardens during the last two decades, check out this web page:
We highly recommend the videos and articles in the right sidebar of the page.
Please also check out the Eco Cuba Exchange web page at: http://www.ecocubaexchange.org