Cuban agriculture
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Cuba to test free-market policies to boost agricultural output

Cuba to test free-market policies to boost agricultural output
Xinhua | 2013-7-25 13:00:48
By Agencies

Cuba will carry out free-market policies in its second largest island,
as a test, in a bid to increase national food production, official media
reported Wednesday.

The choice of the Isle of Youth in May would make it easier for the
government to control and track the experiment of the new policies,
which will deregulate the farming business so as to increase
productivity. The project is expected to begin in January 2014.

“The main problem of limited food production in Cuba is lack of inputs
and how they are distributed, and that is what this project aims to
change,” state-run daily Juventud Rebelde quoted Vice President Marino
Murillo as saying.

Official figures released earlier this month showed Cuba imported about
80 percent of its food last year, at a cost of more than 1.9 billion US

Murillo, who heads the Comprehensive Development Plan, said Cuba could
save millions of dollars for food imports annually if large tracts of
land were more efficiently exploited.

The Agriculture Ministry is currently working to develop the methodology
to be applied in the district, and ways to overcome local drawbacks such
as limited shipping and storage capacity.

Thanks to the economic reforms launched in July 2008, as much as 70
percent of the country’s agricultural land is operated by cooperatives
and farmers who lease the land from the government.

The government has distributed 523 billion hectares of idle land to more
than 174,000 local farmers. The figure is expect to rise in the coming

Source: “Cuba to test free-market policies to boost agricultural output
- WORLD –” –

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