Cuban agriculture
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Cuba says measures to make food more affordable fall short

Cuba says measures to make food more affordable fall short
Published November 21, 2014 EFE

An experiment launched last year by the Cuban government to facilitate
the distribution of farm products and reduce prices for consumers has
not met expectations, Communist Party daily Granma said Friday.

“Preliminary results have not had, so far, a positive impact on
consumers’ wallets,” according to the newspaper.

The reforms started on a trial basis in the western provinces of La
Habana, Mayabeque and Artemisa, where farmers were allowed to sell their
produce at markets – bypassing intermediaries – and prices were set by
supply and demand.

An official at the Domestic Trade Ministry told Granma that due to the
absence of a culture of buying and selling, participants “misinterpreted
the so-called agreed price.”

Instead, the official said, “produces are imitating the prices set by
stores.”

Cuba’s farm production grew 17 percent in the first half of 2014, but is
still inadequate, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

Some experts say that lowering production costs could help to solve the
problem.

Changes in Cuba’s agricultural sector are among reforms promoted by
President Raul Castro to “update” the island’s socialist economic model.

Increasing food production is considered a matter of national security,
as the country imports 80 percent of the food it consumes. EFE

Source: Cuba says measures to make food more affordable fall short | Fox
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