Cuban agriculture
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Out of dire necessity, Cuba’s farmers created a model of social networking

Out of dire necessity, Cuba’s farmers created a model of social networking
OCTOBER 11, 2015

AS I read John Wihbey’s article on the search for secrets of social
networking in Honduras (“Mapping a real social network,” Ideas, Oct. 4),
I wondered whether Yale’s social scientists undertaking the research are
familiar with Latin America’s remarkable farmer-to-farmer movement.
Peasant farmers throughout Latin America have established sophisticated
peer-to-peer networks that have effectively advanced the development of
sustainable farming practices over the past 30 years.

While this movement originated in Mexico and Central America, Cuba
created, out of dire necessity, what is arguably the most extraordinary
farmer-to-farmer model in the world. Faced with a starving population
following the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1991, and with the loss of
access to chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and petroleum, the Cuban
government made land available to anyone willing to grow food. Cuba’s
rural and urban farmers met this life-or-death challenge by organizing a
national network, supporting and sharing the results of on-farm research
in chemical-free farming. The agroecology system they developed is a
model for the world.

Greg Watson

Falmouth

The writer runs the Cuba-US Agroecology Network at the Schumacher Center
for a New Economics in Great Barrington. He is a former commissioner of
the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture.

Source: Faced with starving population, Cuba’s farmers created a model
of social networking – The Boston Globe –
www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/letters/2015/10/10/faced-with-starving-population-cuba-farmers-created-model-social-networking/g9SNptKj659avsmMuDKuiJ/story.html

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