The third agricultural reform in Cuba poses a challenge to farmers: As part of the decentralisation process for agriculture, large specialised government operations have been turned into smaller cooperatives, which grant farmers more responsibility and business decision-making freedom. For example, farmers can now decide on their own which fruits, grains and vegetables they want to grow, and how they want to offer the products on the free market.
The new model has a lot of potential - farmers have not been able to make full use of this potential to date. Many small and medium-sized operations do not know how to manage the new operating structures and analyse the markets.
Welthungerhilfe promotes the entrepreneurial competencies of the small farmers and cooperatives in the provinces Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Guantanamo Granma and Las Tunas in East Cuba.
Optimum product marketing
As part of a first step, the farmers participated in continuing education courses, which explained how to effectively grow agricultural products in small cooperatives. In a second phase, the farmers learn strategic planning and how to market their products in the best possible manner.
These courses help to ensure the competitiveness and independence of the agricultural operations. To ensure that the knowledge that has been learnt is not lost, it is systematised and passed on by representatives of government institutions and agricultural schools.
The living standards of families have seen a marked improvement
The living and working conditions in the participating provinces have already experienced a marked improvement: Workplaces are permanent, and new ones are being created. Harvests are higher-yielding and more products can be sold - and the farmers are happy with the higher income. The living standards of the families have seen a marked improvement. The agricultural sector offers people an attractive alternative to government jobs, which do not pay well.
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Urban Gardening in Havanna - Cuban citizens provide food for themselves
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The aid measures are financially supported by EuropeAid.
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