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11.07.2019 | Blog

After the Agricultural Reform: Cuba's Farmers Work Autonomously

In urban plantations and urban gardening projects, farmers in Cuba learn how to cultivate their crops more efficiently.

Mann wäscht sich das Gesicht
A worker who is part of the agricultural cooperative UBPC Vivero Alamar in Havana © Daniel Pilar

The third agricultural reform in Cuba presented farmers with various challenges: In the course of decentralising the agricultural sector, large, specialised state-run enterprises were converted to small cooperatives in which the farmers now have more individual responsibility and freedom to make business decisions. Farmers can decide, for example, which fruit, grain or vegetable to grow and how to offer it for sale on the free market.

A woman is watering the plantations.
Welthungerhilfe supports urban plantations and urban gardening projects in Cuba. © Sven Creutzmann

The new model has great potential, but the farmers have so far not been able to fully take advantage of it. Many small and medium enterprises do not have the necessary knowledge to manage the new business structures or to analyse markets. Welthungerhilfe promotes the entrepreneurial skills of the smallholders and cooperatives in the provinces of Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Guantanamo Granma and Las Tunas in eastern Cuba.

How Welthungerhilfe Supports People in Cuba

Family Living Standard Shows Marked Improvement

Living and working conditions in the participating provinces have already improved noticeably: Jobs are secured in the long term and new ones are being created. Harvest yields are increasing thanks to expanded know-how, and more products can be sold. Farmers are happy about higher income. Families’ living standards have markedly improved. The agricultural sector offers people an attractive alternative to the poorly-paid government jobs.

Welthungerhilfe is collaborating with EuropeAid in Cuba.

Havana’s Urban Gardens

How is Welthungerhilfe working together with the urban gardening initiative in Cuba? Find out more about the development of the urban gardens and about life with autonomy.

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