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HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 21 (ACN) Leonel Duarte Marrero, a farmer from the village of Las Minas, in the municipality of Guanabacoa, grew sunflowers on his land with an average of flowers per plant exceeded fifty.

Leonel, 52, owns a parcel of land of approximately a hectare, leased to him by the Decree Law 259, where besides sunflowers he has also planted bananas cassava, sesame, papaya and beans.

"I've never seen anything like this," said the farmer to ACN referring to the number of flowers per specimen, whose number ranges between 40 to 60, surpassing the 70 in some cases.

Leonel began planting this plant aiming at controlling pests that threaten other crops. A friend gave him a handful of seeds, which he planted in rows along the boundaries of the planting and intercropping.

After a couple of months he noticed the unprecedented number of flowers, and inquired among the other farmers in the area who denied having seen a similar case in his life. Other inquiries to family and friends had the same result.

"I think that is the soil. This piece of land had never been cultivated and is very fertile, "said Lionel, who claims to use only natural fertilizers and pesticides. “The seeds were normal, I even gave him a few to a neighbor, but his only deliver a flower per plant"

Some of his own plants did the same, but the "puya", as this farmer calls the flower, exceeds two pounds of weight in such cases.

“A “puya” like this can give you up to half a pound of oil," he says,while selecting seeds for the next harvest. "I wish I have the same luck next time”

By Abel Gonzalez Alayon

Source: ACN

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