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Cuba: Concrete Actions to Counteract Rocketing Food Prices
Food production is one of the fundamental tasks today for the Cuban government, which was confirmed by the Cuban president, Raul Castro Ruz, when he stated that this is an urgent national security matter.

As part of the strategy, a new Food and Agriculture Commission was recently created by the Cuban Parliament, who will collaborate to make agriculture more effective and reduce food imports, which over the last decade cost the country some 1500 million dollars annually, and are now costing around 2 billion dollars a year.

The fundamental goal for the Cuban agricultural industry is to find solutions to the unsustainable production of food amid the current situation on the island, finding ways to challenge the permanent hostility of the USA-through the economic, commercial and financial blockade as well as biological attacks on crops.

Food production is also a priority for the Ministry of Sugar, which has turned over more than 1 million 700 hectares of farmland to food production. The ministry produces pork, beef and lamb, as well as milk, tomatoes, fruit, honey and of course sugar in all its varieties, saving the country some 51 million convertible pesos in imports.

Transforming the way goods are marketed, improving stockpiles and rescuing quality sales are some of the initiatives the Agriculture Ministry has begun since president Raúl Castro highlighted the importance of making radical changes in the sector.

Meanwhile, steps have been taken to facilitate better working conditions for farmers, including new stores selling modern farming equipment.

A broad process of modernization is taking place across the food industries, increasing the capacity of existing factories and building new facilities.

The program was started in 2006 and aims to improve the quality, quantity and variety of food products on the internal market, confirmed Alejandro Roca, the Food Industry Minister who said that the program seeks to gradually substitute imports and maximise the potential of each factory.

(Radio Havana Cuba)

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