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Cuba will host the 4th International Meeting on Agro-ecology and Sustainable Agriculture later this month to showcase its agricultural progress, local media reported.

About 200 agricultural experts, producers and government representatives from 20 countries and regions are to participate in the event, to be held on Nov 17-24 in the western province of Mayabeque, official Prensa Latina news agency said.

The meeting will focus on food security, sustainable food production, ecological farming, and protection of natural resources and the environment.

Cuba's "agricultural progress in the areas of cooperatives, diversification and commercialisation of agricultural production" will be displayed at the meeting, it said.

Two panels will analyse the challenges facing the agricultural sector in Cuba and the world, it said.

Cuba, currently importing about 80 per cent of its domestic food needs at a cost of about US$2 billion a year, hopes to decrease its dependence on import by transforming its agricultural sector.

In 2008, the country launched a national programme to boost agricultural output and curtail imports by leasing more than one million hectares of idle state-owned land to farmers.


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