Cuba’s Organic Revolution
|What started out as food necessity became a bio farming innovation!|
CUBA ■ It might be a trend in the western world, but organic farming is a daily requirement in Cuba in order to provide food to its population. During the Soviet days, Cuba still had chemical fertilizers and pesticides that were used in its farms. But after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the Soviet Union could not make the appropriate supplies anymore. With the American trade embargo, the Cuban government had a new challenge: providing its people sustainable agriculture where the country would rely on itself to produce food.
Organic farming is a form of agriculture that produces foods in a natural way. The process relies on biological pest control, compost and crop sequencing to maintain a rich and healthy soil. This method avoids or limits the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, as well as genetically modified organisms. The whole idea of organic faming is to supply food to people without harming the environment.
For Cuba, organic farming was more an obligation than an ethical choice, and it took major planning on a national scale to make the conversion in just a few years. It was necessary to return to old methods using hand tools and compost from animals and plants. There are also over 200 laboratories all over the island that incubate insects, mushrooms and bacteria that can defeat in a natural way all the microorganisms that may harm plants.
The success of bio farming had also a major effect on demographic distribution. In fact, a lot of people have decided to leave the city to live in the countryside. This shift was necessary because organic farming requires more labour than conventional agriculture.
In these times where there is more proof that chemicals used as fertilizers and pesticides are poisonous to humans, this Cuban large-scale farming experiment should be watched by other countries.