Soil degradation due to both natural causes and human activity, with the inevitable loss of fertility and food production is a danger which now affects much of the planet.
Cuba is undergoing profound economic changes and is seeking to consolidate a prosperous and sustainable Socialism. In this, increasing food production to meet the needs of the population is an essential goal.
The Cuban archipelago does not escape from conditions of soil degradation. With this in mind, the country is seeking to reverse this phenomenon. To this end, the National Soil Conservation and Improvement Program was created 13 years ago, have already benefited hundreds of thousands of hectares.
Included in its work are all institutions involved in soil resources, water and forests. All three are closely related and cannot be addressed separately in a program that also takes into account the availability of water, the use of organic fertilizers and the types of fruit and vegetables grown.
Direct contact with the farmer is essential. A land study is carried out to better inform them regarding conditions and limitations. The most suitable crops are then selected.
Afforestation, land drainage and the application of organic-based nutrients on damaged sites have contributed to the gradual recovery of soils in some areas formerly devoted to mining.
In the Cauto River Basin and the Havana-Matanzas Plain, similar investments to increase efficiency and productivity in the sector have been successful.
The representatives of Central America and the Caribbean, who are currently attending a regional workshop of the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture in Havana can benefit from Cuba's experience in taking up the challenge of soil erosion.
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