HAVANA, Nov 25. The Vietnamese company ViMariel S.A., located in the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM), will begin producing animal feed in the coming days, reported the state media Cubadebate. Currently, the company is installing modern equipment at the Leopoldo feed factory. Reyes, from Artemisa, as part of a project called AGRVMA, according to information from the local media El Artemiseño cited by Cubadebate.

The project includes leasing of the area, weighing service for trucks, transportation, storage and conservation in a silo.

The commissioning test will take place this November 25, so the Vietnamese company will adjust its machinery.

ViMariel S.A. It has planted about 200 hectares of corn in Mayabeque as a guarantee, so as not to stop the production of feed, which will begin in the coming days.

The fact that a foreign company has land in Cuba to plant food for animals highlights the Government’s discourse, which constantly calls for planting more, in the face of the food crisis that hits the people.

The company also has imported raw materials such as rice bran, soybeans and other by-products stored, including bactericides. Its purpose is to work for 24 hours, with an initial production capacity of 200 tons of feed each day, said Michel Ravelo Herrera, director of the Leopoldo Reyes Basic Business Unit (UEB), located in the municipality of San Cristóbal, quoted by Cubadebate.

The manager added that the AGRIVMA project will work in unison with the UEB Leopoldo Reyes, which in 2023 has a plan of 103,600 tons of feed, 89,200 for the state order, with imported raw materials, and 14,400 tons as alternative production.

From the words of Ravelo Herrera it is deduced that the equipment installed by the Vietnamese company in the factory will benefit Cuban ranchers. One of his most frequent complaints is the lack of feed to feed the animals. This constitutes one of the main causes of the death of livestock and low meat production on the Island.

In 2022, 22,541 heads of livestock died in Villa Clara alone, most of them due to malnutrition, according to data published by the official Cuban News Agency (ACN).

These figures exceeded the deaths that occurred in 2021 by 2,077 and are 5.47% of the total livestock in the province.

In April of that year, the state press reported that the construction of what should be the largest animal feed factory in the country was paralyzed. The execution of the work, located in the industrial zone in the west of Santiago de Cuba, began in 2019.

Another complaint of Cuban producers is the State’s delay in paying them for their productions, at the price that the State itself sets.

In October, the state press reported that the Granma Provincial Pork Company owed thousands of pesos in freely convertible currency (MLC) to pork producers.

Producer Alejandro Sosa Rodríguez denounced that he had been waiting since last February for payment for the meat that he sold to the state company after signing a contract.

The entity proposed to pay the debt with the feed used to feed the pigs, but the farmer learned that the type of feed with which they proposed to pay him had been in deficit for more than a month.

ViMariel S.A. It is a subsidiary of the Vietnamese commercial company Corporación Viglacera S.A. It was the first dealership to be established in the ZEDM, in 2018.

The ZEDM megaproject turned ten years old at the beginning of November. At least until July 2022, there were only 62 approved businesses, of which only 36 were operating.

Economist and DIARIO DE CUBA columnist Rafaela Cruz pointed out in an analysis of the performance of the regime’s megaproject up to that point, that of the 22,000 million in investment—2,500 million annually—that the ZEDM was supposed to attract, at that point, there were only 3,000 million dollars “committed”, and those completed barely exceeded a third of that tiny amount. Each year 25 times less had been invested than expected when the inauguration of the area was promoted.