Cuba allocates 1.8 billion pesos to agricultural and livestock development fund

HAVANA, Aug. 29th  Cuba approved a fund of 1.8 billion pesos for agricultural and livestock development, which should be implemented in 2021,

especially in rice, banana, cassava, fruit crops and in pig and cattle production.

The beneficiaries must comply with performance parameters, application of science and technology, have irrigation systems and have the industry and agricultural markets as the destination of their crops, while the availability of food and water will be essential for cattle farmers, Cubadebate reported.

The financial amounts for agricultural promotion and development will be operated by the Banco de Crédito y Comercio (BANDEC), although the chosen entities are attached to the Banco Popular de Ahorro (BPA) or the Metropolitano.

This credit will have a 1.5% interest rate for working capital, 2% for investments, and its repayment term will correspond to the productive cycle of the crop or activity.

As part of this instrument, whose implementation will begin as of September 1, five agricultural enterprises and two citrus agro-industrial enterprises will also benefit, all attached to the Agricultural Group.

Also included in the initiative are three rice enterprises, which must select the producers who meet the requirements to qualify for the loan, according to the report.

Part of the liquidity generated by the producers and entities selected for this development fund would be used for the development of their own areas and productive activities, the source indicated.

In the midst of a deep crisis that has lasted for years, agriculture has been one of the sectors of the Cuban economy that is least favoured by investment and carries millions in losses increased by the impact of the pandemic and the monetary reorganization implemented since the beginning of 2021.

In 2019, Cuba dedicated only 5% of its investments to agriculture, according to the economist Pedro Monreal, who cites data from the Statistical Yearbook published by the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI).

The expert recently opined that “various factors converge in the Cuban agricultural crisis, but the low priority assigned to investment in the sector stands out.”

On his Twitter account, Monreal stated that this type of long-term trend is not an accident, but is the result of an economic strategy decision. “A bad strategy,” in his opinion. (Oncuba)