Despite the Government’s little investment in agriculture, the Party demands that farmers produce more

Despite the Government's little investment in agriculture, the Party demands that farmers produce more

HAVANA, Nov 28. The Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) placed the solution to the economic crisis that the country is going through on the shoulders of farmers,despite the fact that the agricultural sector is one of the least benefited by government investments.

The Secretary of Organization of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), Roberto Morales, demanded that farmers “deploy collective intelligence” to “reverse the current economic situation,” as quoted by state media Juventud Rebelde.

The PCC official made the demand during a plenary session of the ruling National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP), which he headed, according to Juventud Rebelde.

Morales called on farmers to make efficient use of the resources that the Government will allocate to the agricultural sector, “attending to the need for the basic food basket to be assumed with more national production and not depend on imports.”

However, it will be difficult for farmers to produce what is necessary to feed Cubans, whose salaries are swallowed by inflation if the Government maintains its current investment scheme.

In August, a publication by the state National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI) on investments during the first six months of 2023 showed that the Cuban Government’s priority is hotels, tourist facilities, and not crops, despite the shortage of food that hits the population.

In the first half of the year, the business and real estate services sector accounts for 10,406 million pesos of the total 41,616,003 million invested. That is, almost a quarter of that figure.

At the other extreme were agriculture and livestock, which between January and June received 1,090,700 million, around 10% of the most benefited sector.

Added to the low investment of the Government in the agricultural sector is that Cuban farmers frequently denounce that, despite the obligation to sell their production to the State, at the price that it establishes, it delays paying them.

The aforementioned plenary session of the ANAP, according to Juventud Rebelde, also urged efficient use of the lands that the Ministry of Agriculture gave in usufruct to farmers and cooperative members, and to properly control the crops.

Peasants were also required to “increase surveillance in agricultural and livestock areas to more effectively confront criminal activity in productive bases.”

However, many Cuban ranchers who have suffered the theft of their animals have denounced the police’s lack of interest in capturing the culprits.

In Pinar del Río, a farmer who was the victim of an incident of this nature told the state press last May that the Police had told him and other members of the cooperative that they had to “guard the animals,” that is, keep an eye on them. 24 hours.

One of the most serious problems with these events is that the Police require several witnesses to prosecute a thief who may have been caught in the act. In a report, several farmers told how this gave thieves a certain impunity.