Rome, Sep 13 (Prensa Latina) The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) highlighted here today the high index of human development of Cuba (0.775) as the result of the universal and free Access to basic services, the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger.
In the report ‘Program of National Strategies’ dedicated to the Caribbean island in the 124th session period of the Executive Board of that United Nations agency, sessioning today and tomorrow, also extolls that the small nation is the only one in Latin America ‘to have eliminated severe infant malnutrition’.
It also says that ‘despite these advancwes, Cuba is highly dependen ton food imports (between 70 and 80 percent of consumption)’, thus food security and increase of agricultural and livestock production is a priority for the Cuban government.
The text of the international organization with headquarters in this capital, recognizes that transformation in the agricultural sector of Cuba, presently under way, confer an increasing role to cooperatives that manage 69 percent of farmlands against 31 percent of State áreas.
For this reason, FIDA gives great importance to ‘ensujre that cooperatives have the capacities and adequate technologies to respond to the demand of internal production of the country’.
In that sense, the program for Cuba (2019-2024) of that specialized agency has as strategic target to contribute to the development and strengthening of human and social capital of those agricultural production units to improve their productivity and yields, competitiveness and integration in the agricultural and food chains to generate new opportunities for women and youths.
It also pursues to raise the adaptation and resilience capacities of rural families through the diversification of production, in order to reduce the negative impacts of climate change or the economyh and improve food security and nutrition.
In that direction, the plan aims to promote the strengthening of organizations, improve access to management skills, quality technical assistance and the access to market of cooperatives, as well an increasing participation of women and youths.
It includes, describes the report, the promotion of investment, inputs, technical assistance and training for greater diversification of farm production and the adaptation to climate change of small producers, through good practices, information systems and early warning, as well as the articulation of other institutions.
Also, IFAD will cooperate in favor of increasing the space of agricultural cooperatives, to incentivate production of the competitive good chains aimed to substitution of imports and increase the consumption of nutritionally adequate foods.
The projects will be directed to the provinces with potential to increase agricultural and forestry production, withj a high degree of cooperative concentration.
Also, the regions east of the country whose rural population is more exposed to climate, social, economic and food vulnerability will be given priority.
IFAD will contribute funds and mobilize additional resources to promote economic progress of inhabitants of poor rural zones, mainly to improve agricultural productivity.