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Army General Raúl Castro Ruz honored for contributions to urban, suburban, and family agriculture

ReconocimientoPrime Minister Manuel Marrero noted that the country’s Urban, Suburban, and Family Agriculture program has become a popular movement, ready to do much more to increase municipal food supplies and develop local self-sufficiency

A plaque recognizing Army General Raul Castro Ruz for his contributions to the Urban, Suburban and Family Farming Program, since its creation, was accepted by Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz, during a national meeting here of participants in the movement, to assess progress being made.

Announcing the award, program national director Dr. Elizabeth Peña Turruellas stated that 32 years after Raul proposed generalizing the tradition of growing vegetables in family gardens, in soil enriched organically, we can say that the first part of this task has been completed.

Dr. Peña, also a member of the Council of State, added that the program has become a strong popular movement, ready to do much more to increase municipal food supplies and develop local self-sufficiency, in an effort that has always benefitted from Raúl’s accurate strategic direction.

With the participation of Lazaro Expósito Canto and Beatriz Johnson Urrutia, the province’s top Party and government authorities, respectively, as well as Minister of Agriculture Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero and leading producers from across the country, Dr. Peña presented a report on last year’s accomplishments and new goals.
She stated that the 21 sub-programs (five for targeted crops, five for animal husbandry and 11 for support), involve some 800,000 people around the country, 31% are women, while in the basic program focused on vegetables and fresh seasonings, 1,277,517 tons of food were grown in organic, intensive cultivation gardens, greenhouses, and plots with technical support.

Animal husbandry in backyards and small plots produced 100,600 tons of meat from small livestock (pigs, sheep, goats, poultry, and rabbits), as well as more than 300 million eggs and 750,000 liters of goat’s milk, in addition to fish produced in ponds, reservoirs and other reservoirs.

Given its consistent efforts over the last year, Segundo Frente was declared the country’s most outstanding municipality, in recognition of results that have earned the movement here recognition as a National Reference for 16 consecutive years, while Santiago de Cuba was honored as the number one province, followed by Havana, Sancti Spíritus and Pinar del Río.
Leading producers from around the country exchanged experiences with their hosts in Santiago. Photo: Miguel Rubiera Justiz/ACN

Dr. Peña reported that the suburban program now includes 147,563 farms, and that last year 34,000 individuals were trained in different programs, with a similar number expected to participate in classes this year.

Likewise, some 1,732 hectares of idle land is projected to be recovered for cultivation this year, she stated.


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