Mexico – Cuba ratified its commitment to the implementation of the Plan for Food Security, Nutrition and Hunger Eradication 2025, during a regional meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) which took place in the Mexican capital.
Cuban Deputy Minister of Agriculture José Miguel Rodríguez, heading the delegation from the island to the 34th session of the FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, spoke to Prensa Latina about the event.
Cuba has developed efforts and programs to support food production on the island, which have put us at the forefront in the early fulfillment of the goal set by the World Food Summit, he noted.
He recalled that last year, the director of the FAO recognized that Cuba is among the sixteen countries with the best results in reducing hunger.
Such achievements are counter to the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the U.S. on Cuba, which forces the island to buy food from distant suppliers and therefore increases costs, he said.
Efforts are being carried out alongside Cuban producers, with the aim of reducing the current expenditure of over two billion dollars on food purchases, in order to ensure food security, he added.
He also highlighted that domestic industry is working to improve irrigation systems. Progress is also being made with regard to plant health with bioproducts, and animal health through the development of vaccines and antibiotics.
“The government devotes resources to all these efforts,” he stressed.
Rodríguez explained that one of the issues Cuba raised at the Conference was the importance of the FAO office in Cuba, given economic adjustments currently underway within this UN body.
We have explained everything we are doing, we are an island that imports food, and the only country to suffer a blockade for more than half a century, imposed by the United States; we require the knowledge and technology transfer provided by the FAO to move forward.
He further noted that Cuba is located in the region most affected by natural disasters and other phenomenon associated with climate change, with more than 200 climatic events in the past three years.
For example, this year’s winter sowing campaign was negatively affected by heavy rains in the center of the country, with damages to the potato, tomato and tobacco crops, he said.
Meanwhile, drought continues to affect the eastern part of the island. These situations should be taken into account by the FAO, together with the efforts that Cuba is making in food production and food security, he concluded.