Updated: 2011-07-20 10:25
HAVANA - The Cuban government has handed over 68 percent of idle lands
to new farmers, an agriculture official said Tuesday.
According to Anibal Nunez, deputy director of Cuba's National Land
Control Center, 77.1 percent of the lands given have been used for food
From January to June, 12,795 of the 15,975 land applications had been
approved. However, 9,000 farmers who failed to "put the land into
operation" within two years had to return the lands to authorities,
The Cuban Ministry of Agriculture is carrying out a "re-inspection" of
usufruct land to determine the area of idle lands left on the Caribbean
island, he said.
Aiming to increase agricultural production and reduce costs brought
about by importing food, authorities handed over the first plot of idle
lands in 2008. About 80 percent of food in Cuba is imported at a cost of
$1.5 billion a year.