Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cuba declares success in curbing soil degradation

Cuba declares success in curbing soil degradation
( Updated July 21, 2011 11:08 AM

HAVANA (Xinhua) – Cuba's agriculture ministry said Wednesday the country
has made considerable headway in conservations programs aimed at curbing
soil degradation that poses a serious threat to food supply.

Mario Riverol, top official for soil conservation at the ministry, said
the programs cover more than 600,000 hectares of land and include
measures such as use of dams, organic fertilizers and a regular rotation
of crops.

Studies find more than 40 percent of Cuba's agricultural land has been
damaged by erosion and poor drainage, while half of the nation's arable
land had been declared unproductive in 2008.

Cuban leader Raul Castro regards food production as a national security
issue and has vowed to boost agricultural output.

Cuba relies on imports for over 80 percent of its food supply and this
year alone it will cost the poor Caribbean island more than 1.8 billion
U.S. dollars to import foods.

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