Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cuba dissolved more than 400 farm co-ops since 2008

Agence France-PresseOctober 18, 2013 13:34

Cuba dissolved more than 400 farm co-ops since 2008

More than 400 of Cuba's farm cooperatives on state-owned land have been
dissolved over the last five years because they weren't profitable,
despite reforms aimed at opening the market, an official said Friday.

Ricardo Monzon, an agriculture ministry official said 295 co-ops have
closed since August 2012 alone, bringing the total since 2008 to 434.

The shuttered co-ops "did not generate the profits necessary for
self-financing," Monzon said on Cuban television.

The land will be reallocated to private farmers or to other cooperatives.

Monzon noted that the recent closures were part of a plan approved by
President Raul Castro last year to improve management of the
cooperatives, which Cuban media report had accumulated debts worth $50
million by the beginning of 2011.

Castro, who replaced his brother Fidel as president in 2006, has imposed
economic reforms including measures to boost food production on this
communist island which overwhelmingly relies on imports to feed its 11.1
million inhabitants.

Under the terms of the reforms, farmers and coops can now directly sell
their products to hotels, restaurants, and farmer's markets, which are
gradually expanding in number.

However, the island continues to be a net food importer, with at least
$1.9 billion expected to be spent this year.

Source: "Cuba dissolved more than 400 farm co-ops since 2008 |
GlobalPost" -

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