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Cuba is widely recognized for its social achievements including health care, education, social security, subsidized food and other benefits and opportunities, despite well-meaning, or sometimes not so well-meaning, international criticisms. For more than 50 years, this Caribbean island has defended and sustained these economic, political, social and cultural gains, and has maintained a commitment to humanitarianism and international solidarity that persists to this day.
Part one of Unfinished Puzzle describes the socioeconomic context of Cuban agriculture, the natural environment that affect it and the international political context in which it has developed. Part two explores the unique agricultural policies Cubans implemented to confront the food and economic crises of the early 1990s. Finally, part three examines the lessons to be learned from the Cuban experience with respect to local development, sustainable agriculture, agroecology, food security and food sovereignty. It highlights the elements of the Cuban system most suitable for replication in other countries facing similar circumstances or challenges.
Food First Books; January 2013
- ISBN 9780935028409
- Read online
- Title: Unfinished Puzzle
- Author: May Ling Chan; Eduardo Francisco Freyre Roach
Imprint: Food First Books
In The Press
This book reminds us that the only option for a small island nation facing an inhumane embargo and devastating hurricanes, is to embrace agroecology as a path to achieve food sovereignty and agricultural resiliency while maintaining its political autonomy.
CLARA I. NICHOLLS
Regional Coordinator of Red IberoAmericana de Agroecología para el Desarrollo de Sistemas Agrícolas Resilientes al Cambio Climático (REDAGRES)
The unfinished puzzle refers to the challenge of overcoming the Cuban agriculture paradox. Despite great agroecological advances and with over 120,000 peasants using sustainable methods--and producing most of the food in the island--why does Cuba still import substantial amounts of food? and why is the government releasing transgenic plants such as Bt corn? Why is agroecology, considered as alternative,” and only supported under scenarios of economic scarcity? This book, helps to address this unfinished puzzle.
MIGUEL A. ALTIERI
President, Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA)
About The Author
May Ling Chan is CEO of Friends of the Earth-Hong Kong. She worked with Oxfam Hong Kong in Asia and Africa for over 12 years. Her research at the Agrarian University of Havana focused on agricultural policy, agroecology and incentive structures for sustainable production from 2005 to 2009.
Eduardo Francisco Freyre Roach, PhD has been a professor at the Agrarian University of Havana for 27 years, specializing in rural sociology, sustainable agriculture and bioethics.