Mission No.1 of the campesino movement: to produce

Raúl presides over the closing session of the 10th ANAP Congress
Yaima Puig Meneses and Juan Varela Pérez

PRESIDENT Raúl Castro was present at the closing session of the 10th Congress of the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP) and expressed to its delegates the confidence of the Cuban Revolution, Communist Party and state in the campesino movement and its primary mission: to produce for the people.

Without planning, exigency, unity and discipline it is impossible to eliminate the deficiencies underlying food production in Cuba; hence the need to analyze all of the obstacles in order to guarantee food security in the country, delegates agreed.

After Orlando Lugo Fonte, member of the Council of State and ratified as ANAP president, gave a synthesis of the central report, summaries of the three working commissions that sat during the first session of Congress were read out.

These documents contain the organization’s main objectives for the next period, as well as a conjunction of recommendations directed at improving actions underway to increase food production and the replacement of imports.

The debate on principal aspects of the central report was objective and precise, with added details from delegates on the principal achievements and shortcomings characterizing the organization to date.

“The economy is the barometer of the efficiency of any process, and thus we cannot continue to allow unprofitable cooperatives to exist,” affirmed Alfredo Guerrero, president of the 26th of July CCS (Credit and Services Cooperative) in Banes municipality, Holguín province.

And he added: “Cooperatives in these conditions means that members are violating the organizational and economic principles established for their effective functioning, and the only way that can happen is out of a lack of will, projection or work, we are failing to exploit the potential that we now have to make the land produce.”

Delegates highlighted the need to optimize marketing mechanisms for agricultural produce, closely related to the contracting issue. In this context, members reiterated the need of every productive unit or province to improve quality and ensure contracts, so that all parties meet their obligations and what is contracted really is what is sown, harvested and marketed.

Liadia Ester, ANAP president in Fomento municipality, Sanctí Spíritus, recounted experiences of agricultural diversification in her area, and noted the importance of promoting the country’s production of fruit which, moreover, would allow for crop rotation and mixing.

She also pointed to the need to give particular attention to the natural fertilizer program, which can save considerable sums of money, and make better use of organic compost.

Another intention of the sector is to achieve a minimum 85% birth rate for cattle herds in every cooperative dedicated to this activity. This indicator, generally not met in the country, is only exceeded in a few units, one of them being the Abel Santamaría CCS in Camagüey. The example of the Niceto Pérez CCS in the same province was also highlighted, given that it doubled its productive commitments in 2009 with the sale of more than two million liters of milk to the state.

There was much emphasis on the imperative of steadily incorporating more people into food production. Various provinces detailed the results of their actions in this context, especially in relation to young people.

Delegates like Ana Bueno, from the Cuba Socialista CPA (Agricultural Production Cooperative) in Madruga and Yolanda Quesada from Cienfuegos province, gave details on the presence of women in the sector and confirmed that the Revolution could always trust in their will and disposition. They also noted the importance of training new generations to take their place in future ANAP projects.

The closing speech was given by Marino Murillo, vice president of the Council of Ministers. The likewise minister of economy and planning acknowledged the patriotic tradition of these congresses and recalled different moments of the Cuban revolutionary process, in which this combative force has always been present.

Translated by Granma International

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