Cuba Prepares New Laws for Agricultural Cooperatives

Cooperatives grow 99% of the tobacco in Cuba. (14ymedio)

14ymedio biggerEFE, via 14ymedio, 2 June 2018 — Cuba’s Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG) reported Friday that it is preparing two new legislative projects that will include legal norms governing the management of agricultural cooperatives, which are responsible for producing 92% of the food grown in Cuba, a country in which 80% of the total food consumed is imported from abroad.

The two draft decrees contain some 23 authorized policies affecting the island’s cooperatives, which are responsible for sowing 99% of the tobacco grown in the island, 100% of the sugar cane, 91% of the root crops, and also provide vegetables, fruits, rice, corn and beans.

There are currently 2,386 Credit and Services Cooperative (CCS) in Cuba, 650 Agricultural Production Cooperative (CPA) and 1,084 Basic Units of Production Cooperatives (UBPC) operating in the agricultural sector, according to official data cited by the state-run Cuban News Agency.

A CPA is a collective form of social property and is created when farmers to combine their land and other fundamental means of production, while a CCS is an organization where the individual form of ownership of the land and other productive assets is maintained, and work is organized as a family endeavor.

In the case of the UBPCs, they are created by workers from state enterprises with lands that have been transferred to them under a form of leasing known usufruct, while the means of production are purchased from the State in order to carry out joint production.

The new standards under study for future approval will update Law 95 of 2012 for the CCSs and CPAs, and the Decree-Law 142 of 1993 that establishes rules for UBPCs, still in force.

According to MINAG officials, the growth of Cuban agriculture is closely linked to the progress of the cooperatives that are its fundamental base.

Recently MINAG published a manual of good practices for the successful management of these associations, based on the experiences of a group of them that have shown outstanding results.

Agriculture is a priority issue in the process of economic reforms initiated by the former president of Cuba, Raúl Castro, starting in 2011, to update the Cuban socialist model, which includes the reordering of the agricultural sector to increase food production, which is considered a matter of “national security.”

Cuba spends about two billion dollars a year to import 80% of the food it consumes and, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, of the foods that are purchased from abroad, 60% could be produced on the island.


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