Twenty Six Percent of the Farmers of Las Tunas Refuse To Sell Their Products to the Cuban State

Local leaders have proposed a “broad plan of visits” to persuade the farmers

The official press explained that the Dairy and Meat companies in the province have been failing to comply with their contracts for years

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 12 June 2024 — The authorities of Las Tunas have proposed to carry out a “wide plan of visits” to the farmers who refuse to deliver their agricultural products to the State. The contracts in the province, which should have ended in 2023, were completed in May by only 74% and, according to the official press, since the beginning of the year the progress to solve this situation has been “tiny.”

An article published this Wednesday by the local media Periódico 26 gave the measure of the situation: “In one way or another there are delays in all the municipalities, but those that make the least progress are Puerto Padre, Majibacoa and Jobabo, in which an extensive plan of visits to owners or usufructuaries [a form of leasing], both private and state, is imposed to expedite what should have been completed a long time ago.”

Of the total number of producers in the province – the figure is around 20,000 – only 16,326 have signed contracts with the State to deliver products this year. The refusal of the farmers, which the newspaper attributes to the “insufficient control of the real potential of livestock owners” and the lack of demand and dialogue of the institutions with the producers, has repercussions for several essential food industries.

For the dairy farmers, for example, the goal was to provide 25,931,800 liters in 2024, but so far they have only managed to get farmers to commit to delivering 22,024,253 liters, 85%. The most backward municipalities are those of Manatí and Jobabo.

The same goes for meat deliveries, which of the 5,263 tons per year projected, barely 4,074 were delivered

The same goes for meat deliveries, which of the 5,263 tons per year projected, barely 4,074 were delivered. The most indebted territories were once again Manati, in addition to Majibacoa and Puerto Padre, the territories with the worst management according to Periódico 26.

Whether or not the farmers comply with the milk and meat plans is still to be seen, although the authorities are not very optimistic. “For several years, the Las Tunas Meat and Dairy companies have failed to comply with their contracts in the established time, and, although there are constant extensions, several agricultural producers evade their responsibility or deliver quantities lower than those agreed,” says the media.

“Recovering what has not been contracted is one of the goals for June, which implies reaching every corner of the province, wherever there is a farm. Only in this way will the process be successful and, along with the prevention of illegalities, there will be more beef, milk and other products,” the newspaper concluded. However, on this last point, the Las Tunas authorities don’t seem to have much luck.

As reported by the media itself a week ago, in the first quarter of the year the province had 1,954 cases of theft and slaughter of livestock. The authorities then blamed the farmers for not taking proper care of the cattle and said these crimes were the main cause of the calamitous decrease in the livestock mass in the province.

As for agriculture, Periódico 26 published on Wednesday an article saying that the delivery of land in usufruct to state and private entities was a “promising” area in the territory. According to the media, so far this year 3,900 applications have been approved, totaling about 47,430 hectares.

So far this year, 3,900 applications have been approved totaling about 47,430 hectares

“In order to gradually eliminate idle lands with potential for agriculture and livestock, 4,885 files were processed, which guarantees a remarkable growth for six consecutive years,” the media said, although it did not reveal the figures for past years.

The authorities foresee a growing interest in this type of contract between state companies for the second half of the year and explained that the applications of 46 entities for self-consumption have been approved so far. “However, these numbers are still ephemeral, since the intention is to link one hundred percent of all entities,” the official newspaper added, without giving figures on the private sector.

The announcement comes a week after the Government reported a new rule that, as of last Tuesday, allows companies, both state and private, and cooperatives of the agricultural system and the Azcuba group to create “self-consumption and livestock modules” to “contribute to the food of their workers, members or associates” and their families.

The measure aims to improve the food situation of employees in the sector through self-sufficiency and includes the delivery of land in usufruct to those who request it for this purpose even if the social purpose of the companies is not agricultural, forestry or fruit production.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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