Political Prisoners of the Empire  MIAMI 5     



Havana. November 3, 2014

Science that touches the earth

Alberto Gutiérrez Walón

SAN JOSÉ DE LAS LAJAS, Mayabeque.— The National Institute of Agricultural Sciences (INCA) serves the function set by its founder, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, as a center at the service of Cuban agriculture.

INCA is committed to the training of highly qualified professionals in their respective fields, who contribute through their research to higher agricultural yields in the country in order to substitute expensive imports.

This center is part of the scientific-teaching complex of the Fructuoso Rodriguez Agricultural University, which also includes the Institute of Animal Science (ICA) and the National Center for Agricultural Health (Censa), located in the provincial capital.

Among the tasks of the institution, which has more than 400 workers, 62% of whom are professionals and technicians, are the generalization and transfer of current knowledge, comprehensive technology, new biotechnology products, plant science and sustainable systems, all aimed at raising levels of food production.

The key research areas include genetics to improve agriculture, characterization and management of rhizosphere microorganisms in agricultural systems and their relation to plant nutrition; the use of bioactives in increasing productivity and disease tolerance, as well as sustainable and environmentally viable local farming.

The main studies carried out are: improvements in rice, potato, tomato, soybean and snap bean seeds, varieties which are adapted to tropical and subtropical conditions. They use Ecomic, a biological fertilizer with a high efficiency in absorbing nutrients from the soil; Azofert, based on nitrogen-fixing rhizobacteria and a plant growth stimulator, and Pectimof, a plant growth stimulator.

Among the technologies and methods developed by the institute’s researchers are the production of different vegetables in sustainable farming systems; intensive organic farms and orchards; micropropagation with low input; the use of waste in fertigation; and the production of organic and biofertilizer materials.

The institute also provides additional scientific and technical services related to its research work of the past four decades, and maintains increasing levels of international collaboration with agricultural institutions and universities across Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Its greatest merit, however, is in providing decisive support to local agricultural development, leading to real results on the land. Here is a group of men and women of science at the service of agriculture.

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