touches the earth
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.
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.