U B A
October 24, 2013
WORLD FOOD DAY 2013
Cuba’s work as very positive
Acosta & Maylin Guerrero Ocaña
MORE than 800 million people
go hungry every day, while nutritional deficiencies
threaten the health of another 2 billion. At the
other extreme however, 1.5 billion people suffer
access to better
nutrition and health. This is why governments must
eradicate hunger and malnutrition by implementing
public policies designed to ensure food security and
adequate nutrition for all citizens.
The message is clear: the global food market is not
fulfilling the needs of the poor, and having access
to this market doesn’t necessarily translate into
In the midst of this situation, a country like Cuba
stands out, with food security measures described as
"very positive" by Theodor Friedrich, representative
of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, during
the monthly panel discussion Letra con Vida,
organized by the
Dulce María Loynaz
Cultural Center in the capital, and this time
dedicated to World Food Day.
Agricultural Sciences Ph.D.
– commented on the country’s
indicators such as eradication of hunger - being one
of the few countries to have accomplished this - and
fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals.
However, he stressed "there are still challenges to
overcome, above all the issue of food sustainability
through personal effort, rather than relying on
"Encouraging national production would guarantee
greater food sovereignty and security for the
country, which has sufficient land to feed its
population in a healthy, diversified and sustainable
way", the FAO representative noted.
But the question of food goes far beyond what is
produced in the countryside.
In order to provide quality products to consumers,
it is important that every link in the supply chain
works correctly; from storage and transportation to
the processing and marketing of food.
Friedrich commented on the importance of producing
good quality food in order to improve nutritional
value to preserve human health.
Diversified production at the local level gives the
population greater access to food. Positive examples
of this come in the form of the boom in urban and
suburban agriculture in the region and other
collaborative projects which contribute to
sustainable food production at the local level.
Grisel Tejeda González, from the Tropical
Agriculture Basic Research Institute, noted that
evidence of these
encouraging advances can be seen through the work of
the Cuban Agricultural Modernization Support Program
(PALMA), where the
institution’s framework plays a key role.
The FOA official also
stressed the need for greater professional training
for rural producers, providing information about the
effects of pesticides on crops and keeping them up
to date with the latest national and international
agricultural expertise and advances.
Dr. Theodor Friedrich highlighted the county’s
academic and technological potential, mentioning
that both aspects should be more strongly linked to
production in order to achieve the food sovereignty
and security which the country needs.