Cuban farmers have been sharing their knowledge of eco-friendly agriculture with some regional counterparts:
Farmers and experts on agriculture from Haiti, Guadeloupe and Martinique are touring fields in Cuba this week, along with local colleagues, to exchange experiences to foment ecological fruit growing on Caribbean islands.
“I’m leaving with a different take on things,” Audrey Retory, who grows fruit and vegetables and raises barnyard fowl in Guadeloupe, told IPS. “There’s no reason for there to be an antagonistic relationship between agricultural production and nature.
“From now on I’m going to use vermiculture (composting using earthworms), which does not require a major investment, and I know that many people will see what I’m doing and want to replicate it,” she said.
“The experts and farmers have shared their know-how, and we have tried to take advantage of this great opportunity, to take the new knowledge back home to our fellow agricultural producers,” said Djuié Abdul, a farmer from Martinique who was one of the 22 participants in the experience.
To highlight Cuba’s experience in these techniques and transfer technology to the other three participating Caribbean islands – these are two of the central aims of the Caribbean Network for the Development of Agroecological Horticultural Systems (DEVAG), a four-year project launched in late 2009 with the support of the French embassies in Cuba and Haiti.
“All of these farmers grow their own specific crops, but what they have in common is the weather and pests, which are a constant challenge on our islands,” the coordinator of the project in Cuba, Lilian Otero, told IPS.
“Cuba can show how, despite economic limitations, progress has been made in bioproducts and the application of agroecological practices,” she said.
Otero … said “the idea is to create a network and for the farmers themselves to become promoters of these techniques, so that they spread on the islands, and continue to be practiced even when the project is over.”
Find out more in the original article from IPS News.