September 30, 2012 -- Updated September 30, 2012 12:42 HKT
Cuba plans to increase biofertilizer production
Cuba has approved an investment program to build several plants to
produce biofertilizers and biopesticides, as part of its efforts to
revitalize the depressed agricultural sector, a senior official said.
Attending an international forum "Labiofam 2012″ which closed here
Friday, Minister of Agriculture Gustavo Rodriguez said Labiofam would
establish the new plants in a three-year period.
Labiofam is Cuba's most important group devoted to the production of
biotechnological products for agriculture and medicine.
Besides providing farmers with biofertilizers and biopesticides, the
project aims to maintain yields, import substitutes and protect the
Rodriguez said scientists were seeking nutritional alternatives for the
soil to reduce the use of high doses of mineral fertilizers, including
nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Cuba has some 350,000 farmers engaged in food production for a
population of 11.2-M.
Cuba imports each year 80 percent of its food, with a bill fluctuating
between US$1.5 and 2-B.
The revival of agriculture to increase food production on the island is
considered an "urgent challenge" and a matter of "national security,"
Mr. Rodriguez said.