Eating money

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Cartoon: Martirena

I wish to travel the country from end to end. I wish to visit the many places I still don’t know, not on an excursion like those trips of «Around Cuba», but on a working trip to assess whether a popular phrase is already part of our national identity: «People, we are eating money!

I am of the same opinion. Although as an inexperienced cook, I do not intend to put the prices on the fire of public opinion again. I do want to «cook» another crude issue of our reality in relation to the people’s food.

Certainly, each place has its particularities, however, the following examples can be referents, but this time with negative balances of a plain of riches as we journalists from the province of Ciego de Ávila have always called it.

Today, the agricultural power has an unprecedented situation. Of the 19 companies with economic losses in the avilanian territory, eight belong to the non-cane agriculture system, which accumulate more than 40% of the provincial total, together with the agro-industrial sugar companies, which account for 52.3%.

This aspect has repercussions on the Cuban table because food is sent from Ciego de Ávila to other provinces and this year the production of potatoes, vegetables, fruits, eggs and beef, pork, poultry, sheep and goats has decreased. The planned quantities of plantain, cassava, sweet potato and malanga, the most rustic crops, are also not being met.

Taking as a reference the report of the Provincial Directorate of Economy and Planning from January to August, food is not so close to the plate. In spite of exceeding 30 pounds per inhabitant a month, an essential purpose of the Municipal Self-Supply Program, the strategy does not materialize due to the assortment of food, vegetables, grains, fruits and other products.

The causes are well known and the challenges to food security have been identified by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), since food production is at the forefront of socioeconomic development.

And if one day I was of the opinion that the percentages are not eaten, today that the overfulfillment of the plans are not abundant and do not fill the family basket, I affirm that it is not a matter of «melting» the salary, even in poor quality food.

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