En este momento estás viendo Maceo and his titans
Jorge Maceo Lorenzo, quien se desempeñaba como Director General de la Empresa Agropecuaria Arnaldo Ramírez,. Foto: Osvaldo Gutiérrez Gómez

Maceo and his titans

Always ready for the «machete charges» in food production in the fields of Ciego de Avila.

An invasion from the east to the centre of Cuba took place in times of economic crisis, precisely at the beginning of the so-called special period in 1991.

The troops took by assault lands blessed by nature in the municipality of Primero de Enero, in the north-east of the province of Ciego de Avila.

Not even as squad leader at the beginning of the battle does a worker who has become a leader in the heat of battle. At the forefront of the battle today, Jorge Maceo Lorenzo recognises that a large part of his life story is the work of the titans who accompany him.

He affirms that, summoned by the Party and the government in Santiago de Cuba, they formed a contingent and arrived in this territory with the mission of harvesting and sending agricultural products, mainly potatoes, to the eastern province.

«It’s been 33 years since that offensive and we’re still fighting here,» says the man who is proud to feel as much a Santiago native as an Avileño, having earned the honorary title of Distinguished Son in Ciego and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cuban Association of Agricultural and Forestry Technicians, among other honours.

SUBTITLE: Day by day

Maceo recognises that «day-to-day problems are not only solved with fertile soil, sufficient water and other conditions in this place, that is why we prioritise attention to the human resource that does not allow itself to be defeated even by the lack of an indispensable input.

«With this strength we fight, but we apply variants such as the generalisation in our company of the modality of the labour collective that has fewer workers on its payroll and more sense of belonging as the members act as owners, by linking the man to the cultivable area, to the surveillance and control of the productions, to its cost centre that has established the accounting at the level of each crop.

«These groups work on some 850 hectares with 17 central pivot machines and other irrigation systems that benefit plantations of cassava, sweet potato, pumpkin, maize; by the way, the potato had a good harvest and beans suffered the loss of 130 hectares due to heavy rains at the beginning of the cold season, however, we sowed again last December and January, and the results were satisfactory».

How could a socialist agricultural state enterprise not accumulate economic losses with limitations of fertilisers, fuel, lubricants and other resources?

«First of all, we identified the limitations and potentialities very well, then we worked hard on alternatives that we turned into daily practice, for example, the use of biological means and organic fertilisers such as earthworm humus in 100 % of the crops, applied by fertigation, sprayers on tractors and manual backpacks.

«Other good practices consist of the correct agro-technology, the right sowing frame, the cultural care of the fields and other no less important issues such as the stability of the workforce and of our board of directors».

The fruits are not only gathered in volumes of tons of viands, vegetables, grains and fruits for the national food distribution balance sheet. Several of the aforementioned workforces had an average monthly salary of between 27 and 30 thousand pesos and are going for more, according to the management.

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