En este momento estás viendo The countryside and its charms: Yadier’s life project
Yadier Castillo Gomez, vice-president of the Antonio Palacios Agricultural Production Cooperative, comments on the cultivation of rice in the area around the Zaza-Ciego Canal in the south of Majagua municipality in Ciego de Avila, Cuba, on 12 March 2024. ACN PHOTO/Osvaldo GUTIÉRREZ GÓMEZ

The countryside and its charms: Yadier’s life project

Yadier Castillo Gómez assures that he has his feet firmly on the ground and although where he lives almost everything is green areas, he wouldn’t change it for the most beautiful city that could exist, because he feels fulfilled.

The 36-year-old is a native of Derramadero, a rural community of the Limones Palmero Popular Council, belonging to the municipality of Majagua, in Ciego de Avila, where he is the vice-president of the Antonio Palacio Agricultural Production Cooperative (CPA), with very good production indicators.

«My life project is in Limones Palmero, peasant blood runs through my veins and that gives me oxygen and motivates me every day». We Guajiros like beer, enjoy family life like any other human being, but we are lovers of tranquillity, the pure breeze of the countryside, the hustle and bustle of the animals and the crops, says Yadier, who is an Accounting Technician. Living in the cities provides certain benefits for the social and cultural development of people, that is not disputed, but the pace of life is a bit stressful; however, in the communities there is a stronger connection with nature, which provides a sense of peace and a greater sense of familiarity, which is more akin to me and my family, says Yadier with a certain pride.

Father of a 15 year old teenager, who follows in his footsteps on the farm, Yadier puts all his efforts, together with the other 14 members of the «Antonio Palacio», to promote the incursion into rice cultivation, which they carry out in areas downstream of the Zaza-Ciego de Ávila canal.

We ventured into this purpose in the winter campaign of 2022-2023. To do so, we went all out against the marabú, the absolute owner of those lands that were unproductive due to a lack of fuel, and although this problem also exists, we can now benefit from the water of this artificial river that is within our reach, says the agricultural worker, who shows how far we have come.

This is a very popular food on the Cuban table – and with his eyes he walks through the fields planted with rice – but the lack of solvency of the national economy to guarantee the availability of resources in the country’s rice-growing entities prevents us from ensuring the demand, which is why we are dedicated to its production as the main line of business in the CPA. There is enough here to prosper and contribute to lowering prices, he says without hesitation.

When I set my mind to something, I almost always achieve it, Yadier says half jokingly, half seriously. Our goal, of course adapting it to reality, aims to grow in hectares covered with this cereal, which is why we use the little fuel we are assigned to eliminate the marabú: «With this projection and putting heart and soul into it, because it takes effort, we have made the dream of exploiting the canal a reality, which also benefits the members of the Cooperativa de Crédito y Servicios (CCS) in the area, with the same name as ours.

This experience, in which we have already ventured for the third time, is being carried out at the tip of our pencil and is going well, although we do not deny the lack of resources, but if the will is there, there are results, the interviewee assures us.

«What we collected in 2023 allowed us to deliver the amounts agreed with the Agroindustrial Company of Grains Máximo Gómez, which provided us with resources and advice on the cultivation of the foodstuff in demand».

We also guaranteed the social institutions of the municipality, distributed to the associates, sold to the population and saved the seed for the 2023-2024 winter campaign, in which we occupied, in our case, 67.1 hectares with the lp-5 and Selección varieties, says the young man.

Rice sowing has gone well for us – bless the water of the Zaza-Ciego de Ávila! If we have never been unprofitable, now much less so, he emphasises.

Living in the countryside has its charms, Yadier enjoys them, his words ratify how much he likes this environment, with which he connects to oxygenate his lungs and also, as he himself says, to carry out his life project.

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