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How Cuba is Achieving Food Security Without Destroying its Environment

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 9:46
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(Before It's News)

    Viñales Valley, Cuba. (Pixabay / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Cuba is attracting global attention for developing cheap and eco-friendly technologies that have helped the country to reach a certain level of food security without damaging the environment.

Given the environmental and financial challenges the world is facing, the Cuban model – built after the collapse of the USSR – is seen as offering potential solutions to many countries in the world.

From TeleSur:

Cuba is presenting several of its original biotechnologies at an international business fair this week, drawing further attention to a sector of the Cuban economy that’s been generating substantial interest abroad.

The Cuban Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology presented various biotechnological innovations at the fair: all eco-friendly and biodegrable alternatives to conventional technologies, which could help the transition toward a more sustainable model of agriculture.

Among them was, “Gavac,” an immunogen that provides for better control over ticks and tick-related infections in cattle, according to Doctor Hector Machado of Cuba’s Heber Biotec company.

Gavac’s formula reduces the use of chemical insecticides, noted Machado, while diminishing the risk of diseases being transmitted by ticks, improving an animal’s natural capacity to respond to an infection without increasing their resistance to treatment.

Gavac has already been commercialized in Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. Its awaiting approval for use in Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica.

Other biotechnological products included Acuabio’s range of nutritional complements used in aquaculture in order to boost the growth of larva and enhance their immune systems until they become adults, providing them better defenses against infections.

The HeberNem eco-friendly insecticide against roundworms, or nematodes, is also increasingly popular within Cuba, and will be presented in the fair this year.

The fair – one of the largest business events in the Caribbean – aims to attract investment in Cuba. This year, a few dozen U.S. firms are attending the fair, the first time U.S. companies have attended since the fair was launched 33 years ago.

The UN’s World Food Program (UNWFP) states, “In 2011 the Government of Cuba launched a process to update its economic model to improve the efficiency, reduce the costs and increase the sustainability of social protection programs. These efforts are guided by the Government’s commitment to ensure that no Cuban is left unprotected.”

“With its comprehensive social protection programs,” the UNWFP states, “Cuba has largely eradicated hunger and poverty. It is one of the most successful countries in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and was ranked 44th of the 187 countries in the 2014 UNDP Human Development Index.

Read more here.

—Posted by Roisin Davis

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