I came across several good articles on agroecology this week. First, Lois Ross at Rabble.ca feels we have a lot to learn from Cuba’s agroecological revolution. After the collapse of the Soviet Union Cuba’s export market for sugar fell. “It did not have the currency to import petroleum or petroleum-based fertilizers to continue cultivation of monocultures on large state farms. And it had no currency to import food. The Cuban people were getting hungry!”
These dire circumstances fostered the kind of creativity and research that led to Cuba becoming:
…a huge incubator farm for organic and sustainable models of agriculture. As the new millennium dawned, Cuba received The Right Livelihood Award (often called the Alternative Nobel Prize) from the Swedish Parliament for its Herculean efforts in sustainable agriculture.
For more than 25 years, Cuba has been modelling its food production on agroecology and applying organic agriculture to a multitude of small-scale projects. To this day, it’s held up as a model in the development of sustainable agriculture with farmer-to-farmer tours, tours for international agriculture students, and the hosting of researchers from around the world doing field work to assess and write about the island’s advances in feeding its own people.
To the west in El Salvador, telesurtv.net covers the women and social movements that employ agroecological techniques to cultivate land in an environmentally sustainable way that helps to regenerate the land’s biodiversity.
If the land does not give us corn, it will give us something else,” said one member from Las Mesas cooperative in the province of La Libertad. “We have cassava, we have orange, chili, tomato…that way, we always work, because if we can’t harvest one thing, we will harvest another.