National Hero José Martí said: "If the man is useful, the land is useful."

Guaranteeing food for the 533,224 residents of the province of Las Tunas - according to statistics for the year 2020 - is said to be easy. But, behind that figure and the current needs, there are many hours of sustained and intense work.

Sometimes, the results are small in the face of so many obstacles, although the biggest ones are long-standing and respond to the poor quality of these soils and the little rain that falls from the sky to the point of being the driest territory in the country.

Have we adapted to that? Yes, from a certain point of view. Farmers and ranchers have looked for solutions such as opening wells, using windmills, making tanks and other water reservoirs, damming rivers, and moving animals to places with better conditions.

But, just when it is believed that the bull has been taken by the horns and that the only thing left to do is to produce, new phenomena appear. During the administration of former President Donald Trump, several turns of the screw were made to the economic restriction measures that were already suffocating us. Consequently, a juncture arrived that was prolonged in time and that has reduced the allocations of fuel to plow the land, fundamentally. Then, Cuba and the world suffered long months of economic and health crises due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Should we surrender to these circumstances and fold our arms? Of course not, because the key to food sovereignty lies in the actions undertaken. So, to plant and harvest; to raise animals, and take advantage of the meat, milk, and eggs.

Will it be easy? Of course not. The country has reduced to a minimum the importation of industrial feed, veterinary medicines, chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, irrigation systems, machinery and spare parts, inputs, seeds, and other resources.

To overcome it, some are produced here, science and technological innovation are applied. Slowly, but progress is being made in planting animal feed, obtaining national seeds, and cultivable areas are growing.

The lower the yields due to so many shortages, the larger the areas planted. That is the decision in the eight municipalities of Las Tunas, where the marabú is gradually giving up its usual spaces because - as the slogan of World Food Day 2021 says - "Our actions are our future. Better production, better nutrition, better environment, and a better life."

Add the protection of soils and, especially, the Ecomic factory that is about to open its doors in the community of Becerra, in the provincial capital. Also, the creation of 10 mini-industries and 82 artisanal micro-industries for the processing and preservation of vegetables.

In addition, the Cuban government issued a broad package of measures, 63 to be exact, to boost agricultural production, ranging from new forms of commercialization to the increase of milk and meat prices, as well as the authorization of the slaughter of large livestock as long as they comply with the increase of the mass.

In short, for there to be food, there is a need for a will. And yes, it is possible, because of what the National Hero José Martí said: "If the man is useful, the land is useful". There are many examples, in every corner of this land, exhausted by the sun, thirsty, scourged by insects, but with their backs bent, their eyes on the furrow and firm in their purposes.