In 13 years of deployment of strategies and local development projects, Manatí has managed to direct its horizons towards the materialization of food sovereignty, and to date, it is still in search of new ventures that guarantee this premise of vital importance for that northern land that is home to about 29 thousand inhabitants.
Abel Peña Alfonso, Projects Director of the Municipal Assembly of the People's Power, commented to 26 that the results have been ostensible thanks to the financing possibilities of United Nations organizations such as the World Food Program, the Development Program, and the Swiss Office for International Collaboration of the European Union and also, and not less important, of the territorial contribution.
Peña Alfonso emphasized that they are currently immersed in updating the municipal development strategy in which the Food Sovereignty and Food and Nutritional Security Law is of vital importance, a novel provision that seeks to establish the general legal framework to protect the right of every person to healthy and adequate food.
As in all Cuba, in Manatí this law will regulate the organization of sovereign and sustainable local food systems, or in the process of achieving it, and will establish the responsibility of the local bodies of the People's Power for the proper functioning of these, with broad participation of science and innovation.
The Project director explained that this law would improve the processes of production, transformation, commercialization, and consumption of food, based on the endogenous capacities of the territories.
With a view to development, three local development projects are being promoted there today, and the Vascal Tannery stands out for its relevance, an enterprise that will promote the elaboration of several products from animal skins.
We want to create, fundamentally, sports implements such as ball gloves," he emphasized. We have already made progress, since we have most of the material resources and the building to be fitted out, we only need the corresponding permits.
"Another strength is that we have the qualified personnel to carry out the activity with the quality required. We intend to stand out in this endeavor and bring attractive and well-finished products to the market. We are going to take advantage of the sheep and cattle hides, under contract with the producers."
The second project arising from the territorial contribution is aimed at strengthening technological capabilities, and will specifically seek to increase production in the gastronomy processing center with the use of new, state-of-the-art technology.
Peña Alfonso commented that the logistical support is already in the country and will soon arrive in the municipality. The goal is also to get closer to better food quality standards, as well as food safety. "We are also going to strengthen the sausage processing capacities at the Victuro Acosta meat processing plant. To this end, we will install three modern machines, a mill, a mixer, and a sausage filler. We are counting on the international support of Cosude in this undertaking," said the executive.
Local development strategies and their achievements have changed the lives of the people living in Manatí in many ways. Although the Biomás Project has concluded, its footprint in the territory is undeniable, as several families are currently benefiting from biogas through the construction of biodigesters. From the integrated farms, each farmer has taken advantage of the resources with the premise of respecting the environment.
In "Los Pinos," "El Porvenir," and "Hermanos Peña," three of the 18 farms endorsed as integral farms, actions are now being developed to generalize the experiences and turn them into schools for the others. They also benefited from equipment for cooking food, refrigeration, lighting, solar heaters, and much more.
Los Pinos Farm
In each farm, the goal is to strengthen food production, associated with obtaining clean energy," said the specialist. Today, thanks to the project, we have producers who have implemented irrigation systems with photovoltaic panels, a great step forward in these times of electricity shortage.
"Through the use of biomass and the generation of biogas, the pioneering farms have managed to become self-sufficient in energy and this has had an impact on increasing food production and living conditions. As an achievement, we also have the installation of a windmill."
"Through the Biomass Cuba Project, we aspire to materialize the production of biodiesel. Today we are engaged in the assembly of a plant that makes it possible to obtain this fuel, the technological resources are already in the country, and we are also promoting the completion of a laboratory to certify seeds."
He described as very positive that the basic production unit of the 13 de Marzo cooperative, where the plants for processing are planted, managed to reach 67 hectares covered and could also diversify its assortment and provide more food to the community where it is located.
More than 15 million pesos have been spent to date in the municipality in the acquisition of agricultural machinery, irrigation systems, lathe equipment, and others, aimed at promoting food production. Among the achievements, the materialization of three mini-industries, an ice cream factory, a laboratory to certify construction materials -which will soon see the light of day- and a laundry, as well as basic means, materials, and technical supplies for producers, stand out.
The Koika project, with South Korean financing, recently arrived in Manatí. It seeks to link productive forms to social protection networks such as schools, childcare centers, family care services, and others.
Several local production units will be involved in this endeavor and will guide their production according to the needs of the centers assigned to them, to which they must supply a variety and quality food.
"At first, refrigeration equipment was delivered, but the project is broader. It includes kitchen utensils, electric means of transportation, various household appliances, and others. In addition, a reinforced snack will be delivered to the students of the Victuro Acosta School," Peña Alfonso said.
A new project is still on the table, which will seek to facilitate the water supply through the use of photovoltaic energy to the community of Anacahuita, a place that today receives the liquid utilizing a train and whose cycles are extended for more than 30 days, will also have great repercussions.