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Entries in eagriculture (1)

Wednesday
Oct282009

“Cuba's Accidental Revolution”

The transition toward a sustainable agriculture in Cuba was no accidental revolution but the result of struggle between different views of development within the process of inventing the appropriate relation between an evolving socialist society and the rest of nature. The groundwork was laid in the 1960's and 1970's when labor law protected agriculture workers from pesticide poisoning by regular screening, micropresas were dug to make water available, and Fidel was circulating Rachel Carson's “The Silent Spring” among his friends. The Instituto Nacional de Sanidad Vegetal was experimenting with polyculture in their field plots in Guines de Melena, the Institute for Fundamental Research in Tropical Agriculture was examining the potential of ants as biological control agents, researchers at the Institute for Citrus Research were discussing integrated ecological agriculture. The Voisin system of rotational grazing was being introduced into dairying. In the 1970's, Cuban ecology was emerging fro the more classical colonial descriptive botany and zoology. A Communist Party nucleo of museum workers prepared its case for an ecological approach to development against the common dismissal of ecology as sentimental nostalgia for a golden age that never really existed.

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