Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Department

World Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Shawn Smallman

Subjects

Agriculture and state -- Cuba, Agriculture and politics -- Cuba, Sustainable agriculture -- Government policy -- Cuba, Agriculture -- Economic aspects -- Cuba

DOI

10.15760/honors.44

Abstract

Since the economic crisis following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba has restructured their agriculture with a greater focus on domestic production of domestically consumed produce, and a dramatic reduction of petroleum products in all aspects of food production. This overhaul has included the broad application of what is termed agroecology – agricultural practices which focus on principles of biodiversity and sustainability – and inter-farm cooperation facilitated by the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP) and Campesino a Campesino. Academics and journalists from within and abroad have critically examined aspects of the novel reforms developed in the country in starkly contrasting terms, as either an impressive example of sustainability in farming meeting human needs, or as an inefficient, bureaucratically bloated attempt to cope with an enduring food crisis in the country. This author speculates that both perspectives have political agendas unrelated to the observable successes or failures of food production in Cuba. The challenge is in finding the common ground between these poles of argument to clarify how Cuba’s agricultural system has shown remarkable success in recovery from crisis, and in modeling sustainable agriculture; and how it is impeded from further success by circumstances such as governmental bureaucracy, social prejudice, and insufficient profit for farmers with which to motivate ingenuity. While both perspectives can provide insight into food production in Cuba, the context of the broader political debate is present in the data and arguments of both critics and proponents of sustainable agriculture in Cuba.

Comments

An undergraduate honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in University Honors, International Development Studies and Spanish Language

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/12025

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