Agriculture and Food

FAO, EU and the Cubans Sign New Program to Support Sustainable Food Security

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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is an agency of the United Nations (UN) that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and achieve food security for all, and to ensure people have regular access to sufficient high-quality food to lead productive, healthy lives. The FAO works with approximently 194 member states in 130 countries across the globe. Its goal is to achieve a #ZeroHunger world.

In the following article the FAO Representative in Cuba, Marcelo Resende, explained the relevance of the new program to guarantee the right to healthy food in Cuba.

With the aim of supporting the development of resilient and sustainable food systems, by increasing the production of diverse and healthy foods that respond to local demand, a new joint program between the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG) had its official start today in Havana and the European Union (EU), with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The program will be developed until 2025 in six municipalities of Sancti Spíritus and Villa Clara and at the central level, with a total amount of 19 million 950 thousand euros. It includes three projects, which focus on strengthening local self-sufficiency for sustainable and healthy food, management capacity for decision processes and policy formulation, and the Integrated Knowledge Management System for food security in the country, the latter two with the execution of FAO.

“The projects will help the country to be consistent with the right of people to healthy food, which is recognized in the new Constitution of the Republic. It will be a boost for the formulation and development of the National Plan for Food Sovereignty and Nutrition Education in which the Cuban government is working, ”said Marcelo Resende, FAO Representative in Cuba, in the workshop.

For his part, Maury Echevarría Bermúdez, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, explained that the development of the sector is a strategic priority of the country and thanked the EU and the United Nations agencies for contributing to that end.

One of the main purposes will be to contribute to municipal self-supply, so necessary to meet the population’s demand and avoid expenses in aspects such as transportation and imports, Echevarría said.

In addition to MINAG, other national agencies involved in the implementation are the Ministries of the Food Industry; Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX); Domestic trade; Science, Technology and Environment; Higher education; Health; and Economy and Planning.

Alberto Navarro, ambassador and head of the Delegation of the European Union in Cuba, said that the program includes aspects related to resistance to climate change, agriculture on agroecological bases and the experiences of other nations on the subject. “What happened today is another step in the path of cooperation between the European Union and Cuba, and the multisectoral dialogue must be continued,” he said.

The Cuban government and the EU agreed in April the financing agreement for the action, within the framework of the Multi-Annual Indicative Program for Cuba 2014-2020.

In addition, Consuelo Vidal-Bruce, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Cuba participated in the start-up workshop; Maribel Gutiérrez, UNDP Representative; and Carlos Fidel Martín, director of International Economic Organizations of MINCEX.

The following article was first published on the FAO website as the announcement of a new program for sustainable food security in Cuba.

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