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Julia Wright, "Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in an Era of Oil Scarcity: Lessons from Cuba"
Earthscan Publications Ltd. | 2008-12 | ISBN: 1844075729 | 278 pages | PDF | 1,7 MB
When other nations are forced to rethink their agricultural and food security strategies in light of the post-peak oil debate, they only have one living example to draw from: that of Cuba in the 1990s. Based on the first and, up till now, only systematic and empirical study to come out of Cuba on this topic, this book examines how the nation successfully headed off its own food crisis after the dissolution of the Soviet Bloc in the early 1990s. It identifies the policies and practices required for such an achievement under conditions of petroleum-scarcity, and in doing so it challenges the more common, free market development approach as encouraged in other food-insecure countries and regions.
Paradoxically, the book debunks the myth that Cuba turned to a widespread organic approach to agriculture, a myth that is perpetuated by the majority of visitors to the country, who only encounter urban gardens. In rural regions, to which the author had authorized access, high-input and integrated agriculture was the intention, although practice was hampered by the fluctuations in availability of agrochemicals and fuel. Cuban institutions and individuals were confronted with a series of challenges to going down the organic route, and these challenges are identified as those that other countries will also have to face as they attempt to develop more sustainable, organic farming systems.
The book counters the rhetoric of international policy on achieving sustainable agriculture and food security for developing countries in the context of dwindling global supplies of fossil fuels, and provides useful learning material for the current fledgling attempts at energy descent plans and the mainstreaming of eco-living in industrialized nations.
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