Francis Guedes is a Brazilian PhD student in Agroecosystems at UFSC – Brazil, who researches dairy farming in distinct productive organization forms in Cuba. In different roles in the field and in academia, he acts since 2002 on socio-productive and political organization and on income guarantee, based on cooperation and agroecology. Worked on issues related to peasantry, family farming and Agrarian Reform in Brazil. He was an activist most of this period in the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST). He struggles to maintain his research and other activities, facing with his family a serious economic, political and sanitary crisis in Brazil.
Agrarian question, repeasantization and inequality in Cuba
In Cuba, state possession of agricultural land has gone from 82% in the 1980s to 31% today. As a result of increasing in idle land, demographic issues, the need to expand domestic production and replace food imports, state promoted an intense repeasantization. In the period 2007-2019, the management of land by peasants increased from 18% to 37%. Agricultural production showed a general increase, with growth or recovery trends for most of the food. Some studies indicate that it is necessary to move forward in increasing production, reducing imports and supporting the peasantry. The analyses indicate the need to extend the use of market and decentralization mechanisms, complementarily and coordinately with state planning. The economic blockade imposes the use of market instruments; they were introduced to face the Special Period of the 1990s and as part of the updating of the economic and social model started in 2011. However, there was a great increase in inequality, with different forms of ownership, economic opportunities and the stratification in the countryside. Under a perspective of necessary changes for the development of socialism, with the elimination of inequalities and full social inclusion as goals, it is necessary to promote a greater access to inputs and expand commercialization opportunities for the peasantry, as an incentive to production and income, which includes, probably, the market; provide an equitable supply and distribution of wealth and food, which presupposes control by the state; eliminate inequality, which implies the difficult harmonization of interventions according to this objective.
Affiliation: Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil