How Does the US blockade Affect Food Production in Cuba?

Food production, marketing, and prices are some of the issues that most concern Cubans and is what most directly impacts our quality of life. Although this is a strategic and priority sector for Cuba, it is directly connected to the current economic situation of the country, aggravated by the impact of the US economic, commercial, and financial blockade.

Other reasons also prevent the country from achieving self-sufficiency in products. The prices’ rise in the international market in recent years and the war in Europe have also had a heavy impact.

On the international market, the cost of a ton of chicken – one of the most consumed meats in the country – is now 1,300 dollars, almost twice the price it it was one year ago. And this is just one example of what we are up against, according to the Minister of Food Industry, Manuel Santiago Sobrino Martinez.

“The energy crisis has also affected the food industry’s productivity,” the minister explained this Tuesday during an appearance on the television program Mesa Rendonda.

“In addition, we have not escaped the impact of climate change. In the first months of the year, the drought decreased milk production by about 38 million liters. We are not saying the low milk production is only because of the drought. We know there are many things we need to improve. But, the drought has also affected aquaculture production due to the decrease in the level of an important group of reservoirs,” the minister explained.

However. This reality would be more bearable without the crushing presence of the blockade, which forces Cuba to acquire food at exorbitant prices in geographically distant markets. The economic losses are estimated in the millions.

Reports from the Ministry of the Food Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba show that the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba caused more than 270 million dollars in losses to the island’s agriculture sector and this is only from August 2021 to February 2022.

The inclusion of Cuba on Washington’s list of State sponsors of terrorism on January 12, 2021, without any moral, legal, or common sense basis, has a direct impact on the ability to solve common problems.

Without those limitations and prohibitions, there would be a more efficient trade to alleviate the complex food situation, boost the private sector, and stimulate local production.

However, Cubans always find strength. We don’t remain immobile, no matter how difficult the scenario is. We always look for a way to stay on our feet no matter how much work but it always costs us. New economic projects have improved the sector, and today, the country has 844 micro, small, and medium-sized private enterprises. One hundred and forty-four of them are engaged in bakery, 194 in the production of meat products, 188 in the production of canned food, and 92 in milk products.

“What would we Cubans achieve if the blockade did not exist? This genocidal policy that intends to bend our sovereign will by hunger must cease. They will never succeed,” the minister concluded.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – English