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7079: Haiti / Cuba agricultural comparative study delegation (fwd)
From: Moira Feeney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Please join an upcoming fact-finding delegation cosponsored by Global
Exchange and FONKOZE...
Cuba and Haiti
May 24 - June 7, 2001
An Exploration of South-South Cooperation in Sustainable Agriculture
Agricultural Comparative Study Delegation:
Until 1989, Cuba's agriculture was the most industrialized agriculture in
Latin America, largely based on chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Due
to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the US trade embargo, creative
Cuban farmers have turned to a variety of traditional, alternative, and
renewable technologies to produce food, medicine and, energy. Ox driven
plows have taken the place of tractors, organic composting and pest control
techniques have replaced chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The changes
incurred by this sustainable model of development have been attributed to a
community of scientists with a no profit motive and unprecedented
government and community support. We will learn how an estimated 30,000
organic urban gardens in Havana are providing over 40% of residents? food
necessities, in addition to the 1,000,000 urban gardens throughout the
country. Today, Cuba's low impact agricultural system and vast
implementation of alternative energy sources are pioneering a sustainable
habitat for the world.
Years of dictatorship and political repression have left Haiti in an
ecological and economic crisis. Deforestation and erosion have created
deserts in Haiti that threaten the food security of Cuba's closest neighbor.
World Bank and IMF imposed austerity programs have put a strangle on Haiti's
government. Forced to lower tariffs, Haiti's rice growers can no longer
compete with cheaper American grown rice. However, through the resilience
of the people, peasant movements across the country have made bold moves to
reclaim the land and Haiti's natural resources. In addition, an exciting
new partnership with Haiti's Cuban neighbors has resulted in innovative
projects designed to restore sustainability to Haiti's agricultural sector.
Contrary to US funded aid projects, Cuban agronomists and veterinarians have
been working directly with the Haitian peasantry in erosion prevention,
irrigation, and animal husbandry. Working together, Cuba and Haiti are
creating viable alternatives for sustainable development.
Why Join this Delegation?
This educational and fact-finding delegation will trace sustainable
agriculture through various levels of design, research, and implementation.
We will explore successful and innovative techniques for sustainable and
organic agriculture; and learn to appreciate the unique and multi-tiered
relationships fostered by a commitment to safe, healthy ecosystems. Haiti
and Cuba constitute vital educational resources for scientists, hunger
activists, and green thumbs around the world. We will learn about an
innovative partnership that has developed between these two countries, an
excellent model of south-south cooperation. We invite you to help chart
our course by providing us with your special interests and program
suggestions, which makes the trip evolve into something meaningful and
-In Haiti, stay with the dynamic community members of Milot, meet the
leaders of the local peasant movement, learn about their recent
controversial land reform.
-Observe grassroots organizations working effectively in reforestation and
animal husbandry specifically adapted to their unique resources and
-Talk to peasant activist groups about the hardships, as well as the
successes of the Haiti's nationwide peasant movement.
-Meet with the innovators of the Cuban-Haitian partnership, discover first
hand the strength and the benefits of international south-south
collaboration and exchange.
-Witness the transformation of Havana into a viable organic marketplace.
-Visit Cuba?s Institute for Basic Research in Tropical Agriculture, the
second-oldest such institute in the Americas.
-Travel outside of Havana to visit Cuba's successful reforestation
projects and agricultural cooperatives.
Costs & What's Included:
The cost of this tour is $2200 and includes: round-trip airfare from
Port-au-Prince to Havana, round trip airfare from Port-au-Prince to Cap
Haïtien, all transportation within Haiti and Cuba, guest house and hotel
accommodations, translation of all programs, reading materials, two meals
daily, visas and program fees, and qualified trip leaders. Single rooms may
be available for an additional cost.
Complete a Reality Tours application and return it with a $200 nonrefundable
deposit. Download an application from:
Personal checks, MasterCard, and Visa are welcome. These trips can
fill up quickly, so it is best to reserve your space right away. We
attempt to make each delegation as diverse as possible in terms of age,
ethnic background, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, and life
experience. We can offer a limited number of partial scholarships to
For more information contact:
Moira I. Feeney
2017 Mission Street, Room 303
San Francisco, CA 94110
PH: (415) 255-7296 Ext. 226
or (800) 497-1994 Ext. 226
FAX: (415) 255-7498
All information also on our Web site:
Sustainable Agriculture Preliminary Itinerary:
Arrive Port-au-Prince. Fly to Cap Haïtien. Orientation and overview of
Haiti?s economic and political situation by Milot farmers.
May 25 &26
Visit Milot, tour fields and learn harvest techniques from members of the
Milot Peasant Movement. Learn about their grassroots agrarian reform.
Travel to Fondwa, a successful model for rural community development in
Haiti. See how current economic improvement is affecting the community.
Meet with Cuban agronomists providing aid and expertise to Fondwa. Evening
cultural activity. Dicuss strategies for sustainable economic development,
land use and environmental renewal.
Tour of facilities and projects sites, including: reforestation nurseries,
grain stroage silo, credit union, clinic and pharmacy, a radio station, and
pig husbandry project. Visit with a local leaf doctor and learn about
rural community health issues.
Depart Fondwa, drive to Port-au-Prince. Visit the newly re-opened sugar
mill that is a result of Cuban direct aid to Haiti. Explore market in
Port-au-Prince. Farewell dinner with Haitian economist, Camille Chalmers.
Fly from Port au Prince to Havana. Bicycle tour of Havana and visit to
scale model of the city. Meeting with architect Miguel Coyula to discuss
urban planning in Havana. Overview of Cuba?s economic history in the
1990?s and current development strategies.
Visits to a farmer's market, urban gardens, and a green pharmacy. Overview
of Cuba's Sustainable Agriculture Movement by a Representative of the
Ministry of Agriculture. Meeting with inter-disciplinary team from the
Foundation for Nature and Man to discuss the proliferation of urban gardens
in Cuba and Latin America.
Overnight trip to INIFAT, the Institute for Basic Research in Tropical
Agriculture, second of its kind in the Americas.
Visit to the farm of Fernando Funes and meeting with staff. Discussion of
extension system, research of biofertilizers, biological pest control,
crop/pasture experimentation. Evening disscusion with sugar industry
scientist Antonio Valdez on proposal for production of organic sugar.
Visit to Almendares River project and Parque Metropolitano. Tour of
wetlands and visit with river bank communities to learn about their
sustainable agriculture projects. Free evening in Old Havana -- cultural
Day trip to Viñales Valley reforestation projects. Visit agricultural
cooperative. Talk with campesinos, visit their day care center, family
doctor and school.
Visit entomopathogen production site, rhizobium program and extension
service supply stores / community center. Evening meeting / party with
Depart Havana for Port-au-Prince; Depart Port-au-Prince.