Friday, 4 September 2009

Grow your own as a national food policy

The BBC series I referred to previously got me thinking. One part of the programme that was new to me was the case of how Cuba responded to major disruption in its food and energy markets following the fall of the Soviet Bloc.

Cuba for many years relied on its political relationship with the Soviet block for cheap food and fuel imports. That arrangement collapsed when the Soviet communist system went down.

The programme touched on how in response consumption in Cuba has had to fall and how local food production had to rise. As a result Cuba has put huge amounts of urban open space over to urban farms which grow and distribute local produce in the communities where it is produced. This got be onto doing some searches for more background on these events.

As part of their response to this Cuba has been forced to develop and implement low impact food growing techniques. It has to be low impact because Cuba does not have the money to industrialise its food production. One outcome seems to be a huge return to the land and a lots of investigation and application of approaches to production which many of us in this part of the world who have looked into these things would recognise as permaculture and organic techniques.

There is lots more stuff on the story on the web if you search Cuba plus the key word in the links above. I've just liked to the three articles I found most authentic.

On Youtube there is also a series of films 'Cuba and Peak Oil' which I have found interesting. The title maybe hides the fact that a great deal of this film focuses on food production issues arising out of the local peak oil scenario that Cuba went through. As of today the film is available from this page.

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