[Sust-mar] Sustainable Agriculture In Cuba Video (The Nature of Things)

Stephen Caines sacaines at gmail.com
Sat Dec 1 18:51:15 EST 2007

Hi everyone. Here is a link to a video I have been trying to track down for
some time, and finally found. It is called "Cuba: The Accidental Revolution"
and it is a CBC Nature of Things documentary.


Here is the writeup that accompanies the video at the site:

*Cuba*: *The* *Accidental* *Revolution* are two one-hour documentaries
celebrating *the* country's success in providing for itself in *the* face of
a massive economic crisis, and how it's latest revolutions, an agricultural
*revolution* and a *revolution* in science and medicine are having
repercussions around *the* world.

*Cuba*: *The* *Accidental* *Revolution* (Part 1), airing Sunday, July 30 at
7 P.M. on CBC Television, examines *Cuba*'s response to *the* food crisis
created by *the* collapse of *the* Soviet Bloc in 1989. At one time *Cuba*'s
agrarian culture was as conventional as *the* rest of *the* world. It
experienced its first "Green *Revolution*" when Russia was supplying
*Cuba*with chemical and mechanical "inputs." However,
*the* collapse of *the* Soviet Union in 1989 ended all of that, and almost
overnight threw *Cuba*'s whole economic system into crisis. Factories
closed, food supplies plummeted. Within a year *the* country had lost over
80% of its foreign trade. With *the* loss of their export markets and
*the*foreign exchange to pay for imports,
*Cuba* was unable to feed its population and *the* country was thrown into a
crisis. *The* average daily caloric intake of Cubans dropped by a third.

Without fertilizer and pesticides, Cubans turned to organic methods. Without
fuel and machinery parts, Cubans turned to oxen. Without fuel to transport
food, Cubans started to grow food in *the* cities where it is consumed.
Urban gardens were established in vacant lots, school playgrounds, patios
and back yards. As a result *Cuba* created *the* largest program in
sustainable agriculture ever undertaken. By 1999 *Cuba*'s agricultural
production had recovered and in some cases reached historic levels.


It's a good video (don't forget part 2, which you can link to from part 1).
Maybe we can start making similar changes some day in our own agricultural
system here in Atlantic Canada. Enjoy!

Steve Caines
Sackville, Nova Scotia
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